This came from Democratic Party County Board candidate Scott Summers:
Why build big fixes when little fixes will do?
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) plans to construct four roundabouts in McHenry County, including two along Route 20.
Instead of embracing “big fixes”, county board candidate Scott Summers suggests little ones.
Summers’ thoughts appear in the August, 2012 edition of the Marengo-Union Times:
To the editor:
Everyone knows that Route 20 is dreadfully dangerous.
A July 13th rollover near West Union Road resulted in yet another tragic death.
Something absolutely must be done about the highway’s bad gradients, poor sightlines, and substandard intersections.
Fortunately, the Illinois Department of Transportation gets it.
Unfortunately, IDOT now is rushing a big fix: two new roundabouts, to be constructed at the Route 20 crossings with Beck Road and Harmony Road.
Yes, roundabouts, where converging traffic enters a giant traffic circle at low speeds, and then spokes off in multiple directions.
They’re used in other nations, but are rare in the United States.
Rather than leaping ahead to big fixes – indeed, completely unfamiliar fixes like roundabouts – we should begin with little fixes.
Here’s one: for a six month trial period, let’s reduce Route 20′s maximum speed between Garden Prairie and Hampshire to 45 miles per hour. IDOT could have signage up in a matter of weeks. The expense would be minimal.
Here’s another: IDOT and the Tollway Authority should incentivize drivers – truckers in particular — to remain on I-90 (and off of 20) by tweaking I-PASS software. Vehicles could be given partial rebates on tolls at Marengo and Belvidere if they effectively “connect the dots” between the Elgin and South Beloit toll plazas.
Roundabouts or not, Route 20 desperately needs improvements.
Let’s pull together and get them done.
On August 22nd, IDOT will hold a public meeting at Donley’s from four until seven.
Please bring your ideas.
(The letter may also be viewed online at www.marengo-uniontimes.com at page 7.)
Scott Summers is a Democratic Party candidate for a District 6 seat on the McHenry County Board. His website is www.ScottSummers.org.