The Talker: The price to avoid traffic - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

The Talker: The price to avoid traffic

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

How much would you pay to avoid traffic?

A local group is launching campaign this week to bring express toll lanes to several local expressways. Under the plan, drivers would pay a toll for access to an extra, free-flowing lane. The toll would go up during rush hour, and would be cheaper when traffic is light. It could be as much as $3-$4 per trip.

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning says the lanes should be added on the Stevenson (I-55), Eisenhower (I-290), Jane Addams (I-90), and should be included in plans on three future expressways, (Elgin-O'Hare West Bypass, Illinois Highway 53 north extension, Illinois Highway 120 bypass).

DePaul Transportation Professor Joe Schwieterman says the plan will work.

"People live complicated, multi-task lives. Variability on the expressway is a huge cause. They want the certainty to know that in a pinch, they can get where they need to go fast," he said.

Drivers we talked to were skeptical.

"I think it's idiotic. I would never drive on the highways again," one man said.

"It just seems like everybody is looking for ways to generate cash, and what the government doesn't realize--we're tapped out," said one woman.

Minneapolis is the only Midwestern city currently using express toll lanes, but they're popular in cities on the coasts.

You can learn more about the plan at http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/congestion-pricing

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