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Letter: The ever expanding Randall Road

Here’s a math problem for you: If at most 410 cars turn left at Algonquin and Randall per hour, and a left turn lane can handle 300 cars per hour, then how many left turn lanes do you need?

If you answered two, then you’re good at math, but you aren’t the McHenry County Department of Transportation, which put in triple left turn lanes on this gold-plated project.

And for this, the McHenry County Department of Transportation was awarded an Illinois Engineering Excellence Honor Award by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois.

Now McDOT wants to keep expanding Randall Road, even though traffic numbers don’t warrant adding more lanes.

The founding fathers created our government as a system of checks and balances. They wanted the legislative body, in this case the county board, to be check on the executive, in this case the bureaucracy.

And in this case, it’s not complicated. Determining if a road needs to be expanded is as simple as looking at the table showing the number of cars traveling a stretch of road per hour, and comparing those with the number of cars per hour the road is designed to handle, a number easily found in Highway Capacity Manual.

If the board doesn’t know how to make a good decision about road projects, then they should demand that McDOT explain to them how to determine if a road needs to be expanded, and provide them with the relevant numbers.

If instead the McHenry County Board is a rubber stamp of the bureaucracy, impressed with big, colorful presentations that don’t make clear how to tell if the department is doing a good job, then the board isn’t doing its job.

Steve Wilson

Lakewood

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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