Writing a petition against the Illiana Tollroad, a proposed project to connect I-55 near Wilmington, IL with I-65 near Lowell, IN, was important to me to show the powers at be that opposition to this project is not just coming from organizations, but also from people living in Illinois and Indiana and the area where the Illiana is supposed to be built.
Getting this petition and others to the governors of Illinois and Indiana is key in slowing the progress of and ultimately stopping the construction of this boondoggle. In addition to them, this petition will be sent to the executives of the counties in the Chicago MSA, Northwest Indiana, and the state DOTs to reinforce their need to put pressure on Gov. Rauner in Illinois and Gov. Pence in Indiana to close the books on the Illiana once and for all.
It might be easy for leaders outside the affected counties to ignore the problem, but that could do more harm than good. The potential costs and irrational prioritization of the Illiana won’t just cost the two states significant amounts of money, but also result in a diversion of funds from other needy projects, including basic maintenance and repairs and other transportation expansion projects.
Make your voice heard, express your disapproval of the Illiana, show the states of Illinois and Indiana that we’re better off without the tollroad and do so by signing this petition and others.
Please share, re-post, and tweet this petition to help get the last 48 signatures needed to achieve the 500 goal!
**Sign the PETITION and share!**
Since becoming the governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner has halted any movement on the Illiana, but has yet to give a definitive answer on its future. Halting the project proved to be a huge benefit to the coalition of organizations, government officials, and citizens and citizens’ groups working to stop further work on the tollroad and ensure it doesn’t get built at all. The project is a boondoggle: it would not only threaten the social and environmental well-being of Will Co., IL (south of Chicago) with little social or economic benefit, but it would simultaneously sap resources from the State of Illinois’ already fragile finances.
Petitioning the Illiana is the best way moving forward to show Gov. Rauner that citizens in the states of Illinois and Indiana don’t want to invest in a project that has no visible benefit. The predicted costs of the Illiana are unreasonable and spending limited cash on the tollroad would be irresponsible. The money would be better spent invested in transit projects that actually help ease congestion and road projects that bring existing infrastructure into a state of good repair before investing in new projects.
SIGN THE PETITION and let Gov. Rauner and Gov. Mike Pence in Indiana know that it was a smart move to put the Illiana project on hold and encourage them to make that hold definite and permanent.
This petition, one of many in a coalition, only needs 48 more signatures to meet the goal of 500 signatures. Once 500 is reached, a document will be prepared for delivery to the governors and state DOTs of Illinois and Indiana, the county commissioners in Will Co, executives in the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana counties, and other leaders supportive of the Illiana. The petition aims to encourage leaders to use their power and resources to stop the project in order to protect and maintain fiscally responsible spending and investment of public dollars, protect Will Co. communities and small businesses (especially local farmers), and promote environmentally sustainable development projects.
Sign the PETITION and share!
It’s a petition frenzy out there.
At the moment, two major drives are being organized to petition the state government in Illinois to act responsibly in its role as a state-wide transportation planner.
The longer running of the two efforts is protesting the Illiana Tollroad. The planned project would connect I-55 near Wilmington, IL with I-65 near Lowell, IN. The proposed public-private partnership would be maintained and operated post-completion by a private authority collecting toll revenue to pay back the costs of construction. The deal however requires the states of Illinois and Indiana to cover the difference is toll revenue if enough isn’t made. Ridership projections are low and in all likelihood will make little difference in congestion in Southland–the southern suburbs of Chicago. The project has been named one of the county’s biggest highway boondoggles by the US Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG) (Highway Boondoggles USPIRG).
Opposition to the project comes from a variety of perspectives, which are coalescing into a loose coalition of advocates pushing for Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) to take the last stand and kill the project for good. The potential for this has grown since his inauguration: he put the project on hold (which has since happened in Indiana too) and he appointed a known opponent of the Illiana as acting head of IDOT. Almost 13,000 signatures were delivered to Rauner’s offices in Chicago this past week.
The petitions against the Illiana, all of which took part in the recent petition drop, include:
The other major petition drive happening is the Active Transportation Alliance PETITION seeking to convince Illinois leaders to prevent major funding cuts for the Chicagoland RTA and other urban transportation agencies. Although Rauner contends the cuts, upwards of $130 million for the RTA ($105 million for the CTA alone), account for a small percentage of the transit systems’ operating budgets many fear the cuts could reverse progress the RTA agencies are making to improve service.
Organizers seeking to maintain the funding recognize the state is in dire fiscal straights right now, but argue there are reasonable alternatives to cuts across the board. This includes an increase in the state gas tax.
The budget proposed by Rauner isn’t final however and must still pass the Democrat controlled legislature.