To the Editor:
It was recently reported that following decades of growth, McHenry County has unexpectedly experienced a small decline in population. Though initially considered a temporary “blip,” a Northwest Herald editorial stated it is not a blip so much as a trend. That could be correct.
Grundy and Kendall counties are now experiencing rapid population growth. Take a long drive down Route 47 and see the massive residential and commercial construction occurring in Yorkville.
While some have reacted as if there were a problem, it really is a cause for celebration that the population growth has leveled off. The continual sprawl in our area can no longer be justified by a growing population.
Our emphasis should turn from unbridled growth toward conscious sustainability. Quality now counts more than quantity. Do our communities have the kinds of amenities that many of us want? Perhaps some niches need to be filled with specialty shopping, dining or recreational opportunities. Vacant storefronts literally need filling.
Highway construction is obviously less of a priority. Existing roads can be widened as needed; the widening of Route 14 between Crystal Lake and Woodstock is long overdue. But there is no need for another expressway, Route 53, to be converted to a tollway and extended. And the costly anti-business, counter-intuitive so-called “continuous flow” intersection revamp proposed for Randall and Algonquin Roads? Forget about it.
With enrollments decreasing, there should be no need for new school referenda. And all talk of expanding McHenry County College should be put to rest.