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Rand and Wilke: Difficult Left Turn from Northbound Wilke to Northwestbound Rand

Tue January 08 2008 7:33 am  http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=2581
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Wilke Road thoroughfare and access [MAP/SAT] is interrupted by Rand Road (Route 12). Instead of a full intersection, southern access to Wilke Road is designed in an eastern intersection with Rand Road and northern access to Wilke Road is designed in a western intersection with Rand Road.

PROBLEMS:
Southern access to Wilke is available by the eastern T-intersection. Rand Road is a busy four-lane highway with congestion that makes it very difficult to make a sharp left turn from northbound Wilke Road to northwestbound Rand Road (Route 12).

Northern access to Wilke Road is available by a western intersection that is a 4-way intersection that includes a northbound exit of Route 53 to Rand Road, eastbound and westbound Rand Road, and northbound access to Wilke Road; but no southbound access to Wilke Road because of alignment with the one-way northbound exit from Route 53. The western intersection is a stoplight intersection and exists about 200 feet west of the intersection of Wilke Road and Rand Road for southern access to Wilke Road.

Confusion can exist to drivers because there are three Wilke Road accesses to Rand Road. The resulting confusion can cause drivers to be lost and distracted. The city of Palatine has a Wilke Road (also known as Frontage Road) on the west side parallel to Route 53 (another far western intersection). Then, Arlington Heights, east of Route 53,  has the two accesses to Wilke Road — the northern portion (western intersection) and the southern portion (eastern intersection).

NEW DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS:
New construction of a northbound Wilke access road that merges with the northbound Rand Road exit ramp from Route 53. Name that road North Wilke Frontage (for example). New construction for the Route 53 exit ramp may be necessary, since the exit ramp from Route 53 may have to initiate from a more southern location to attenuate higher speeds from the expressway exit in time for slower speeds for the merge with the newly proposed north Wilke access. The proposed new northbound “North Wilke Frontage” would have a restrictive design so that drivers could not reasonably turn left and go the wrong way on the off ramp exit from northbound Route 53.

Provide a right turn lane for southbound Wilke to the proposed northbound Wilke access for drivers from Woods or Walter E. Smithe Parking lot that intend to travel northwest on Rand Road.

Provide a stop sign for northbound Wilke where drivers would choose to travel straight to merge with the off ramp lane from northbound Route 53 or turn right to travel to the Walter E. Smithe parking lot or Woods Drive or eventually turn right only at Rand Road.

Provide proper signs that warn northbound Route 53 exit ramp drivers that traffic merges from the right from northbound Wilke.

Prohibit a left turn (NO LEFT TURN sign) from northbound Wilke to northwestbound Rand Road from the existing intersection with southern portion of Wilke Road.

Provide signs at southbound Wilke (northern portion) and Rand road that inform drivers to turn left to access southbound Wilke Road.

Provide matching signs on southeastbound Rand Road to inform drivers to turn right from Rand Road at southbound Wilke Road (southern portion).

Coordinate the renaming of the two “Wilke Roads” (e.g., “Wilke-Arlington” & “Wilke-Palatine”) for the respective towns of Arlington Heights and Palatine so that map readers and drivers are not confused by the naming of two Wilke Roads so close together.

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