Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Forty-Five to Seventy or Fight!

President Nader Jim Oberweis, honorary Lake County Republican State Senator, is steamed. And that steam isn't coming out of the 2-stroke, 15hp espresso maker at any Oberweis ice cream parlor:
New speed limits of 60 to 65 mph on toll roads proposed by agency officials have steamed state Sen. Jim Oberweis, sponsor of a 2014 law setting a 70 mph limit, and point to a showdown in Springfield.
Oberweis, tollway showdown emerging over 70 mph
Illinois Tollway Agency officials reserve the privilege to name a speed limit on any of their tollroads. Oberweis, according to the Daily Herald, begs to differ:
Oberweis thinks his law trumps the agency's claims that it has the legal right to set speeds, and he wants to call them on the carpet. Ignoring the 70 mph policy is a "blatant disregard of the will of the people and a misapplication of an overwhelmingly supported law that is passed," said Oberweis, a Sugar Grove Republican.
Oberweis, tollway showdown emerging over 70 mph
Whenever the question is My Way or the Highway? your LakeCountyEye burns rubber in order to run across Dr. I.M. Bhatschidtkhrazzi, the resident Roads Scholar at the College of Lake County.

"Ya." chortled Dr Bhatschidtkhrazzi. "If Jim Oberweis thinks Illinois Law always trumps the old-boy-network he should try running for election here in Lake County. And file his paperwork over at the Lake County Election Commission."

Your LakeCountyEye was all like oh pooh. That was totally different.

"Absolutely different in one respect," continued Dr Bhatschidtkhrazzi. "The Illinois Tollway Authority controls the Route 53 Extension, and they promised to cap the speed limit at 45mph. But the Lake County crony-combine -- those insiders who don't think anything about the Route 53 Extension goes fast enough -- will be in court, one day, waving the 70mph Law."

Was 70mph significant of anything -- why not 65 or 75?

"70 is a dog-whistle to the conservative religious voter base." explained Dr Bhatschidtkhrazzi. "The days of our years are threescore years and ten. It's in the Bible. Look it up."

Right on the money, according to the LakeCountyEye Bible Widget:
But regarding the Route 53 Extension, wouldn't it benefit everyone to find common ground?

"A compromise is being considered." smiled Dr Bhatschidtkhrazzi. "The Route 53 Extension may become a double-deck highway. At ground level the speed will still be 45mph. But on the upper level, where Jim Oberweis and other big-wheels will be licensed to drive, it's 70mph all the way to the border. They're going to call it the OberPass."

Too much information. Was there any parting advice for the Operatives?

Dr Bhatschidtkhrazzi was preoccupied, studying the Oberweis Dairy menu above the ice cream counter: "These all look good ... I'll take the Rocky Road."


Anonymous said...

In meeting #3 of the Finance Committee, it was stated that ownership/right to needed right of way would be given to a "private corporate applicant." The tollway tax for this road is expected to be over $5 one way, which will keep most commuters off of the highway. The true "goal" of this extension is to aid in the development of Canadian National's global network strategy to become the "Target" of international trade route Stop 'n' Shops, with crude oil being the number one commodity of choice.


Distribution Centers are already being developed in Lake County for "freight." It only takes a casual observer to notice that trains are carrying oil, oil, and more oil.

Please view the PowerPoint on this site for more information:

Unknown said...

Tollway Limits: Too Little Too Late, Unsafe

On March 26, 2015, I presented persuasive evidence to the Illinois Tollway Board that the mostly 55/60 speed limits being recommended would be less safe than a limit of 65 or 70 mph. One director was persuaded and voted against the proposal. In view of the evidence presented, I was astonished to learn that all of the others voted in favor of the 55/60 mph limits (no 70 limits were proposed and the new 65 zones are only in the more rural areas).

The directors were given four exhibits to support the case, with the most persuasive evidence coming from within the Tollway’s engineering studies and IDOT’s policy on establishing proper speed limits. To summarize the four exhibits:

A. USDOT SANCTIONED SOFTWARE CALLS FOR 70/75 MPH TOLLWAY LIMITS - Output reports from USLIMITS2, using Tollway data, including crash rates, recommends a speed limit of 70+ mph for all segments analyzed.
B. EXPERT TESTIMONY PRESENTED IN PAST BOARD MEETINGS - F/Lt Thad Peterson of the Michigan State Police, advocated posting limits at or near the 85th percentile speed of free flowing traffic under good conditions (70+ mph).
C. SEVENTY PERCENT OF STATES POST URBAN LIMITS OF 65+ - The vast majority of states have URBAN limits of 65, 70, or 75.
a. Advocates setting limits at the “prevailing speed” (70 mph on nearly all segments)
b. Discourages posting any speed limit below the 50th percentile speed which is 65+ on all segments
c. Prohibits taking enforcement tolerances into effect in setting speed limits
d. Requires use of sound judgment
e. Permits, but does not require, use of certain adjustment factors for special circumstances

The 55/60 mph limits may not technically violate a mechanical application of the various adjustment factors that IDOT allows, but clearly do violate the intent of the policy which is to establish speed limits that are in line with the prevailing speed of traffic flow (70+) and in no case should they be less than the 50th percentile speed (65+).

The recommended limits are improper, may be illegal and certainly compromise the safety of Tollway users by comparison to a proper limit of 65 or 70. This counter-intuitive statement is true because most drivers travel at what they feel are safe and comfortable speeds (70-80 mph) on interstates, no matter what the speed limit is. This is proven by data within the speed studies which predict an 80% violation rate with a 60 mph speed limit vs only a 25-30% violation rate with a 70 mph limit.

The danger of under-posted limits is that a (very) few well-meaning drivers will travel at or near the limit. When they do this they endanger themselves and all other drivers because of the resulting speed variance and weaving. Also, under-posted speed limits cease to communicate any useful information to drivers as to what is a reasonable speed, plus when the limit is 55 or 60, the opportunity to post an advisory speed for a hidden hazard where people really should slow down from 75 to 60 is lost. There is no reason for any Tollway segment to be posted at a limit (for cars) below 70.

Steve Doner, Wheaton
Life Member and Former
Illinois Chapter Coordinator
National Motorists Association