Category Archives: Eisenhower Project

I-290: Time to Act

SEOPCO wants to empower you to take action on this important issue that will negatively affect our community. The proposed I-290 expansion WILL create more air pollution, noise pollution, visual blight, and lower our property values. It WILL NOT solve highway congestion or safety concerns. You have only until November 7th to voice your concerns to IDOT.

The Issues:

1. Congestion Remains the Same: Currently I-290 is congested 17 hours per day. The proposed expansion may decrease congestion to 16.5 hours per day.

2. The Myth of the Left Side Ramp: The most crashes occurred near Mannheim Road, Halsted Street, and Central Avenue from 2006 to 2008. Harlem Avenue and 25th Avenue follow in number. All but Harlem Avenue have right side ramps. IDOT’s own data does not show the role of the ramp configuration to the number of crashes.

3. More Dangerous for Drivers: Half of the highway lanes will be reduced from the recommended 12 feet to 11 feet in some places. Eleven foot lanes can cause unsafe driving conditions, which would increase the chances of crashes, and therefore increase highway congestion.

4. Big Big Money: IDOT has not provided a cost estimate for this project. Similar projects are in the $1 billion range.

5. Quality of Life: New elevated right side ramps will be higher than our homes, increasing air, noise, and visual pollution in our neighborhood.

6. Provide Real Alternatives: IDOT is repackaging the same road expansion into four separate “alternatives”. People need real transportation alternatives like CTA and Metra expansion, buses, transit-oriented development, and intermodal facilities.

7. Community Concerns: IDOT has not considered environmental, economic, financial, and social justice criteria on how this construction project will affect Oak Park and other west side communities.

Now is the time to act! You can help stop the I-290 boondoggle. Submit comments today at

If you would like to help more with SEOPCO on this issue, please contact Michele Gurgas at

Rick Kuner’s Observations from IDOT’s Open House, Oct 8 2013

Citizens for Appropriate Transportation’s Rick Kuner provided this commentary regarding IDOT’s open house, held on October 8, 2013

1. IDOT said the Round 3 Build Alternatives “are the best options.” I continue to believe we are not seeing the best alternatives. IDOT (and its consultants) said they are looking at more use of the CSX right-of-way and whether it is possible to lower the height of the right-hand side ramps proposed at Austin and Harlem. These issues are not resolved yet.

2. The CTA was careful to say their focus is on fixing the current Forest Park Branch of the Blue Line from Clinton to Forest Park. They do not have any money for a Blue Line Extension but will “review” IDOT’s designs.

3. IDOT said the “market served by I-290 is much broader than the market served by transit.” Transit planning makes a distinction between “Choice Riders” who have access to a car but choose to use transit and “Captive Riders” who do not have access to a car, so driving is not an option.

4. IDOT said construction will be done in stages with perhaps a three-year construction period.

5. There was no mention of “Livable Communities” or when IDOT will start the analysis of Environmental Justice.

6. Congestion now exists on the expressway 17 hours a day on a weekday. The best of the four Build Alternatives would reduce this to 16 and one-quarter hours in the Year 2040 assuming IDOT’s projections are correct. Because of the uncertainty of how long a trip will take (known as “Travel Time Reliability”), people allow extra time to be certain at arriving at their destination by a desired time.

7. IDOT says a national study “documents that left side entrances or exit ramps have up to 180% more crashes than right side entrance or exit ramps.” In a literature review of crash studies, the study cited a Florida study of 19 ramps (4 of the 19 had a left-side exit). The same national study cited another study of 158 ramps in North Carolina (33 of the 158 ramps had a left-side entrance or exit) and said left-side ramps have “70 to 150 percent more total crashes than right-side entrances or exits.” IDOT used the highest number they could find to support moving the center ramps to the right-hand si

IDOT continues to accept feedback from the public regarding their plans. Go to this page to give them your opinions:


ACTION ALERT: IDOT’s preferred options all call for widening the Ike

Dear Neighbors.

Please read the letter below from the Citizens for Appropriate Transportation.   The Illinois Department of Transportation’s four alternatives for the I-290 involve widening it.  We all have until next Monday, May 20th to communicate our opinions to IDOT.

The SEOPCO board intends to express to IDOT our opposition to their current build alternatives, and we plan to express our concerns to the Village Board during the public comment part of the agenda, also on May 20,th

Please take the time to do two things:

1.  Reply to this message with a “yes” if you also oppose widening the IKE, or a “no” if you are in favor of widening it.   We’d like to know what you think.

2.  Send an email to the two IDOT addresses listed below with a cc: to expressing your opinion to them.    REMEMBER – the deadline is May 20.



The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is asking for comments by Monday May 20, 2013.  All four Build Alternatives that IDOT wants to carry forward widen the expressway.  Below is a document that summarizes our concerns.  Please forward this e-mail to others because the more people who submit comments, the better.

The contact information for IDOT is also below.

Our web site is and you can join our Facebook Page by clicking the Facebook logo below.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.  Thank you!

Rick Kuner


We need your help. IDOT has asked for comments on the Purpose and Need Statement and the Round 2 Alternatives by Monday May 20, 2013. Please submit written comments to Pete Harmet ( and Mark Peterson ( at IDOT. Consider the following and add your personal perspective.

1. IDOT’s Purpose and Need Statement says nothing about the major impacts transportation has on livable communities – a serious omission.

2. By focusing on transportation criteria, IDOT under designed their alternatives. To do a fair and comprehensive evaluation, they should include all the environmental, economic, social, and financial impacts.

3. All four Build Alternatives IDOT wants to carry into Round 3 widen the expressway. At least one alternative should not widen the expressway. IDOT considered two versions of a multi-modal alternative suggested by Oak Park and CAT that upgrade and manage transit better, increase accessibility, and do not widen the expressway. Neither version scored in the top four because IDOT excluded important criteria.

4. IDOT’s proposed right-hand ramps at Austin and Harlem will negatively affect residential neighborhoods close to the expressway. Right-hand ramps move the source of air and noise pollution closer to homes.

5. The Village of Oak Park, Citizens for Appropriate Transportation, and 80+ others submitted written comments to IDOT in June 2012. IDOT did not respond until ten months later in late April 2013. Does a ten month response time make you feel IDOT valued your comments?

6. There are many ways to manage lanes. IDOT has not analyzed most of them.

7. IDOT committed to a Context Sensitive Solutions process, but has never had an architect or urban designer present either concepts or designs.

8. Using projections to the Year 2040, IDOT ranked the twelve Build Alternatives on each criterion from 12 (best) to 1 (worst). Differences among alternatives vary widely. IDOT used this Ranking System to calculate averages, a procedure that treats every difference equal to one. Many differences are so small that projections thirty years into the future are unlikely to be helpful in selecting the best solution.

IDOT should revise their alternatives based on lessons learned in Round 2 so they will perform better in future rounds. For more information see the CAT web site: You can find IDOT’s documents at > Information Center > Reports. Thank you!


U.S. Mail
Illinois Dept. of Transportation
c/o Mr. Peter Harmet and Mr. Mark Peterson
201 West Center Court
Schaumburg, IL 60196
FAX: 847/705-4159