Petition and opposition to the Illiana Tollway


The pressure is on for both sides of the fight surrounding the proposed Illiana Expressway in the FAR south suburbs of Chicago to garner enough votes to determine whether it will ultimately be included in the updated draft of the Go To 2040 regional plan for Chicago and the six counties in Chicagoland. Up until a few days ago two voting entities, the CMAP Board and the MPO Policy Committee were scheduled to hold simultaneous meeting and vote on the updated plan and the inclusion of the Illiana Expressway October 8. Crain’s Chicago recently reported that the MPO Policy Committee, chaired by Acting Secretary for IDOT Erica Borggren and Illiana supporter was moved to October 9. It is still officially unclear what the change was made, however it can presumed the change was made, because it is more difficult to go to two meetings.

Opponents of the Illiana have been putting up a strong fight in spite of support for the project by Gov. Pat Quinn and IDOT. The project has been voted one of the 11 biggest highway boondoggles by U.S. PIRG and the Environmental Law & Policy Centered sued in federal court to give the CMAP Board (which is generally opposed to the Illiana) the final say over the project, which would nullify the opinion of the MPO Policy Committee (chaired by Borggren and supportive of the Illiana).

It goes without saying I am fully opposed to the Illiana. It is an incredibly unsustainable project and fails to meet any criteria necessary for it to hit the triple bottom line of sustainability (economically, socially, and environmentally). The project has failed to gain the support of regional leaders including Cook County President Toni Preckwinckle and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, local organizations like the Active Transportation Alliance and the Center for Neighborhood Technologies, and even national organizations like the Sierra Club and Openlands. It is only supported by short-sighted state policy makers who continuously support investments in highways despite downwards driving trends and the other needs of the region.

As of now I endorse any leader and group that votes against including the Illiana Expressway in the Go To 2040 plan or expresses opposition to this project.

In hopes of creating a stronger voice against the Illiana expressway proposal I am also starting a PETITION against the project.

If you are opposed to the project please take the time to write letters to your County Commissioner or county governments, municipal leaders, the CMAP Board, Governor Pat Quinn, IDOT, and IDOT Acting Secretary Erica Borggren to express your opposition to this unwise project.