Apr 6, 2013

Connecting the Grid



The map above shows planned connections to improve the grid in eastern Will County south of Chicago. As the area urbanizes the "Kinks" in the grid should be "worked out", with logical connections made.

It is remarkable how little planning effort is made to improve the base road grid of a community.  A little thinking and planning can make the grid much better.  There will always be some misalignment of roads and some roads that do not connect.  A good plan should make sure that logical connections are planned and that they are developed before or when new development occurs.

Part of the reason that we do little of this is that most of us focus on our community only, with minimal thought about connections to other communities.  Or we may come up with a good connection but it fails at the next town.

Transportation planning is often focused on major road development, or on programming of funds for improvements. There is seldom anyone looking at the overall grid of a large area and coming up with logical plans for improvements over time.

The road realignment plan should be integrated with the land use plan.  And realignments at County and State lines should have special interest since their is no single entity paying much attention to these important connections. The map below shows road realignments with the land use plan for eastern Will County with the proposed third airport for Chicago. 

The map below shows the plan for connecting local roads between Illinois and Indiana south of Chicago.


Of course one of the concerns is that it will take many years for this area to develop. Will the local planners consider this when they approve a land use decision?  Often they will not and we are then left with irritating dog legs in our grid.