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Problems and Solutions

Why good investment decisions matter

Based on extensive discussions and analysis, CMAP has identified the following three areas of improvement for current transportation programming practices in Illinois. This performance-based funding approach will enable transparent, data-driven investment decisions and consistent collaboration among stakeholders.

Problems and Solutions

  • PROBLEM: Big money is at stake without adequate understanding of the decision-making process.

    SOLUTION: IDOT should make public the data that it uses to make investment decisions and describe how it manages tradeoffs among various criteria.

  • PROBLEM: The 55/45 split is arbitrary. It can allow one large project in the region to crowd out other priorities, including those shared by the state (IDOT) and region (CMAP).

    SOLUTION: End the 55/45 split. IDOT should evaluate all projects across the entire state based on their merits, as it already does among its downstate districts.

  • PROBLEM: Local input and regional planning are not formalized in IDOT's program development.

    SOLUTION: Early in developing its highway program, IDOT should ensure consistency with regional plans and weigh the priorities of metropolitan regions in the selection of expansion and modernization projects. This approach would facilitate the implementation of GO TO 2040 and other regions' publicly agreed upon long-range plans.

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