Tolls Forever

The headline in the Chicago Sun-Times about the opening of the extension of the I-355 tollway says,

“I-355 extension opening to give
motorists long-awaited relief”

Not for motorists driving on the rest of the tollway system.

It’s opening and the diversion of tolls from the other highways to pay off its bonds means that tolls will be around, well, forever.

Maybe that’s what inspired House Speaker Mike Madigan to suggest the Crosstown Expressway be a tollway.

It wasn’t always that way.

In 1973 State Rep. Harold Katz had a bill I got in trouble for co-sponsoring. It would have required any new tollway to pay its own way.

Katz had seen how Governor Richard Ogilvie’s East-West Tollway toward the Quad Cities was draining tolls from the other tollways.

That bill was signed into law by Governor Dan Walker and not repealed until DuPage County Republicans decided they wanted I-355.

So, get ready to pay the toll tax for the rest of your lives, toll tax slaves.

But know that you are allowing developers in Will County to breathe a sigh of relief.

And don’t ask for whom the bell tolls.

It tolls for you…forever.

Thanks to Governor Rod Blagojevich.

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The Blagojevich sign over a tollway is not over the new one.

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