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Openlands Releases Statement Responding to CMAP Board Votes on Proposed Illiana Tollway

October 8, 2014


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:    Brandon Hayes
312-863-6260
312-479-0819 (m)
bhayes@openlands.org
(Media inquiries only)

OPENLANDS RELEASES STATEMENT RESPONDING TO CMAP BOARD VOTES ON PROPOSED ILLIANA TOLLWAY

Statement by Openlands President and CEO Jerry Adelmann:

Today in a 10-4 vote, the Board of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) voted to remove the proposed Illiana Tollway from the staff recommendations to update the GO TO 2040 plan. Although a supermajority of 12 votes was needed to remove the tollway from the plan entirely, this vote by the Board is—as its vote a year ago was—a strong endorsement of the principles of good governance and smart planning for our region. Despite a year’s worth of political pressure to endorse the Illiana, the Board listened to the public chorus decrying the tollway. Moreover, in a second 10-4 vote, the Board declined to approve the current version of the GO TO 2040 plan because it includes the Illiana. Although we are disappointed that the Illiana was not excised from the plan, Openlands applauds today’s votes as a great victory for smart regional planning.

Tomorrow the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Policy Committee is scheduled to vote on whether to approve the GO TO 2040 plan update. While we strongly contend that the committee is bound by the Board’s decision today, we understand that the MPO will still likely cast votes tomorrow on a version of our region’s plan that includes the Illiana tollway. In that vein, we hope that the committee listens to the CMAP Board and the overwhelming public sentiment across Illinois against this project and chooses to reject the Illiana as a priority in GO TO 2040.

The proposed Illiana tollway remains far outside the bounds of the core values and principles of the GO TO 2040 plan adopted by a broad consensus of municipalities in our region. It will lead to increased sprawl, it will cause environmental degradation, and it will destroy farmland and rural communities.

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