llinois Tollway BOD wants public comments on new landscape policy

The Illinois Tollway Board of Directors’ Strategic Planning Committee is considering a new Landscape Policy to address requests for removal and trimming of trees and vegetation on Tollway property along the 286-mile system of roadways in Northern Illinois.

The public review is part of an ongoing effort by the Tollway to enhance transparency and accountability and ensure that the interests of those impacted by Tollway policy decisions are considered.

“Creating a Landscape Policy for the Tollway will help us enhance the level of service we provide to the communities we serve and ensure that we are managing requests for landscape services in a clear and consistent manner as we roll out the new Move Illinois Program,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur in a written press statement.

The proposed Landscape Policy is available for review at www.illinoistollway.com. Public comments may be provided via email, U.S. mail or in person at the next Strategic Planning Committee meeting (2013 Board and Committee meeting schedule to be announced soon).  All comments will be posted on the Tollway’s website. 

The Illinois Tollway’s proposed Landscape Policy creates guidelines for municipalities and commercial entities along the Tollway system to request trimming or removal of trees on the Tollway’s property to clear obstructions blocking visibility or clearing of undesirable vegetation. The Landscape Policy outlines:

  • A consistent approach for residential and commercial requests for tree removal and trimming on Tollway property which requires all requests to be made through a municipal or government sponsor.
  • Submission of a landscape plan for the replacement, restoration and long-term maintenance of trees and vegetation for requests that involve tree removal.
  • A consistent application process for removing invasive and desirable trees, which includes opportunities to enhance and maintain landscape along the Tollway property.

The public comment period will extend through Feb. 1, 2013.

Following the public comment period, the Tollway will allow for a trial period to implement the new process and rules with municipalities before a final policy is presented for approval by the Strategic Planning Committee Tollway.