The Village of Hoffman Estates is served by a number of transportation modes for both local and regional travel needs. There is a well established network of arterials carrying a tremendous amount of regional traffic within and through the Village. Collector and local roads supplement the arterial network. Since many of these arterials are under control by other agencies, balancing regional and local travel is a challenge for the Village. The Jane Addams Tollway/ I-90 bisects the Village resulting in issues of continuity and connectivity between the northern and southern portions of the community.
Key transportation issues such as traffic flow, intersection design, pedestrian crossings, sidewalk continuity, bicycle accommodations, crash prevention, along with demands for increased and improved transit services are all of concern to the Village. Reducing vehicle congestion on major roads helps to deter drivers from diverting to Village collector and local streets. Addressing delay problems, managing traffic flows through residential areas, and broadening the type and availability of alternative modes of transportation all help to decrease air pollution and protect the well-being of the residents and businesses.
The three categories of Transportation Sustainability initiatives are listed below with some examples of the general types of programs within each.
1. Mobility / Movement – intended to improve both traffic operations and choices for travel. Examples could include targeted projects to reduce congestion especially during peak travel hours; bicycle and pedestrian projects to offer attractive and convenient routes to serve shorter distance trips; and transit service enhancements and additions to offer alternatives to driving as well as to serve those without access or the ability to travel independently.
2. Environment / Ecological – intended to design, construct, maintain, and operate the transportation system through explicit consideration of environmental effects. Some examples include evaluating evolving sustainability rating systems used to score and strengthen road, bicycle / pedestrian, and transit projects; investigation of street and streetscape design elements such as permeable pavement and rain gardens to better manage runoff; and developing expanded and accessible mode choices to create travel options.
3. Community – intended to strengthen the sense of community through responsible practices. Examples include investigating means to improve connectivity among neighborhoods by providing safe and convenient routes and crossings of major streets; encouragement programs focused on lifestyle choices can be enhanced by encouraging walking and bicycling for recreational and shopping purposes; and coordinated and thoughtful planning, design, and management of the transportation system to connect to local and regional destinations.
Sustainability Plan Connections
The Village of Hoffman Estates addresses ways that it can improve aspects of transportation and community mobility in the Sustainability Plan. Items specific to the Transportation section are listed below:
1) Support Regional Transportation Objectives such as supporting the STAR Line Task Force with next phase of studies.
2) Apply for grants and other funding opportunities to help finance transportation improvements.
3) Support Sub-Regional Transportation Objectives such as completing the RTA study conclusions and recommendations.
4) Revise Subdivision Code to reflect Complete Streets principles and development manuals to benefit and create an efficient and safe environment for all road users.
5) Review different sustainability based rating and evaluation procedures for potential applicability to Village transportation projects.
6) Identify gaps in the pedestrian sidewalk system and create a plan to address these through the availability of various funding programs.
The Public Works Department’s Fleet Services Division performs regular maintenance and mileage tracking to ensure best vehicle performance and fuel mileage. In the last few years, vehicle purchases, type of fuel used, vehicle performance and maintenance have all been evaluated and tracked more closely than ever before. This Division also does its part to reduce waste by maintaining vehicles to extend their useful life
Fleet Sustainability Programs
The Village has initiated an idling-reduction program for Village fleet vehicles. Not only does this save thousands of gallons of fuel, but it also reduces the emissions released into the air while non-emergency vehicles must stop within Village neighborhoods. The Village also recently purchased another hybrid vehicle for the Public Works fleet. The EECBG program paid for the hybrid portion, and the other cost of replacing an old fleet vehicle was budgeted in the 2011 Capital Improvement Fund.
Over the past few years, Public Works has more closely examined vehicles planned for replacement. Not only does staff now take into consideration the fuel economy of a vehicle, but the vehicle’s use and the minimum size required are considered in order to reduce fuel consumption. Recent examples include replacement of a large sport utility vehicle (SUV) with a hybrid vehicle used for J.U.L.I.E. locates, and a large V8 pickup truck replaced with a small 4-cylinder pickup truck. Several police squad cars are moving from a V8 to a V6 engine, which will reduce fuel consumption.
Occasionally, the Village will inform the residents of Air Pollution Action days. These days are identified by the EPA and residents are encouraged to reduce vehicle travel, lawn mower use, and keep sensitive populations indoors. The notices are posted on the Village's main webpage in the "Village News" section.
Sustainability Plan Connections
The Village of Hoffman Estates includes data on previous years vehicle fuel usage and addresses ways that it can improve fleet vehicles and equipment in the Sustainability Plan.
Items specific to the Vehicles section are listed below:
1) Convert some fleet vehicles to compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel. CIP
2) Pursue additional funds to improve fleet and operations.
*CIP identifies items that would need to be included in the Village's Capital Improvement Plan.