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Focus on roads

Published: Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

A Reason Foundation study finds Chicago has severely underinvested in expressways and urges the region to embark on an ambitious long-term road-building plan.

“Expressways make up just 18 percent of the Chicago region’s road network, yet they handle over 53 percent of the vehicle miles traveled. Between 1982 and 2010, travel demand increased 126 percent on expressways, but the number of lane miles increased by just 57 percent,” Reason Foundation Vice President Adrian Moore said.

McHenry County is the most populous county in the U.S. without direct access to an interstate highway within its borders.

The McHenry County 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan Draft states, “Business, individuals and agencies emphasized the absolute necessity of a reliable and robust arterial highway network.”

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration CAFE standards call for an increase in average vehicle miles per gallon from 27.6 miles per gallon in 2011 to 54.5 by 2025.

These regulations will dramatically decrease fuel-tax revenues, which are the largest funding block for building and maintaining our roads.

CMAP proposes Illinois should increase the existing 19 cents per gallon fuel tax by 8 cents in the short term, and to index the tax annually to keep pace with inflation and rising costs of construction.

McHenry County should be prioritizing transportation and construction of the county’s road system in an effort to stave off rising taxes, increase capacity and the movement of raw materials and finished goods, which will draw industry, business and jobs, and increase tax revenues in McHenry County.

Kelly Liebmann

Wonder Lake

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