Wednesday, September 23, 2009

IL 47 - why in Lakewood?

I got to thinking this afternoon, how did the Village of Lakewood end up with property on both sides of Illinois Route 47 north of Route 176? Or did it? This property may become the site of a huge development of ball fields and hotels (or motels).

The website for the Village of Lakewood announces that it covers just under four square miles. Now, a four-square-mile village is pretty easy to size up. That's two miles in each direction, roughly. Does it really include both sides of Route 47 and, yet, still include half of Crystal Lake? How could that be?

As Crystal Lake marched westward, why wasn't Woodstock gobbling up land south to and past Route 176? It got to Lucas Road. Which city was closer to that area? But Woodstock and Crystal Lake missed it, and Lakewood got it.

Of course, it's all too late now, except for the crying, gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands.

And a little farther south? Where you would think you are in Huntley? But, when you see those flashing red and blue lights in your mirror, you find out that you are Lake in the Hills?

Should there be a law that, when a state highway runs through a village, town or city, there must be "City Limit" signs on the highway to warn motorists where they are? And actually at the city limits? I use the word "warn" for good reason.

Most people around here know that the speed limit is enforced in Bull Valley. As a result, drivers generally slow down in Bull Valley and don't exceed the posted speed limit.

On Highway 47 south of Woodstock and on Highway 14 between Woodstock and Crystal Lake, it's a whole different story. Basically, there is no enforcement on Highway 47, unless Lake in the Hills PD can spare a radar car every once in a while.

And on Highway 14? Well, NASCAR friends, you own that road. And don't worry about passing on the shoulder. No one is watching.


Anonymous said...

Land does not get "gobbled" up by towns/villages. The owners of the property generally have a choice in whether they want to be annexed by one town or another. The caveat is if the property is completely "surrounded" by one village's annexed property, then they can be "assimilated" into that village.
Personally, fuggettabout sports fields... I'd like to see a Brewery get built there! DOH!

photogray said...

A concerned citizen might be able to be a "voice of reason". I wish you luck! There already is a sports complex less than 3 miles east of the new proposed location. Why? Is Lippold Park too full? Is it off limits to Lakewood residents? City officers too often see these projects as cash cows and push these agendas labeling them with all sorts of emotionally charged words like "Job Creator" and "for the kids". This is the sort of proposal that needs to be cut back. This is the sort of proposal that gets governments to borrow more money, way past our ability and willingness to pay for it. Don't yell but stand firmly in the way. Good luck and thanks for opposing this.

photogray said...

Land does not get gobbled. It gets taken bite by bite. Landowners willing to sell, cities wanting federal dollars,soccer moms thinking they drive too far already. This is the sort of proposal that should be evaluated critically not emotionally. There is already a sports complex three miles east of the proposed location. This is a proposal that should only be built out of need not want. Supporters will use emotionally charged words and phrases like "job creation" and "for the kids". But quality issues such as gridlock,watershed quality, incidence of vehicular accidents will not get the same discussion.
If you value the lifestyle of McHenry county, please don't turn it into Cook county.