LITH board paves the way for park-and-ride

LAKE IN THE HILLS – Commuters will have a new place to congregate for carpooling.

A parking lot with 110 spaces at Route 31 and Virginia Road was approved Thursday by the Village Board.

The park-and-ride facility, which will be built by the county on the southwestern corner of the intersection, will be a place for people to park and meet to carpool. It will have 105 regular spaces and five handicap spaces.

The county is using a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement grant to build the parking lot, said Wally Dittrich, the design manager for the McHenry County Division of Transportation.

The program was implemented for surface transportation projects and related efforts that improve air quality and relieve congestion, according to the Federal Highway Administration website.

The grant is for about $1 million and covers design and construction costs, Dittrich said.

Construction is scheduled to take place in summer and take a couple of months.

To meet stormwater requirements and have enough parking spaces to make the project work, the county needed a variance from the minimum 30-foot setback required under village zoning rules. County officials asked for an 8-foot setback from Virginia Road and Route 31, which still allows for landscaping, according to village documents.

Without the variances, the county would be able to put in only 34 spaces, which is too few to benefit the public, according to village documents.

A study by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning found that people from Cary, Lake in the Hills, Algonquin and Crystal Lake carpool to work in the Schaumburg area.

Currently there is no plan to limit time on the parking lot, and there would no charge to use it.

The design includes an area for a shelter, and an area for buses to turn around if PACE decides to add a stop in the area.

Construction of the parking lot comes after the Route 31 Virginia Road intersection was realigned, which created space for the park-and-ride facility.

County Board member Paula Yensen thanked the Village Board for approving the project.

“We’re willing to cooperate on certain items that are beneficial to the community,” said Village President Ed Plaza.

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