Wasteful County Board Spending on Randall Road

The following letter was first printed in the Northwest Herald. It is published here with the permission of author Steve Willson.

Randall Road Waste

Figures from the McHenry County Division of Transportation show that, even at rush hour, traffic on Randall Road at Algonquin does not exceed capacity, nor has traffic on that part of Randall grown in more than twelve years.

There is exactly one bottleneck: during rush hour, as many as 425 cars turn left from Randall onto Algonquin, north and south. The capacity of a left turn lane is 300 cars per hour. Making dual left turn lanes there should cost a few million dollars.

The County’s solution: build TRIPLE left turn lanes, add dedicated right turn lanes, and expand through-lanes from four to six. Oh, and add more signaled intersections and reduce the speed limit, so the net time savings to drivers will be zero.

The projected cost? $97 million.

Not only is that vastly more than just fixing the left turn lanes, it’s four to five times the average cost to construct highways in the urban part of Illinois, which, according to the Illinois Economic Policy Institute, is about $2 million per lane-mile.

And the Northwest Herald thinks that’s a great idea!

The founding fathers created a three part system of government so that the legislative branch would be a check on the executive branch. At the local level, this means the County Board is supposed to be a check on the bureaucracy. If board members rely without question on what staff tells them to do, then the board members aren’t doing their job for the public.

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See also

Steve Willson Does County Board’s Homework on Randall/Algonquin Road Intersection


Wasteful County Board Spending on Randall Road — 13 Comments

  1. Too bad that road/highway planners were inept many, many years ago in not anticipating growth along Randall Road. The real solution would have been Algonquin Road as an overpass over Randall Road with an interchange there. An intersection such as Algonquin/Randall with high growth corridor Randall would have had an overpass decades ago if it were in another State such as Wisconsin which has a very good road system.

  2. Willson analysis relevant to today’s conditions.

    Not ‘woulda shoulda coulda, so whatever we do now is irrelevant’.

    McHenry County has Crisis Level Property Tax Rates.
    (~4% of total home fair market value. With >$10,000 SALT non-deductible, the Crisis level is exacerbated).

    Compare to the rest of Illinois (Chicago ~ 2%; America ~ 1.2%; Indiana CAPPED AT 1%).

    Where is the County Board comparative analysis of the greater value of either SPENDING or NOT spending on frivolous purpose, when frivolous purpose equates to a few minutes convenience for a tiny fraction of County residents (Algonquin commuters) versus the impact which a 4% property tax rate has as a deterrent to new development which contributes tax revenue as opposed to receiving tax incentives (TIF, Enterprise Zone, Abatement, Grants, Free Land, etc.)???

  3. What is their justification for spending MORE than the average going rate for the same construction anywhere else?

    I swear these people on the board (Particularly when this was voted on) were like woman on a drunken shopping spree.

    “I want it and I want it now and I don’t care how much it costs. It’s not my money”

    That would have been: Carolyn Schofield, Tina Hill, McCan, (all up for election to County Board) Kurtz, Paula Yensen, Sandra Salgado, AnnaMay Miller of infamous Alg. Twnsp.

    I’m Sick of this!!!

  4. Good for Steve Willson, speaking out on this issue.

    Yes the division of transportation will get away with this absurdity.

    Triple left turn lanes?

    That should be an adventure.

    The county has wasted so much money on this project over the years, just to push the most expensive option through.

    Again, and again they had opportunity to come up with a much more reasonable design, none of which were presented as an option.

    The only recognition of the last economic crisis our county government acknowledges, is the housing market tanking, and how they can benefit from the land grabs.

    It’s shameful.

  5. “Figures from the McHenry County Division of Transportation show that, even at rush hour, traffic on Randall Road at Algonquin does not exceed capacity, nor has traffic on that part of Randall grown in more than twelve years.” Lies

    One bottleneck? When 62 west backs up almost to Crystal Lake Road. Ever tried using Bunker Hill road to cross Randall heading west? I hate the idea of a light at Stonegate, but with more lanes and a lower speed limit – it’ll work in the commuters favor.

  6. If you think double turn lanes, twice the length will solve anything – think again.

    The community should have gone with the continuous flow intersection.

    The entire eastbound 62 entrance from Butera/HomeDepot needs to be rethought – the entrance from 66(gas) should only store coming folk- making it a one-way entrance.

