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O’Fallon residents can express their concerns about Pierce Blvd. development in survey

The future of traffic flow throughout the Pierce Boulevard neighborhood is still being determined, but residents have another opportunity to voice their opinion in a new survey that has a Friday, May 26, deadline.

Residents again crowded into the O’Fallon City Hall on May 18 to hear the traffic origin and destination study reports about Pierce Boulevard, White Pine Avenue and Walnut Street. They could voice their comments then. The main topic was excessive speeding and traffic volumes.

The city’s traffic consultants have been analyzing the options to address cut-through traffic on Pierce after a vocal turnout at a Town Hall meeting April 27, then at the recent follow-up.

Pierce is a connector road near the Interstate 64 interchange and not far from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

The city released a statement to those in attendance: “We had a great discussion and the city’s traffic engineering consultant CBB Transportation Engineers + Planning is reviewing your comments provided with the new survey.”

The survey from the meeting remains open until 5 p.m. on Friday, May 26. You can provide your comments here.

For a copy of the complete Pierce Boulevard Presentation, visit here.

Lee Cannon, chief engineer from CBB Transportation + Planners on this project, provided residents an update and they in turn provided feedback on the potential options the city could do to address speeding and traffic volumes, which were identified as the top two problems.

With 118 resident responses, CBB also identified safety concerns for families, pedestrians, and cyclists.

Cannon told the group last month that the most recent traffic study indicated that 45 to 50% of vehicles on Pierce is currently cut-through traffic from Lincoln to Green Mount.

Residents have repeatedly mentioned the excessive speed of cars (speed limit is 25 mph), plus drivers failing to stop completely at stop signs, and instead ‘rolling’ through the intersections. In addition, the difficulty for them to turn onto side streets and to get out of their driveway, and that vehicles are passed, even school buses, were pointed out.

Possible solutions could be speed humps, closing Pierce west of the neighborhood, adding stop signs, increase law enforcement, narrow Pierce/add a median, and restrict large trucks.

CBB identified some other options, such as full closure of Pierce west of Shamrock Drive, move curbs for road narrowing, stripe for lanes and shoulders/parking lanes, a new interchange at Lincoln Avenue for Interstate 64, and a new north outer road adjacent to I-64.

However, the cons of the outer road are that it’s too costly and there is not enough space, and the Illinois Department of Transportation would likely not approve another I-64 interchange at Lincoln because of the proximity of other interchanges.

A realistic possibility is to contact map data providers (Google Maps, Apple Maps) to de-list Pierce and Walnut as cut-through routes.

Spot traffic calming could include stop signs at additional intersections, targeted speed enforcement, mini-traffic circles at intersections and curb bulbs at intersections. Also, system level improvements on primary routes could delay reductions on U.S. Highway 50, Lincoln Avenue, Frank Scott Parkway, and Green Mount Road to keep through traffic on primary routes.

Meijer and Shops at Pierce Proposals

Residents who already complain about the volume of traffic in their neighborhood have been concerned about how any new development would impact on them.The issue currently being addressed is a new re-zoning application from Meijer and GBT Realty Corporation for the development of a 160,000 square foot retail and grocery store (Meijer) as well as five commercial lots with a mix of restaurants and retail/office space (Shops at Pierce). That was submitted on May 1.

Community Development Director Justin Randall said tenants have not been named for the Shops at Pierce, which is proposed for 25 acres on the northeast quadrant of the Green Mount Road interchange on Interstate 64.

You can view a draft overall development here.

The next opportunity for residents to speak out at a public forum is when the Planning Commission meets at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 13, at city hall. This will be the first time the development will be on the agenda.

The Community Development Department will complete their study, with a recommendation, and that can be viewed when the meeting agenda is released, several days before the meeting. It will likely be up on the city’s website by June 9.

Based in Michigan, Meijer’s is constructing a retail supercenter in Glen Carbon and currently, their closest one is in Springfield, Ill. The company said it pioneered the supercenter concept in 1962.

Meijer’s features fresh produce and meat, apparel, pet supplies, toys, and electronics, as well as a garden center and pharmacy. On its website, it states that they get produce from over 250 local farmers in the Midwest, and meat and seafood are delivered fresh six days a week.

The company describes itself as a “family-owned, Midwestern retailer” that started in 1934. during the Great Depression. Today, Meijer stores average between 150,000 and 250,000 square feet and stock more than 220,000 items.

Meijer employs about 70,000 people and operates more than 240 supercenters in six states: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Michigan, according to its website. It has been expanding.

The Planning Commission meeting is the first of five public meetings that residents can attend.

After the Planning Commission hears about the department’s study, they will take action. If they approve, the request advances to the council’s Community Development Committee, who will determine if it moves forward and place it on the city council’s agenda. After any action, it returns to the CDC before it comes back for final approval.

City officials present May 18 included Public Works Director Jeff Taylor and Randall, who addressed the crowd. Mayor Herb Roach and several aldermen also attended.

To stay up to date on developments in O’Fallon, visit the “Build It Here” map located online here.

It provides information on projects that are going through the planning process, under construction and recently completed.