A proposal for Orland Park's first mosque seemed sure to ignite religious
and political passions.
But at Tuesday's public unveiling of the plans, a standing-room-only crowd
of more than 200 focused largely on something more banal: traffic.
Several residents of the southwest section of the village said the proposed
mosque site, 16530 104th Ave., would inevitably cause the clogging of the
narrow, two-lane roads nearby.
But Cook County's top traffic engineer said the 150 or so extra cars the
mosque may draw likely won't have a noticeable impact on traffic in the area.
"An extra 100, 150 cars? No, I can't see it making any difference," said
Scott Vanderaa, chief engineer of the Cook County Highway Department, which
has jurisdiction over 104th Avenue and 167th Street.
The 22,000-square-foot Orland Park Prayer Center is expected to draw 100 to
150 worshippers during peak weekly prayers at 1 p.m. Friday and only about
a dozen for each of five daily prayer services during the other days.
During holiday seasons, such as Ramadan, the building may have as many as
500 worshippers, mosque organizers said..