River Hills to consider closing Green Tree Road

Aug. 20, 2009

Village staff will explore the closing Green Tree Road either at Jean Nicolet or River roads - a move that would make it a one-lane street with limited access for emergency vehicles.

The move in that direction came after a loud and occasionally out-of order discussion at the Wednesday night's Village Board meeting.

Citing concerns about litter, speeding and semi trailers on their narrow street, residents living there last month asked the board to close the street. The board decided Wednesday to investigate the steps necessary to close, or vacate, it. That process would take at least 90 days, Village Manager Tom Tollaksen told the board and about 40 residents.

During the past month, both the police and fire departments expressed concerns about closing the road, saying it could result in longer response times, particularly in the case of the North Shore Fire Department. The department uses the street and its bridge over Interstate 43 to provide service not only to the residents in the immediate area but to other areas of the North Shore.

Residents on Green Tree Road were not fazed by concerns that fire department response times could increase by one to two minutes. The village does not have any fire hydrants and water to fight fires is brought by tankers, but residents did not appear concerned about slowing down that flow of water by closing the road.

"I saw two men die in front of me in April," said resident Craig Gleason, who fears speeding vehicles will kill someone else even though the April accident is believed to have been the result of a medical problem, not speeding. "A body doesn't make it through when hit by a car going 45 miles per hour."

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