A press release from Democratic Party District 6 McHenry County Board candidate Scott Summers:
McHenry County’s draft 2040 transportation plan — predicated on dysfunction?
Yesterday (August 23, 2012), I attended an open house hosted by the McHenry County Department of Transportation.
The subject was the county’s draft transportation plan for the year 2040. (http://www.2040mchenrycountyplan.org)
Considerable effort is going into preparation of the document. In particular, its elevated attention to public transit and walkways/bikeways is to be commended. I was pleased to speak with thoughtful and knowledgeable county staff.
Overall, I offer an opinion that many people will find to be unusual.
Much of the draft plan is predicated on dysfunction. And rather than remediate the dysfunction, the plan inadvertently perpetuates it.
Consider this: roughly 80% of our working residents stream out of the county every day for employment elsewhere. Conversely, significant numbers of service workers are commuting into McHenry County daily.
The majority of these arduous trips are made by single individuals in private automobiles.
Rather than facilitate and enable and reinforce these spectacularly wasteful travel patterns by sinking ever-increasing sums into new roads, we must work instead to shorten commutes.
To accomplish this, we should redouble our economic development efforts to generate in-county jobs. And we should increase our stocks of affordable housing.
It may take decades to turn our collective driving habits around. But that’s what a long range plan is all about.
I believe that comprehensive efforts to shorten our commutes — and to reduce driving overall — are eminently worthy goals for the year 2040.