Hertz: Crawford extension is needed

Hertz: Crawford extension is needed
Dave Hertz found himself facing daunting odds at Monday night's Vermillion City Council meeting.

Nearly all of the 60 citizens in attendance had stood up earlier to show they didn't approve the extension of Crawford Road south to Burbank Road.

He hoped that reminding the city council that the plans for Crawford always included developing it into a truck route in the city would help change aldermen's minds.

For several years, Hertz has been developing the Countryside Housing Development on the southwest edge of The Bluffs golf course.

His interest in developing a housing addition in Vermillion began in the year 2000. He sought advice from the Vermillion Planning Commission and the Vermillion City Council, and was urged to purchase ground inside the city limits located southeast of The Bluffs golf course.

Turn to hertz on Page 15

"I didn't purchase the ground until the plan was approved," he told the Vermillion City Council Monday, "because I wanted to make sure everybody was okay with this development."

Numerous hearings were held on the development, and no opposition was heard, Hertz said. "At that time, Crawford Road was on the books to be completed in 2006. Now we're still discussing this issue."

Crawford Road hasn't yet been extended to Burbank Road for one simple reason, he said. "The reason we haven't put it in until now is we didn't need it until now."

Crawford Road, from Cherry Street to Main Street, was developed in the mid-1990s.

"Crawford from Augusta to Crestview was paved and put in in the 1990s, too," Hertz said. "Almost half of the road was put in in the 1990s, and we only had a little bit left to go to complete it. And we made it 60 feet wide because it was planned to be a main arterial road.

"If we weren't going to make it go all the way down to Burbank Road," he added, "we wouldn't have made it that wide. We would have saved some of the taxpayers' money and not spent that much extra on the street."

Opponents of extending Crawford Road cite safety as a concern.

"One of the main reasons I would like to see Crawford put in is safety," Hertz said.

Residents of Countryside Addition use University Street as a major route to get to and from Vermillion.

That means traffic is routed right past Jolley Elementary School during the busiest times of each weekday, Hertz said.

"You've got kids darting in and out of there all of the time," he said. "Where would you rather have people drive � on a narrow road with parking on one side with kids darting in and out, or on a 60-foot wide road that was designed for arterial traffic?"

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