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Community Advisory Group

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is currently studying improvements to Illinois Route 3 in Waterloo from Vandebrook Drive to North Market Street. The Illinois Route 3 improvement project is using Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS). CSS is "a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach involving all stakeholders to develop a transportation facility that fits its physical setting and preserves scenic, aesthetic, historic, and environmental resources, while maintaining safety and mobility."

The CAG formed for the Illinois Route 3 project includes representatives from business focused groups, residents, the City, and other civic organizations with an interest in the Illinois Route 3 project. The CAG meets during the project development process to help the Project Study Group (PSG) by providing input on the issues that are important to the community and assisting the Project Study Group in developing alternatives. As of December 1, 2010 the Illinois Route 3 CAG had met three times. The CAG developed a problem statement to define the transportation problem on Illinois Route 3 in Waterloo, identified important features within the community to be preserved, recommended roadway sections for the Project Study Group to use to develop alternatives, and provided input on the alternatives. The CAG will continue to assist the Project Study Group with the development of alternatives to be presented to the public.

Community Advisory Group #1
The first Community Advisory Group meeting was held on Wednesday Oct. 20th.  The purpose of the first meeting was to introduce and explain the CAG process, explain the ground rules, fill out a context audit survey and define a consensus problem statement. As a group the CAG reviewed how the process works and the ground rules.   Then the CAG went through the context audit as a group.   Each question was open to discussion and revisions were made in real time on a projector to reflect the consensus answers.  A draft problem statement was discussed and agreed upon as the consensus problem statement for IL Route 3 project.  With the remaining time the CAG members were given a short introduction to an exercise planned for CAG meeting #2.   Overlays of sample typical sections were given to CAG members to be placed on aerials photographs giving the members a sense of the impacts each typical section would have.

What is a Community Context Audit
The Community Context Audit form is intended to be a guide to identify various community characteristics that make each transportation project location unique to its residents, businesses, and the public in general.  This information define the purpose and need of the proposed transportation improvements based upon community goals and local plans for future development.  This audit is designed to take into account the community’s history or heritage, present conditions and anticipated conditions.  The audit takers considered the interaction of persons and groups within your community when considering factors such as mobility and access (vehicular, non-vehicular and transit modes), safety, local and regional economics, aesthetics and overall quality of life.

What is a problem statement and what is the problem statement for the Illinois Route 3 project?
A problem statement is a concise narrative, prepared at the start of a project to define the problem to be solved. The problem statement developed by the Community Advisory Group (CAG) for the Illinois Route 3 project is as follows: “The transportation problem along IL Route 3 between Vandebrook Drive and North Market Street in Waterloo is poor intersection performance and traffic congestion throughout the corridor resulting in traffic delays and safety concerns for the users of the corridor.”

Community Advisory Group Meeting #2
The second Community Advisory Group meeting was held on Wednesday Oct. 27th.  The purpose of the second meeting was to identify mainline typical roadway sections to analyze further.   CAG members were broken into groups who used IDOT policy roadway sections on overlays to be placed on large aerial photos of the 3 sections of the project, (Northern, Central and Southern).   The groups spent time at each section developing a group consensus for roadway selections to be studied further on each section.   The three groups than reconvened as one large Community Advisory Group to discuss their selections and to come to a consensus on roadway sections for the Project Study Group to analyze further.    

Community Advisory Group Meeting #3
A third Community Advisory Group meeting was informal and held on November 17th.   The purpose of this meeting was to allow the CAG members to preview and return comments on the planned public informational meeting #2 displays.   The conceptual displays were created based on the CAG meeting #2 typical sections for the roadway that the CAG preferred to be studied further.

Community Advisory Group Meeting #4
A fourth Community Advisory Group meeting was held on June 15th. The purpose of this meeting was to present Project Study Team’s engineering and environmental analyses of the alternatives developed to the CAG members and reach consensus on a preferred alternative. CAG members were divided into groups where they discussed the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative, including estimated cost and right-of-way (ROW) needs. Each group spent time reviewing each segment alternative before indicating which alternative they preferred.

Community Advisory Group Meeting #5
A fifth Community Advisory Group meeting was held on January 18th. The purpose of this meeting was to provide information related to comments received during the last public meeting and subsequent design modifications. The result of the noise analysis was discussed. At the conclusion of the meeting a review period was provided to allow the CAG members to review the displays that are to be used at the final public informational meeting (#4).


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