Paying a toll for using an express lane may be worth it to some commuters and help ease congestion on the Eisenhower and Stevenson expressways in the future.
Congestion pricing is one of a series of updates addressed in GO TO 2040, prepared by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. The comprehensive document, compiled in 2010, outlines strategies for sustainability and economic vitality for seven northern Illinois counties.
Public comments continue to be accepted following the sixth of 11 informational open house meetings Wednesday in La Grange on the long-range regional planning document.
Residents may submit comments online or attend one of the remaining meetings, which conclude July 31 in Chicago. Details are on the agency’s website at www.cmap.illinois.gov.
The 2010 document of more than 400 pages addresses a variety of issues, including mass transit, highways, land use, energy and water conservation, sustainable local food production, educating workers for jobs and streamlining and coordinating government operations.
Proposed updates to the plan include a list of highway and mass transit projects recommended for federal, state and regional funding. The update also outlines energy efficiency measures, park and open space initiatives and recommendations for job training needs.
The major changes proposed for west suburban commuters are the creation of express toll lanes on the Eisenhower and Stevenson expressways. A modernization project is proposed for Union Station, as part of the West Loop Transportation Center.
The main recommendations of the 2010 plan haven’t changed, but the updates have been tweaked to reflect updated U.S. Census data and revised financial projections, said Jessica Gershman, who is coordinating the planning agency’s information sessions and outreach.
Gershman said she hopes residents familiarize themselves with the plan and provide input in the process.
“This plan impacts people’s lives,” she said. “This process is helping develop priorities for the transportation spending and the way people live in terms of developing more livable communities.”
At the end of the public input process, comments will be synthesized and summarized in September as an appendix to the update, Gershman said. The planning agency’s board is scheduled to consider adopting the updates in October, she said.