JHN Column: Is what’s good for Dunkin’ Donuts good for NorthPoint?

The Joliet Herald-News wrote:

Is what’s good for Dunkin’ Donuts good for NorthPoint?

Traffic study was a must for doughnut shop. Will NorthPoint be held to the same standard?

By Bob Okon
December 03, 2021 at 5:15 am CST

I had forgotten the story, but NorthPoint opponent Marge Cepon had not.

The headline: “Joliet wants traffic study for Dunkin’ planned at Six Corners.”

That was in June when the council delayed a vote on the Dunkin’, previously known as Dunkin’ Donuts, until a traffic study would be done because of the potential impact at the Six Corners intersection.

A lot of people are clamoring for a look at a NorthPoint traffic study for its proposed Compass Global Logistics Hub, which is expected to generate more than 10,000 trucks a day when it is built out. But they aren’t seeing it.

They include Cepon, who referred to the Dunkin’ drive-thru story.

“That’s crazy and actually laughable,” Cepon said. “Dunkin’ needed a traffic study but NorthPoint doesn’t. It’s truly ridiculous.”

Actually, NorthPoint has done a traffic study – or so they say and so do city officials.

It’s just that they don’t have one ready for their new plan, which adds more than 1,000 acres to the previous proposal, includes two more bridges, and goes into areas where people live.

The lack of a new traffic study was brought out by questions posed by Christina Sammet of Jackson Township at a Plan Commission hearing last month. In response to her questions, NorthPoint’s traffic engineer said an updated study is not done and it’s not certain to be done by Dec 21 when the City Council is scheduled to vote on the plan.

The Plan Commission voted, 6-2, to recommend approval of the plan.

But Fredrick Moore, one of the no votes, seemed concerned about the incomplete traffic study, saying NorthPoint “doesn’t have their work completely done” before he voted.

Other members of the commission – made up mostly of people from building trades unions, the construction industry and the real estate business – said nothing and had no questions about the NorthPoint plan.

There seem to be diverging realities here, because NorthPoint says it is going to new lengths on the matter of traffic studies. NorthPoint says it will continue doing traffic studies at regular intervals as it builds warehouses to reexamine what impact the development will have on the area – something developers do not do once a project is approved.

It’s just that people want to see a traffic study before the project is approved.

Those people include CenterPoint Properties Chief Development Officer Michael Murphy, who filed an objection to the NorthPoint plan by email with the Plan Commission saying CenterPoint wants to see a traffic study showing the impact on roads in the CenterPoint Intermodal Center. NorthPoint will send its trucks onto those roads to get to the intermodals.

John Kieken, a leader in the Stop NorthPoint group, said he filed a Freedom of Information Request with the city of Joliet go get the traffic study but did not get it.

Assistant City Attorney Chris Regis said NorthPoint filed a traffic study in its first go-around in getting an approval from the City Council, but the city requested more information. So the traffic study was still in progress – even though the plan was already approved. Then when NorthPoint filed its new plan it became obsolete.

Ten thousand trucks a day is a lot of trucks.

Can you imagine that many cars going through the Dunkin’ drive-thru at Six Corners?

Read more at the Joliet Herald-News

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