The Tollway Board just received the recommendations from their Blue Ribbon committee urging the extension of Route 53. If you agree with me that the Route 53 extension to the north and linkage to the tri-state tollway thru expanded 120 is a critical link to the regions road system, I would urge you to contact the tollway board to urge them to expeditiously implement the recommendation.
Our northern region should not be second fiddle to those other areas to the south that already have seen the 355 extension become a reality. To have a major road abruptly come to an end at Lake Cook Road as Route 53 currently does defies logic and the needed extension is a major missing piece of the system.
The Blue Ribbon committee supported 53 extension as a major infrastructure project can mean jobs and economic development and much needed traffic congestion relief for the region and further completion of our road system for our region. The committee brought people together of diverse interests to reach consensus on an approach that is respectful of environmental concerns and the needed road extension. The proposed 4 lane system with greenway can be a model for the nation and more importantly an important addition to our region. Yes it needs to be paid for and the system as a whole needs to help close the funding gap because this extension is an integral part of an integrated and linked road system. In addition to tolls which need be kept as reasonable as possible to facilitate usage by all, and support from tolls from other parts of the system,prompt implementation will also close the funding gap since further delay can only add to cost.
In addition to ideas in the Committee report, the tollway may also wish to consider innovative concepts such as possible required economic contributions from developments at interchanges which will benefit from the extended road or even the possibility of intergovernmental agreements or legislation to authorize something comparable to special service districts for commercial or industrial or office developments at the interchanges. The time to act on this issue is now. The people of our region deserve no less. Please join me in urging the tollway board will pledge their prompt support.