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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Should the Illinois Tollway Authority Be Eliminated and All Tollways Converted to Freeways?

Back in 2010, Dan Proft was running for Governor of Illinois and put some perspective on the rouge state agency, also known as the Illinois Tollway Authority, when they decided to go "green."

What most of us didn't realize at the time, they meant "green" as in collecting massive more tolls and your money to distribute to cronies, contractors and unions for so-called "improvements" to the tollway system.

A taxpayer group's lawsuit in Cook County against the Illinois Tollway is now seeking to block the massive 87.5% toll hike that will extract an extra $12 billion from suburban drivers in the Chicago area.

Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner, who was appointed by the Illinois Tollway Board by Gov. Pat Quinn, voted for the massive tax, uh...toll increase that was approved on August 25th to go into effect January 1st.

According to the Chicago Tribune, James Tobin of Taxpayers United of America raises various legal questions, including the frequently asked question of why tollways still exist after 60 years.

"The tollway's legislative mandate also requires it to convert tollways to freeways and to dissolve itself...the legislature never intended the tollway to be a self-perpetuating bond issuing machine that continues ad infinitum."

The lawsuit also questions the agency's plan to convert a freeway such as the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway, into a tollway

Would you support legislation to finally eliminate the Illinois Tollway Authority as taxpayers were promised and convert tollways into freeways?


Anonymous said...

Revolving door does not apply to board members.

Where is the transparency of the tollway?

In Illinois each IL Tollway board member makes 31,426 a year, FREE health and pension benefits for them and their families, and meet once a month. Most board members don't even attend all meetings but received more income a year than most employees. This is sick. No business using public money should be operating this way. No one ever reports or investigate this.



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Anonymous said...

Just when you think the Sun-Times/Beacon has hit the ocean floor, it just keeps sinking.

Anonymous said...

If you don't like the tolls, drive to Chicago on the non-toll roads that your taxes built and maintain. It may take three times as long, but you have made the economic point of not supporting the toll roads.

Anonymous said...

Those that complain about the tollways will complain even louder about the tax raises needed to maintain them after they are converted to "free"-ways.

Anonymous said...

They were suppose to become freeways case closed. If your for tollways convert all freeways back to tolls so you can pay your fair share.

Anonymous said...

When reading this forum you can see why Aurora is such a shit hole. Person after person who will not hold law makers accountable for their lies, and support for tax and spend liberals like Wiesner, Irvin, O'Connor, Peters, Kifowit, Burns, and Saville.

Anonymous said...

The toll increase is suppose to pay for improvements.

I don't want tollway improvement, I want state of the art mass transportation.

Oppressed in IL said...

I would support such an initiative; the audacity of raising tolls at a time when people are oppressed by increasing taxes and living costs in every aspect of daily life, people are out-of-work and are hit with higher energy/transportation expenses must be opposed. The ITA is unaccountable legally; tied to union groups, the corrupt Democratic machine in the State; and utterly indifferent to the will of the people. Anything I can do to help the cause...please advise.

Anonymous said...

This is a rip off big time for out of town drivers in particular! We traveled the tollway returning home to Ohio and would drive out of my to avoid anything to do with Chicago in the future! Picture this....we are unfamilar with the road, our GPS is saying stay left and we have to go to the extreme right to pay our toll. It looks like an exit ramp and has only one booth open for paying clients! We missed one....and instead of the $1.90 it should have cost....we have to pay 3.80 online. We asked at the next booth and the employee sort of threw the paper on how to pay it within the 7 day grace! My brother traveled there the previous month and thought the first 4 were exits pay as you exit tolls...his bill was $90.00 .... Once he realized this was not the case, he stopped and paid his just as we did! The speed limit on this road is 55 but most people were doing 80! I have no problem with this but....if you do not know the area and need to go left and the toll forces you to go to the extreme right and then navigate across this traffic to go poses a dangerous situation. Good news for Illinois residents, there is no patrol of this highway! Drive as fast as you want...revenue is collected easily with this rip off system. If you are traveling....avoid the Chicago area at all costs!

Anonymous said...

As a person who dos not live near Illinois, I will tell of my experience. I was traveling at approximately 1 AM in June 2013 and was in need of directions. I was literally lost in Chicago. The only normally reasonable place I could find was a tollroad booth. Remember, gas stations no longer sell maps, give directions, or even pump gas. Police stations usually lock their doors at night if you know where one is. What I could not have known was that I suddenly, without proper signage and warning, was that I was on an unposted tollroad driveway and would be forced into paying a fee and extra fee (or fine) for not needing a I-Pass in my home state. The signs were a mixture of freeway, etc. I was lost, was trying to get home, and I believed that a state agency could be informationally helpful. There was no sidewalk or yellow line walkway available and therefore the reasonable and prudent method of approaching the tollbooth was to drive up to it and be safe. Instead of giving directions, I was charged for approximately a mile and 1/2 to two miles and was immediately on Interstate 94 which is a freeway everywhere else. I have tried to explain that I was only there for information, and as others in state governments have stated, in the early morning it would have been possible to be allowed to back up and go to a freeway as a good neighbor policy. I am still trying to get a refund. The combined agency arguements depend on whether I am talking to I-Pass or the actual Tollroad Authority. The Authority calls the refusal a policy and/or procedure that cannot be set aside. I-Pass states that they provided a service. I cannot deal with either of these combined enities and wonder why anyone would want these overall representing their home state. I also wonder why the operation is so worn out? Many people in this business I have talked to for information state that the problem is probably the way in which the operation was set up in 1955 and not improved over time. The plaza's are originally designed to be closed off after 1973. Now these facilities do not conform to national standards or act as to be denial of access to the road. Neither is a good design. There is no attempt to provide road signs except when the driver is approaching the tollway. There missing signs do not appear to be a service or is there an information buildings available; and try reading a map while driving. Not a safe or bright activity. Michigan has a bridge where a visitor can get a good map, get directions, or find a person who will give information. If a mistake is made in toll; the money is properly returned. From what I can find in Illinois, there is an citizen acceptance of what is happening and also when a visitor who is shaken down for toll does not come back. Bad business practice. I know this; I cannot just sit back and accept a shakedown or what I thing is a unwarrented practice to injure people constantly. I believe that I am entitled to an apology at the least. I am going to also write your members of congress and ask for help! Get going Illinois. My opinion is that you need to clean out this rouge department and apology to the victims.

Anonymous said...

I agree with complaints. I was looking for a medical facility due to chest pains and these so called state employees told me to pay, drive on tollway, and get off and get back on. The doctors told me that this was normal for tollway employees and also that I could have died driving around looking for a hospital. Let's get real and realize that the tollway authority is a dangerous organization that will sooner or later kill someone with nonfunctional rules.

Anonymous said...

I can truthfully point out that that any toll road in Illinois should charge the same fee for those who do not need an IPass in their home state. I recommend that the "authority" change their policies and refund the over charges. Also, if the original state bill allowed for a certain time period, then those tollroad should become freeways just like the bill approved. No more games, travel should be available to US citizens. Could say more, but until people take these operators on, then they will keep taking what is not theirs.