SAVOY – People who live near Walmart are upset. They don’t want their quiet road connected to the retail giant.
The village board is trying to build a new road, making it easier for shoppers to get into businesses off Route 45. People who live off Jones Drive and Ellen Avenue think it will make their roads much busier and more dangerous.
"Word got out that they're like, 'We're going to possibly make Ellen go through,' and we were like, 'Oh, wait a minute,'” said Amy Todd, a resident on Ellen Avenue.
Todd has lived in her home for many years and raised her family here. Her kids are all grown up, but there are other little ones in the area.
"We have about ten new families that just moved in. They have kids. You know, they're infants, to toddlers, to little kids," she said.
She doesn’t want to see the Village of Savoy connecting her neighborhood to the Walmart parking lot. She says her road is too narrow and people already drive too fast down it.
Village leaders say they need to open up Jones Drive into the commercial area, because a median on the south side of the lot makes it really tough to leave adjacent businesses off 45. Now those customers have to make U-turns to get out.
"This is our next best option. We would much prefer shortening that median," said Bob McCleary, Village of Savoy president.
McCleary says the Illinois Department of Transportation doesn’t want to shorten the median, but village officials still want to make the area more attractive for new and existing businesses. Easy access is crucial for that.
"To get this whole area along through here with more businesses for our citizens," said McCleary.
Now the city will vote to rezone this lot to commercial. Then they’ll build the road off Jones Drive to connect it.
Todd hopes she and neighbors on Ellen Avenue can get the village to stop its plans.
"It's quiet. That's why we moved here from Champaign," said Todd.
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