McCandless mulls adding sidewalk, bike lane along Grubbs Road
McCandless council is considering whether to install a sidewalk along a 1,600-foot section of Grubbs Road or go with a sidewalk and a bike lane to make it safer for pedestrian and cyclists.
A third option is to scrap both the sidewalk and bike lane and use the money to connect existing sidewalks around the municipality.
Mike Albright of Gateway Engineers outlined the first two options at council’s committee meeting on April 8.
One proposal calls for building a 4-foot wide sidewalk separated from the roadway with a 3-foot wide landscaped buffer along Grubbs between Ingomar Road and McCandless Drive.
The estimated cost of installing just the sidewalk and buffer is $102,000.
The second option, which costs about $130,000, would create a bike lane by taking 4-feet from the existing 14-foot-wide roadway. The bike lane and sidewalk would be separated by a 2-foot wide landscaped buffer.
Council President Kim Zachary noted that creating more links between neighborhoods is one of the goals outlined in the town’s comprehensive plan.
“This (project) is a good place to start,” she said. “It connects the community.”
But several members of council questioned the value of installing a sidewalk and bike lane on Grubbs Road that would not connect to any destination at either end when it is completed.
“The flaw in this project right now is that it still leaves two missing links — the link to Hickory Hills (residential development) and the link to the (North) park,” said Councilman Bill Kirk.
“There are other missing links in the town that are much shorter distances that we can connect to more effectively using the sidewalks that have already been installed,” he said.
The connection to the Ingomar Road portion of the sidewalk/bike lane that is being considered would occur as part of the mixed used development along Blazier Drive in which developers would be required to install sidewalks.
Kirk suggested that the town undertake a study to determine locations in the town where existing sidewalks can be connected to each other.
Councilman Greg Walkauskus said it does not appear that residents even need a sidewalk that connects Grubbs Road to McCandless Drive.
“How many people use McCandless Drive?” he said. “I see very few people using it.”
But Councilman Steve Mertz responded that the reason for the lack of pedestrian traffic is “because it’s all sidewalks to nowhere.”
Council is expected to decide among the three options later this month.
Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tony at 724-772-6368, [email protected] or via Twitter .