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IDOT Studying I-55 'Managed Lane' Idea; Commuter Survey Being Conducted

A survey is being taken to get public input on whether drivers would like to see the median as an extra lane of traffic and whether they'd be willing to pay for the convenience.

The Illinois Department of Transportation is considering a "managed lane" of traffic on Interstate 55 -- possibly with a fee charged -- to help reduce congestion and create a more predictable commute to and from Chicago.

IDOT's Managed Lane Project is studying the addition of a lane of traffic on I-55 in each direction that would begin at Interstate 355 and end at Interstate 90/94, aka the Dan Ryan Expressway.

Although the proposed route would start at Bolingbrook, it would affect all commuters who pick up I-55 before that point, including drivers from Joliet, Romeoville, Plainfield, Shorewood and Channahon.

The first step is a survey on IDOT's Web site seeking such information as how frequently the survey taker uses I-55 is to commute to Chicago, how often they run into delays because of construction or accidents, and if they seek out alternate routes because of traffic problems.

It also asks, "To take advantage of the benefits of reliable travel times, would you be willing to pay a user fee for a managed lane?"

The deadline to complete the survey, which can be accessed by clicking here, is Dec. 15.

IDOT and the Federal Highway Administration will also complete an environmental evaluation to satisfy National Environmental Policy Act requirements.

Comments can be made by in writing to the Illinois Department of Transportation, John Baczek c/o Srikanth Panguluri, Region One/District 1, 201 W. Center Court, Schaumburg, IL 60196, or by calling 847-705-4073.

For additional information, send email to dotinmotion@illinois.gov.

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Brittany November 12, 2012 at 06:46 PM
How are they going to manage that lane?? Because just adding a lane isn't going to speed things up.
oldschool November 13, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Adding another lane may help some, however I've been driving this for 20 years, most of the back ups are caused by accidents. If we can get people to travel at a reasonable speed and stay off the phone/texting we might have fewer accidents. I would say that 90% of the accidents are of the rear end type...pay attention people!!
Butch W November 14, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Brittany, sounds like they will bring in a carpool lane like other cities have, or a lane you pay to use
dan mchugh November 14, 2012 at 11:09 PM
So what they are saying is take away the emergency lane from emergency personnel?You know because they NEVER use it. Then give it to the more fortunate among us to get home a little faster? I hope I am not in an accident and have to wait for the lane to clear for the ambulance to be allowed to get to the scene. I would like for this NOT to happen...
Tim November 15, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Adding another full lane would be more beneficial than turning the existing shoulder into a managed lane. It is actually faster to get back to Plainfield/Joliet from downtown Chicago during rush hour, by taking 90/94 to I57 to I80 to I55 northbound, than it is to take I55 southbound the whole drive. 90/94 has more lanes than I55. That signals that the capacity of the road simply isn't large enough for the volume of traffic on it. You think there are a lot of accidents on I55 now? Wait until people getting on the expressway at cut across 3 lanes of traffic at once to get to the 'managed lane' that they simply must get into. This is a horrible idea, take the survey and express your concerns if you feel the same.

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