Side ramps on the Ike are not a good option

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Right-hand side ramps at Austin and Harlem are the biggest concern for people who submitted comments to IDOT. They move the source of air and noise pollution closer to where people live, upsetting families with young children and people with respiratory problems. More neighborhood noise bothers some. One person said high ramps would act "as a platform for launching particulate into the community." Others think the ramps do not stay within the ditch because they are above grade.

Economic concerns include negative impacts on property values and property tax revenues, the marketability of homes during a multi-year construction period and after construction, and the huge capital costs of rebuilding the expressway for a small reduction in congestion. One person thinks the "benefits seem modest" and "costs will be outrageous."

The ramps are "visual blight," said one person. Another said ramps "will be putting a view of cars and trucks in our backyards."

Construction impacts include potential property damage to homes from construction activities. Access across the expressway while IDOT rebuilds the bridges is a concern. One resident expects "the construction period will radically alter my living conditions and make my home unsellable."

IDOT has several options to resolve ramp issues: 

1) Lower the expressway and bring the height of the ramps down to grade level. 

2) Acquire CSX property and move the CTA to the south to allow more width for the expressway. 

3) Rebuild the center ramps using current geometric design standards. 

4) Rebuild six lanes.

Rick Kuner

Citizens for Appropriate Transportation

Reader Comments

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Ready to Move Forward from Oak Park  

Posted: December 19th, 2013 1:00 PM

At lot of unsubstantiated "one-person" opinions here. It's well established that left lame ramps are more dangerous than right side ramps, but I guess OP property values trump DuPage county lives. And it's my understanding that the convoluted high ramps design is due to Oak Park's convoluted restrictions, so Oak Parkers have no one but themselves to blame. And unless these folks have been living in the same place for 55 yrs, they consciously chose to live in a spot overlooking a major highway.


Posted: December 18th, 2013 1:27 PM

Any rebuild that resulted in the same amount of lanes and center ramps would be a complete waste of money. If the proximity of the proposed right-hand exit ramps to the neighborhoods are that much of a concern, then why not move the CTA to the NORTH side of the trench (where the west bound traffic is today), then have the ramps extend over the CTA and CSX lines respectively? That would provide somewhat of a buffer. It's all getting completely rebuilt anyway.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: December 17th, 2013 11:00 PM

hmm.. right exit/entry ramps seem to work everywhere else on the ike just fine... like it or not, it isn't a good idea to have traffic merging into the left lane or slower traffic exiting from the left lane. this messes with the flow of traffic and creates a very real traffic crash hazard. the left exits need to go.

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