River Hills — The Village Board will reopen its discussion of a request to close the eastbound lane of Green Tree Road between River and Jean Nicolet roads at its Feb. 17 meeting.
A group of residents representing 32 households in that area signed a petition in July asking for the full closure of the road. Residents hired their own traffic engineer to consider the safety issues they say are present on the street and to make suggestions for ways to reduce speeding and enhance safety. Residents complained about a high volume of traffic from nearby Nicolet High School and the Glendale Market. Some said drivers littered their neighborhood with trash; others said they were afraid to cross the street to remove mail from mailboxes because of speeding vehicles.
After months of discussion, the board in November authorized closing the eastbound lane despite receiving a petition with 21 signatures opposed to the half-closure plan at the meeting. Since then, a second petition signed by roughly 70 additional residents who oppose the plan has been delivered to the village. Glendale and the Nicolet School District also filed a lawsuit against the village, hoping to prevent the half closure of the street.
At the board's Jan. 20 meeting, Trustee Steve Anderson made the motion to reconsider, which was adopted by a 5-2 vote, with trustees Wendy Walcott and Larry Boyer opposed.
Since the item was not on the board's agenda, there was limited discussion. Village Manager Tom Tollaksen provided an update on the half closure, since that did appear on the agenda.
In keeping with past practice in the village, the Green Tree residents asking for the changes to the road would be required to pay for them. Tollaksen said once the $14,500 estimated cost for the half closure was presented to them, they opted to wait for the outcome of the lawsuit before proceeding with the trial half closure. The village would accomplish the closure with signs and series of barricades, similar to those used on road construction projects, if the board decides to move ahead with the plan in February. The money would be used to purchase the barricades and pay for the costs of design and installation.
Tollaksen told the board that the village is responsible for a $2,000 deductible for legal fees. The residents will likely be responsible for the deductible, he said.
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