# Design of the New Rt. 47-Rt 176 Intersection

I’ve had a hard time visualizing how the intersection of Routes 47 and 176 will be re-configured.

The Village of Lakewood has made this a top priority.

Since lots of people drive these roads, I thought readers might be interested taking a look at the design:

The intersection of Routes 176 and 47 as it will appear after it is reconfigured by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Lakewood’s SportsPlex would be located.

Note that the current dogleg will disappear.

#### Design of the New Rt. 47-Rt 176 Intersection — 10 Comments

1. The problem is nobody states the second part of the equation: “at what cost?”.

It would be a helpful exercise, to break the indoctrinated mindset of ignoring cost analysis, if everyone stated the price he is willing to personally pay for any perceived improvement project.

For example, someone might say: ” I’d pitch in \$20 for that improvement, if everyone else does too.”

There are about 110,000 households in the county.

If everyone agreed that they value such an Improvement, \$20 from all would raise \$2,200,000 and the improvement might be funded and make everybody happy.

Problem is, a lot of people will say, ” brother I couldn’t care less, I never use that road,

or ” I could see the improvement, but it isn’t worth the money to me, I’ll live with it the way it is”,

or “friend, I’m tapped out. I had to give \$20 for hundreds of other such improvements, and I can’t bear the burden of a single extra expense on top of all that.”.

So now where does that leave the project supporters?

If only half the people are willing to put in \$20, they would have to personally put in \$40 instead.

Suppose the ratio of non willing contributors is so high that only 100 people believe the value of the improvement outweighs the cost?

Will each supporter be willing to contribute \$20000?

What if only 10 people benefit?

supporters may argue that laws of taxation allow disinterested parties to be forced to pay for such projects, and that over time the distribution of benefits for forced payers will even out.

This has not not been the case in Woodstock, or McHenry County.

Property tax rates here are 4.6% of total home value. Average property tax rates in America are below 1.5%.

In Chicago tax rates are around 2%.

Forced payments have not benefitted Woodstock citizens, whose tax payments have risen over the past 8 years while their home values have fallen every year.

The money that will pay for this road ‘improvement’ , to the extent it does not come from Illinois tax money ( also “other people’s money”, just different other people) will be tif funds directly diverted from paying Woodstock D200. So D200 taxpayers alone will have to subsidize the school shortfall.

This means the only people paying for this “improvement” will be Woodstock D200 taxpayers.

There are two ways for other people to react to that: with empathy, or with sociopathic indifference.

Either way, a dispassionate analysis based upon self interest suggests that high tax rates devastating a community will have Countywide effect, and will raise property taxes in one’s own taxing district , as the need arises to subsidize the poverty and blight brought on by property tax rates 300% of national average.

So next time you see some public project that costs money, ask yourself:

“How much did this cost?”

“Who has to pay for it?”

“What is the beneficial effect compared to the negative impact of the cost?”

2. Better to put in a traffic circle, cheaper in the long run also.

3. It would seem to me there would have to be two traffic circles–one on the south intersection and the other for the north.

4. Traffic circles:
“How much will this cost?”

“Who has to pay for it?”

“What is the beneficial effect compared to the negative impact of the cost?”

5. If improvements first need to be made, then a traffic circle costs less than traffic signals to install and the long run saving relate to less electric used. The north intersection would also benefit from a traffic circle.

6. State, county, and local gov use outside contractors with the proper expertise to maintain traffic lights, traffic circles eliminate that extra cost also.

7. Presumably the state or Lakewood considered aligning the north and south legs of Route 176 as they intersect with Route 47.

What was the result of that analysis?

Compared to aligning the south leg of Route 176 with Pleasant Valley Road.

Aligning the south leg of Route 176 with Pleasant Valley Road will increase traffic on Pleasant Valley Road.

One reason is those traveling westbound on Route 176 and wanting to continue westbound to Marengo will be more tempted to take Pleasant Valley Road, instead of zig zagging north on Route 47 and then west on Pleasant Valley Road.

Currently there is no signal light at Route 176 & Pleasant Valley Road, and Pleasant Valley ends at Route 176.

So the result would be a reduction of Route 176 zig zag traffic on Route 47.

One of the Route legs, presumably the southern leg that is being realigned with Pleasant Valley Rd, has had quite a few accidents, although were are the accident totals for accident prone McHenry County intersections.

Further south on Route 47, Route 20 has the same problem as Route 176, the two roads do not meet at a single intersection.

Also Cook County taxes commercial at a higher rate than residential so is the 2% tax rate in Chicago the residential tax rate?

Michael Madigan’s firm has achieved some of the biggest reductions for Cook County commercial tax appeals.

8. SO, what everyone is saying is:

It is alright to force Woodstock D200 taxpayers to pay for an expensive road reconstruction of as road that isn’t broken. (Nobody asked for this road to be changed until the Lakewood tif came into being).

The purpose of this road reconstruction is to service the Lakewood tif Sportsplex development project.

The money (which is not supplied by State funds or County road funds) is to be paid by taxpayers who will see Lakewood take all tax money arising from this tif area for 24-35 years, and have to pay all the additional education costs of the children arising from tif development.

(Because if property tax money from development at that corner flowed naturally, 70% of the property taxes it created would flow to the school district.)

Without development, there would be no costs with which to burden non-Lakewood non-tif-developers.

No new children to pay to educate without receiving some property tax revenue to compensate.

With the tif, all of a sudden new roads are needed there, Lakewood will front the money and get it back later three times over, while children living in tif housing units become the sole burden of Woodstock D200 taxpayers.

For 35 year if tif is profitable, possibly 24 years if not.

And everyone who doesn’t pay D200 taxes thinks this is equitable somehow?

9. Chicago property tax rate around below 2%-2.38% residential 3% commercial, many different districts so I rounded down.

Also Rte 31 at rte 120 in McHenry has a split intersection similar.

Nobody cared about 176&47until a tif was created.