Illinois has received nearly 4,500 responses to its public survey asking about highway rest areas in less than two weeks.
The Illinois Department of Transportation launched the public survey to get feedback because the agency is considering how to rehab or possibly close some of those rest areas, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“Many of our rest areas have reached a point where it’s time to evaluate their future,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said. […]
Illinois Department of Transportation spokeswoman Kelsea Gurski said many of the state’s 30 public rest areas and 11 welcome centers are 30 to 40 years old. […]
“As they reach the end of their useful life, we want to know how best to meet the needs of the traveling public — what features are valued by the public,” Gurski said.
* Mark Brown says he smells a “rat”…
An educated guess, given the preferences of our current governor, is that it also could involve privatizing them in some way to open them up to commercial businesses to reduce the cost to the state.
Try as I might, I couldn’t get IDOT spokesman Guy Tridgell to actually verbalize any of those possibilities.
Instead, he stressed that no decisions have been made.
“At this point, nothing’s being ruled out,” Tridgell said.
Then maybe there’s still time to register my opinion that Illinois could use more rest areas, not fewer, especially one on the edge of the metropolitan area along I-55 before motorists get caught in Chicago traffic.
Lots of rest areas are maintained by groups that employ developmentally disabled adults.
* The Question: Should Illinois’ rest areas be privatized? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.