Letter: McHenry County transportation plan ‘drastically unrealistic’

Letter to the Editor

The newly released McHenry County 2050 Regional Plan begins with a projection that in 26 years the county’s population will grow by over 50%. The purpose of this projection is to justify new highway construction. Because without massive population growth, there is no reason for lots of new roads.

Between 2010 and 2020, McHenry County’s population grew only 0.2%.

Illinois’ population has begun to decline and population projections by the University of Virginia are for continued decline.

Nationally, the Census Bureau projects an increase in our population through 2050 of only 7.9%, less than one sixth the rate by which McHenry County is projected to grow.

Our country’s total fertility rate is below 1.8, below replacement. We have more 35-year-olds than we have 1-year-olds!

This county is littered with over-built highway projects that include left turn lanes to nowhere, unnecessarily wide boulevards and nearly unused pedestrian trails. Algonquin Road has triple left turn lanes at Randall Road. Left turn lanes can handle about 300 cars per hour. The maximum number of cars per hour turning left there was 408. You do the math.

The job of the County Board is to be a check on the bureaucracy, to exercise oversight, to watch out for the taxpayers. The board should reject this plan as drastically unrealistic based on the facts and should agree to widen and extend roads only when clearly justified by existing traffic, and then only by enough to accommodate existing traffic, not future traffic projections.

Steve Willson


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