I've been holding back my own reaction to the recent announcement of the three proposed "updates" on the Hastert Highway.
Since I posted the original "open letter" to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, NPR has run a nice piece by David Schaper. In the final minute, there's a great clip of Denny Hastert claiming (snorting, really) the trasportation bill was not "porked up."
What's $200 million between friends, right?
The day after the NPR story aired, there was some grandstanding by IDOT in one of Hastert's "hometowns," but not enough has come out of that announcement to really expand for folks here. A third, sort of, Route 47 expansion project, was also mentioned.
While I stilll believe that Route 47 improvement is a simple solution to the entire issue -- and I would publicly question Hastert on his long-held belief that another route would be a better idea -- last week's announcement was rather lackluster. It's almost as if IDOT (which has not yet posted the information on their website) would rather spin its wheels (and spend tax money "studying" the routes) until the political cover is created, or until the area is further developed to the point where nothing will quickly relieve the traffic pressures.
Meanwhile, the Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of a case originally filed in 2002 by 56 of some 190 possibly-impacted landowners. Sprawlway.org has a great collection of news clips here.
I doubt that the Court will side with the landowners. That's all I'll say. But I'm on the side of those who oppose this reckless abuse of personal property. It's obvious that expansion of existing roadways has been held up while the Hastert project has been under study. There's no need to continue that trend.