Naperville City Council’s February 16 meeting featured discussions on issues such as traffic and how best to accept written comments at city meetings.
Westside Neighborhood Traffic
Council heard city staff and consulting firm KLOA’s presentation on the Westside neighborhood traffic study. That study focused on the area south of the BNSF Metra line, west of Washington Street and the central business district, north of the DuPage River, and east of Burlington Park.
Most of council’s concerns with the traffic calming techniques proposed for the area were that there wouldn’t be enough room to plow certain roads during the winter if on-street parking were implemented. The traffic study did not take plowing into account.
The group unanimously approved accepting the traffic report, but did ask city staff to revisit the areas where they had concerns.
Council also unanimously approved the Traffic Calming Toolkit as a system that can be used in neighborhoods that experience higher than acceptable speeds and volumes of vehicles. If the city identifies an area with traffic issues, it can implement certain level one or two measures to help mitigate the problems. After further study, increased measures can be taken if necessary.
Measures include steps like enhanced signage and putting in bicycle lanes, along with more stringent techniques like realigned intersections and median barriers for more severe cases.
Changes to Public Commenting Rules
Council also adopted a resolution to change up rules for those who want to participate in public meetings.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when city council meetings began to be held virtually, the city began allowing written comments to be submitted and read aloud into the record during the meeting by city staff. Council voted unanimously to extend that practice even when meetings begin to be held in person once again.
“We talk a little bit here and there about things we were forced to do during COVID and some of those things will last well beyond COVID because they just turned out to be better,” said Mayor Steve Chirico. “One of those things was giving the public many more ways to participate in these meetings.”
Though the written comments will remain a part of the formal minutes and be presented to council members to be reviewed prior to the meeting, city staff will no longer read those comments into the record to make meetings more efficient.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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