Right-lane proposal derailed in Illinois; voluntary effort set for U.S. 41

| 4/5/2005

A would-be proposal that could have restricted trucks to the right lane on many of Illinois’ four-lane highways will stay on the drawing board. Instead of formally introducing it, the state senator who announced the intended proposal will try to persuade truckers who pass through her district to drive in the right lane.

The lawmaker, state Sen. Susan Garrett, D-Lake Forest, has long expressed concerns about truck traffic on U.S. 41 north of Chicago. The number of semis on the road increased this year after Illinois hiked the costs for trucks on the nearby Illinois Tollway.

Garrett took several steps to alleviate the situation. Before the tolls went up, she negotiated with the Tollway to lower the increases for trucks in some cases. And she said earlier this year she would propose a bill to require the lane restriction on any four-lane or larger state highway in Illinois that has residential intersections and cross streets.

However, an official with Garrett’s office told Land Line Tuesday, April 5, that the senator would not introduce the bill. Instead, she plans to work with the Illinois Department of Transportation to place signs along U.S. 41 between Chicago and the Wisconsin border asking that trucks stay in the right lane on the road.

An aide to Sen. Garrett said the senator would wait and see how well the voluntary effort worked before taking any further action.