Trumwill’s Trek: Staid Sangamon

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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  1. Avatar Will Truman
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    Some states have big signs letting you know that you’re coming into the state. If Real-life Illinois had one, I missed it. If they had a visitors center, I missed that, too. But they did have their own welcome party in the form of a toll booth. They were immediate and plentiful.

    Serious question: Is it a coincidence that Indiana did that toll system privatization and they have the best, most convenient collection system I have ever seen? I can’t believe every state doesn’t do it like Indiana does it.

    Real-life Minnesota (and, to a lesser extent, Wisconsin) has some of the worst roads I’ve seen. Which comes as a surprise because I sort of expect their roads to be generally superior since it’s one of those good government states. Maybe they need toll booths.

    Thank you to those who gave me the 411 on real-life Chicago. I avoided the worst of it all.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Will Truman
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      says:

      My experience on Wisconsin roads has been generally quite good. While not up to European standards, I’ve had less fear for my suspension there than almost anywhere else.

      Maybe I-90 north of Madison just really sucks. I wouldn’t know. But you should be glad that Lain is too young to have bugged you incessantly from the Minnesota state line about stopping at the Dells.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Will Truman
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      says:

      Minnesota roads are indeed terrible. In Wisconsin, it seems like in recent years construction projects linger on for almost full years so that driving over what used to be shoulders and other surfaces that are meant to be temporary becomes somewhat routine. You may have run into that – or you may just have run into a stretch of highway in need of attention. I’m surprised, though, to hear you report that they’re actually among the worst. That leads me to believe you came across some stretch that was an outlier in some way. Generally, road construction interests are among the more powerful lobbies in Wisconsin, so the money does get spent. It’s what Walker said he wanted to use the money that would have been matched 10:1 by the feds for the Madison-Milwaukee (and eventually Mpls-Madison) train line for.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Will Truman
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      says:

      …I should say, in the Twin Cities area roads are terrible. Going further north or west, it seems to me they get quite good on main routes, such as 94 to St Cloud or 35 to Duluth. But you were coming from further west than that. Was 94 not in good shape out there, or were you on state highways?Report

  2. Avatar PD Shaw
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    says:

    I think there is a general sense that Indiana’s government performs better than Illinois’, though (and possibly because) there appears to be less government in Indiana. I think Illinois historically has had a more diverse population, including going back to original WASP settlement, through late-nineteenth century ethnic European settlement that still is not entirely assimilated, and post-War African-American migration from the South. The political response, particularly attractive to poorer groups from the South, as well as from Eastern Europe was machine politics or other means by which money or jobs were distributed to groups in exchange for their support. The Illinois tollway commission has long been associated with political corruption (it was in the background of one of Blagojevich’s scandals).Report

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