Randall Road

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Randall Road
Length 31.4 mi[1] (50.5 km)
Location Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills, Algonquin, Carpentersville, West Dundee, Sleepy Hollow, Elgin, South Elgin, St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, North Aurora, and Aurora
North end McHenry Avenue in Crystal Lake
South end Marseillaise Place in Aurora

Randall Road is a major north-south county highway in McHenry and Kane County, Illinois. The road is named after Norman Randall, a prominent area landowner in the 1930s. It serves as the western extent of the Fox Valley suburbs in the Chicago metropolitan area. Its southern terminus is in Aurora, Illinois, at Marseillaise Place. Its northern terminus is at a full four way intersection at McHenry Avenue and James R. Rakow Road in Crystal Lake, Illinois. The road is 31.4 mi (50.5 km) in length.

Towns Served[edit]

Randall Road runs through sections of the following towns from north to south: Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills, Algonquin, Carpentersville, West Dundee, Sleepy Hollow, Elgin, South Elgin, St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, North Aurora, and Aurora.

Multilane Artery[edit]

The road is four lanes for the majority of its length, except for two small sections. The road is six lanes wide for a mile-long stretch in Algonquin (between Corporate Parkway and Harnish Drive), to accommodate traffic generated by the large outdoor malls Algonquin Commons and the Algonquin Galleria[2] and power center Oakridge Court.[3] The road was also widened to six lanes in small stretches in Elgin near I-90, to accommodate traffic generated by Sherman Hospital and the Elgin Auto Mall. Randall Road narrows to two lanes south of Interstate 88 in Aurora. A busy north-south artery, traffic counts average between 39,000 and 47,000 vehicles per day in the corridor from South Elgin to Lake in the Hills, between 28,000 and 39,000 vehicles per day in the Crystal Lake area and in the corridor from South Elgin to Batavia, with lighter volumes (12,000 to 17,000 vehicles per day) in the North Aurora and Aurora areas.[4]

Some of Randall Road's more important intersections are with Illinois 31 via Rakow Road in Crystal Lake, Algonquin Road in Algonquin, Huntley Road in Carpentersville, Illinois Route 72 in West Dundee, Big Timber Road and U.S. Route 20 in Elgin, Illinois Route 64 and Illinois Route 38 in Saint Charles, Fabyan Parkway in Batavia, Orchard Road in North Aurora, and Indian Trail Drive and Galena Boulevard in Aurora. Randall Road has a complete interchange with Interstate 90 in Elgin, but does not have an interchange at Interstate 88, probably because the original East-West Tollway terminated just a few miles to the west. As a result, travelers will usually use Orchard Road to access Interstate 88.

Retail, Industrial, and Institutional Corridor[edit]

The road is well known for being lined with retailers for nearly its entire length, with shopping centers being most concentrated in three clusters: Geneva/Batavia, South Elgin/Elgin and Algonquin/Lake in the Hills/Carpentersville. Additionally, the large lifestyle centers Algonquin Commons, Algonquin Galleria, and Geneva Commons are all found along the corridor. Also in Elgin, Randall Road serves as a major employment center near the I-90 interchange, from Route 72 to Big Timber Road, featuring several million square feet of industrial warehouse space, increasing numbers of office buildings, and three hotels. Development of the Algonquin Corporate Campus, further north, is also expected to add office buildings, industrial warehouses, and create high-paying jobs. Over time, the Algonquin-Elgin area along Randall Road is expected to become an edge city.

Randall Road is becoming a major medical corridor, with three hospitals located along the road, including Advocate Sherman Hospital and Provena St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin and Delnor Hospital in Geneva. Several medical office buildings can be found along the road as well, and Advocate and Centegra health systems also maintain a presence along the corridor. Randall Road is also becoming an educational corridor, with Elgin Community College and Aurora University located just off the road. Randall Road also features a high concentration of churches and other places of worship, particularly in the Elgin and St. Charles areas, including some megachurches, most notably Harvest Bible Chapel in Elgin and Christ Community Church in St. Charles.

Kane County Fairgrounds and Government Center is prominently placed along the road in the St. Charles/Geneva area. Other points of interest on Randall Road include Randall Oaks Park & Golf Course (the showcase of the Dundee Township Park District), and Lake in the Hills Airport, a general aviation facility located on Rakow Road, the northeastern extension of Randall Road.

Contributor to sprawl[edit]

Randall Road is often considered by many to be a poster-child for urban sprawl.[according to whom?] due to its proximity to large single family and multifamily home developments, a multitude of big-box retailers and large industries, lack of walkability, limited public transportation options, traffic congestion, and so forth.

Randall Road was once considered to be the western frontier of the Chicago metropolitan area, but as the area grew, Illinois Route 47, several miles to the west, is considered to be the new western frontier.[according to whom?]

Safety[edit]

Randall Road remains unique, due to its speed limit and amount of reckless driving. When rural roads are widened and built up, the speed limits are typically lowered. Sections of the road have speed limits of 45 or 50 mph (72 or 80 km/h).[2] Because of the high speed limit and high traffic volume, Randall Road has a lot of car accidents, many of them fatal. For example, Algonquin reports that at least 50% of traffic accidents within its boundaries occur on Randall Road. In addition, the intersection of Randall and Huntley Roads was the most dangerous intersection in Illinois in 2006, with 90 crashes reported there that year.[5] In 2007, despite signal improvements, the number increased to 101 crashes. The intersection of Randall & McHenry Avenues ranked 8th, with 67 crashes.[6]

In July 2006, municipal policing bodies with jurisdictions on Randall Road teamed up together to tackle hazardous driving and improve safety on the road. The program aimed to increase awareness, promote safety, and go after aggressive drivers, speeders, and those who run red lights. In an eight-hour period, more than 400 citations were given up and down the road.[7]

Several municipalities, such as Algonquin and Lake in the Hills, have also begun installing red-light cameras which take photographs of vehicles that run red lights, and then issue the owner a speeding ticket in the mail. This initiative aims to curb reckless driving behaviors, particularly the tendency of high-speed traffic to run red lights, which poses significant danger and also causes delays.[8][9]

Pedestrian safety is also an issue, and with the lack of sidewalks and safe crossings, several municipalities are working to create safer crossings. Algonquin has contemplated constructing a pedestrian bridge or tunnel at one or more intersections, or perhaps making signal improvements. South Elgin has already constructed a pedestrian bridge near Silver Glen Road.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]