    A concrete median a few hundred feet after Thortons(westbound 62) to prevent people entering large, clearly marked turn lane(behind Domonicks) from turning left “behind” Jewel,

    Not allowing people to turn left onto westbound 62, Jewels main entrance and exit on 62.

    Lot’s of simple things can be done for saftey. And from what I see, what I listed above seems to cause chaos, confusion, and accidents.

  7. Dear Pro:

    Below are facts that wouldn’t fit into the Northwest Herald’s 250 word limit for a letter to the editor.

    The Highway Capacity manual, published by Transpiration Research Board, has formulas for measuring capacity of roads to handle traffic.

    The primary factors are the number of vehicles per hour and the type of road, with modest adjustments for mix of vehicles.

    Their formulas show that Randall should be able to handle 1,700 vehicles per hour per lane.

    That would be 6,800 vehicles per hour for four lanes.

    The County’s figures show that in 2015 that segment of Randall Road had 39,700 vehicles per day north of Algonquin and 38,086 per day south of Algonquin. (Randall Road Traffic Counts at Algonquin Road – Updated, McHenryCountyBlog.com 08/10/16).

    First, those numbers are down by about 6% and 10%, respectively, since 2009.

    Let us not forget that the original justification for this project in the McHenry County 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan was CMAP’s projections that the County’s population was going to grow at a rate far in excess of the nation’s rate of growth.

    Obviously that has turned out to be wrong.

    Second, 38,000 to 40,000 vehicles per day is, roughly, 1,600 to 1,650 vehicles per hour, and during rush hour perhaps close to 6,800.

    So the numbers from the McHenry County Division of Transportation combined with information in the Highway Capacity Manual published by the Transportation Research Board show that Randall Road is never exceeding its capacity so drastically that we need to spend $97 million to fix the problem.

    Finally, “Highway Construction Costs, How Does Illinois Compare”, published by the Economic Policy Institute in May 2014, states “2011 estimates of the generic cost per lane-mile to construct a new divided four lane interstate were $0.92 million for rural Illinois and $1.88 million for urban areas.”

    Now, as you accused me of lying, perhaps you’d show your evidence to the contrary, specifically the number of hours per week that the traffic exceeds 6,800 and the amount by which this target is exceeded.

    Then perhaps you’d show us evidence that justifies a $97 million price tag,

    You might even tell us who you really are.

  8. The money planning on this we could have built a bridge over it with exit ramps…the northworst hearld also likes roundabouts on 47 why not make that on Randell and Algonquin.. haha I am just joking.

    what if we look at other roads like IL route 47. and make it 4 lanes from Huntley to Woodstock.

    Quit wasting money on this interesction, It does NOT need to be wider than the toll way

  9. “Wasteful County Board Spending” … That’s a redundancy. Nearly all their expenditures are wasteful.

    I blame John ‘Nitwit’ Jung, Commissar Franks, the empress Aavang, etc. !!!

  10. I’m Pro, don’t know how that got posted as my name.

    Saying “lies” was maybe too much. I read it as “When the Algonquin Commons first opened, there were more cars using Randall Road” —–

    2015 numbers dropped due to the Algonquin Bypass. A lot of people now take 62 – being that it now moves through Algonquin – vs. going to Randall.

    Double turn lanes onto 62 wouldn’t solve anything. Only on days of heavy traffic does a single turn lane have much negative effect on traffic – if so, it only last’s a few light cycles. No one knows what the heck they’re doing once they enter LITH/Algonquin Randall corridor. I moonlight delivery, I know light timings and when they change them for example(Pyott and 62 will never be solved)

    Gilberts has seen a population increase of 2,000 people since 2005. Pingree Grove has seen an increase of 6,000 people.

    I saw five cars, consecutively, turn south onto Gallagan road from 68 at 8PM on Monday.

    Be well Steve Wilson

  11. “Figures from the McHenry County Division of Transportation show that, even at rush hour, traffic on Randall Road at Algonquin does not exceed capacity”

    Steve Wilson said “Second, 38,000 to 40,000 vehicles per day is, roughly, 1,600 to 1,650 vehicles per hour, and during rush hour perhaps close to 6,800.——- 7,000 vehicles per hour at peak – dreadful conditions.

    What’s the argument again? Is it that Barrington Hills thinks crowded, dreadful two land roads adds to the charm of its equestrian community? Can bees stand in the way of mobility? Is it that 90 million too much to wrangle Randall? Probably. But in hindsight, McHenry County gave away it’s most profitable land to companies who are now getting 15% off their tax bill. Cheers!

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