Progress for Cook County's Long Range Transportation Plan; Funding Questions Remain
Steven Vance reports that the initial outreach for the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) effort by Chicago's Cook County has produced an initial set of draft documents. The Department of Transportation and Highways has produced a "a new vision statement [PDF] – that world-class transportation will spur economic growth and enhance quality of life – plus four scenarios for the future [PDF], which the public can vote on in an online survey."
Vance goes on to provide details about each of the four scenarios (namely, "Running on Empty," "Stuck in First Gear," "Picking Up Steam," and "All Aboard."
"The county prefers 'All Aboard,' but it’s not clear how increasing the gas tax (in particular) would necessarily lead to transit enhancements. Gas tax revenue is primarily spent to maintain and build new roads, with a small portion of IDOT funds going to the Regional Transportation Authority. Some of this would be offset in 'All Aboard,' since it also recommends congestion pricing “to reduce driving” and generate funds for other modes.