Forest Hills Sidewalk Feasibility Study

Introduction

In early 2019, residents of the Forest Hills subdivision approached the Village Board to discuss ways in which the Village could complete the sidewalk system in the subdivision. 

The matter was presented to the Infrastructure Commission during the summer of 2019, wherein the Village's existing sidewalk policy was reviewed. The current policy was established in 2006 and is accompanied by a sidewalk report which outlines the history of sidewalk installations within the Village. The report outlined that sidewalks were historically installed during the construction of the subdivision, and the costs for the improvements were passed on to residents though a special assessment. 

The Infrastructure Commission concluded, with a recommendation to the Public Works & Water Committee, that the Village should proceed with a modest, “in-house” developed survey to the residents of Forest Hills to determine resident interest in completing sidewalks. The survey would serve to evaluate the overall opinion of residents regarding the construction of sidewalks in areas where they are currently non-existent. The Commission concluded that if the results of the survey confirm that the majority of residents are in favor of a revised sidewalk policy, the Village Board could then consider a feasibility study to determine the potential cost for completing sidewalks. 

Resident Survey Results

The residential survey was mailed on postcards to approximately 900 residences in Forest Hills and the survey results were presented to the Infrastructure Commission for review and discussion in early 2020. The Village received just under 400 responses to the survey. 

  • ~68% of respondents who had sidewalk in front of their home indicated they would be interested in participating in a cost share program to install sidewalks.
  • ~51% of respondents who did not have sidewalks in front of their home at the time of the survey indicated they would be interested in participating in a cost share program to install sidewalks.

The completed study along with comments submitted, can be found on the sidebar to the right.  

Feasibility Study

The Village Board approved a feasibility study in Fall 2020 with V3 Engineering.  

The study summarizes the existing sidewalks within the subdivision along with an evaluation for sidewalks on each block.  The study provides for an estimate of probable costs for the completion of sidewalks on all streets within the subdivision as well as an alternative to complete sidewalks on at least one side of the street in each area.  Cost projections within the study assume a five year implementation schedule and include estimated inflation costs. 

The feasibility study also provides an overview of potential conflicts and impacts for ADA improvements, parkway trees, driveways, and other utilities. 

The current feasibility study does not include a detailed breakdown or analysis of the specific improvements, layout or impacts on a per block or per property basis. 

 A Phase I (Preliminary) and/or Phase II (Design) Engineering report would be needed to develop estimates for specific improvement and cost impacts, including sidewalk layout and design.  

Next Steps

The Infrastructure Commission, Public Works & Water Committee and Village Board reviewed the feasibility study in early 2021 and the study is now available on the Village website for the public. The Village Board is soliciting public comment, questions, and feedback on the study through Spring 2021. Questions pertaining to the study can be submitted through an online form, wherein Village staff will then collect and collate questions into a summary document. The summary information will then be presented to the Village Board to review and determine next steps.