Fox Point officials got an earful from residents Tuesday night when the board discussed rehabbing Green Tree Road.
"We are opposed to any widening of Green Tree Road," Tom Clark, a resident on Green Tree Road said. "Widening the road, I feel, would only increase the speed of that traffic."
As part of capital improvement projects, the village was looking at utilizing federal grant money to rehabilitate Green Tree Road. However, there's a catch - the village would have to upgrade the road to meet the Federal Highway Administration's standards, and foot the bill of hiring an additional consultant to oversee their own consultant. Those standards include things like widening the road and adding bicycle and pedestrian lanes.
"The state requires that we involve another consultant that kind of overlooks our consultants work, and we determined that it would actually cost us more money to get the grant money than what we would actually get in the grant money," Village Manager Susan Robertson said.
The federal grant to rehab the road would come to $222,000, but the estimated cost to make the necessary upgrades on top of simply repaving are estimated between $200,000 and $300,000. Additionally, village officials were planning to make repairs to Green Tree Road in 2012, and the grant would push those modifications back to 2013.
"It may be the case where getting free money isn't free," Robertson said.
Resident's weren't too happy about these potential changes because of the possible 75 trees that would be impacted from expansion and how a larger road may lead to an even more dangerous number of speeding cars.
"It's not several trees, it's a lot of trees that will have to be removed for us to get out of our driveways," Clark said. "Fox point is a family community, widening the road, increasing the traffic, not doing anything to control the speed, will not make that a family-friendly street."
Clark explained that when his children were young, he wouldn't even let them take the bus to Stormonth Elementary because cars would not stop for the bus when it was picking up children.
"We feel that any thought to widening the road will not solve any of these issues, but make them worse," he said.
Clark's neighbor, Janice Pfaffl, agrees with Clark and says it's just too dangerous. But adding a walking path would be very helpful.
"I would prefer a walking path because my children and I walk through the glass and garbage to get to the pool every morning," she said.
After considering resident and board comments, West posed a motion to not continue pursuing the federal funding, and directed staff to look at the costs of repaving Green Tree Road, and potentially adding a bicycle and/or footpath to the plans. The motion was passed unanimously.