Truckers blast Chicagoland toll study

By David Tanner
associate editor


Truckers are fired up about a study that calls for congestion tolls on Chicago routes, including the Kennedy Expressway portion of I-90/I-94.

Congestion pricing has been around for a while on other Illinois Tollway facilities, but this plan promises to be met with opposition, says Don Schaefer, executive vice president of the Mid-West Truckers Association.

“I think they would find a ton of opposition to it, not just from the trucking industry but from the motoring public,” Schaefer told Land Line. “I would say they’re going to have a hard sell.”

The study commissioned by the Tollway Authority and the Metropolitan Planning Council also suggests that part of I-55 could be expanded to include a tolled fast lane in each direction known as a high-occupancy toll lane. A similar proposal for HOT lanes is mentioned for the Jane Addams Tollway, which is part of I-90.

Congestion pricing refers to a toll that varies with time of day and traffic counts. The more traffic, the higher the toll would be.

Truckers surveyed as part of the study said on-time delivery schedules would make it difficult to avoid high toll rates.

“There’s no place to pull off and park, and that’s part of the problem,” Schaefer said. LL