It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s your tax dollars at work!

By David Tanner
staff writer


Free roads aren’t free because highway users foot the bill. The same could be said for “free” coloring books the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority is giving away.

Don’t forget to pick one up for the kids next time through. It comes with crayons.

In it, you’ll find Captain Tollway, the authority’s own superhero mascot promoting the authority’s new “Know Before You Go!” campaign. His job is to tell you where the construction is so you can plan your route accordingly. And he has a cape.

“Iron Man, Batman, the Hulk might have swell superpowers or nifty crime-fighting gadgets,” toll authority officials state. “But when it comes to bringing Congestion Relief to drivers on the Illinois Tollway, there’s only one superhero delivering the message to ‘Know Before You Go!’ this summer travel season – Captain Tollway.”

Earlier this year, the Indiana Toll Road unveiled its mascot by the name of i-Zoom Girl. She has appeared in ads with her red hair and flashy boots to market the i-Zoom electronic tolling system.

You likely remember “Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?” from “Schoolhouse Rock.” This latest promotion could be “Tollhouse Rock.” Can’t you picture Captain Tollway and i-Zoom Girl breaking into song? How about “Malfunction Junction, what’s your function?”

Tune in next week – same toll time, same toll channel – to see if Captain Tollway and i-Zoom Girl can leap tall toll plazas in a single bound or at least liberate a buck or two from your electronic toll account.

Tolls: Up, up and away. LL