Last year, the trucking industry tried to convince Illinois that gas-tax revenue should be used exclusively for roads. That effort failed—thankfully, in my opinion.
The Beverly Review published a letter from Matt Hart on June 12. The same letter appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune, both of which identified Hart as “executive director, Illinois Trucking Association.” Hart thanked the legislators for the capital bill provisions to “fix our infrastructure” that results in lower costs to truckers.
Since each 18-wheeler causes road wear that is the equivalent of eight or more cars, why is it not fair that trucking companies pay more to the state?
My main concern is the increase of 18-wheelers on our local streets; 127th Street between Kedzie and Cicero avenues, Western Avenue through Beverly and even 119th Street have become truck routes.
When I am sitting still, I can feel my house shake when an 18-wheeler goes by or idles in line at the train tracks. I worry about the weight on the sewer and water lines on 119th Street. I saw a truck drive over the curb and cut grooves in the grass in order to make the turn from the northbound lane of Kedzie Avenue onto 119th Street.
I truly resent this additional truck traffic.
In a perfect world, trucking companies could build and maintain their own roadways much like train tracks. Huge truck stops (as in gas stations) would not be in urban areas, as at 127th Street just east of Western Avenue, 127th and Kedzie Avenue and 127th and Pulaski Road. City streets would not be used as shortcuts or as ways to avoid toll roads.
Two political asides that we, the public, should discuss include the following:
One: (to keep my crazy old lady credentials) Truckers are important and powerful. Trucker strikes can bring a government to its knees. Remember France in the past decade and the 1972-1973 CIA-involved truckers strike in Chile.
Two: Amazon and other direct delivery of mail-order companies are targeting low-income areas of the city for increased semi traffic. I recall a newspaper article about a proposed site in Chicago. The article called it another instance of the well off benefiting from the exploitation of poorer neighborhoods.
I would welcome a public forum to explain truck proliferation in the city and recent government legislation on gas taxes and vehicle licensing fees.
If 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea, U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, state Sen. Bill Cunningham and state Rep. Fran Hurley do host such a forum, please insure that state Rep. Justin Slaughter, state Sen. Emil Jones and state Rep. Robert Rita are included.