Last night, nearly a thousand residents of Will County, Illinois, came out a protest a proposed truck transfer facility, claiming that the increased truck traffic would hurt their quality of life.
The protests, organized in part by the group “Just Say No to Northpoint”, turned up in force at an Elwood Planning and Zoning Board meeting last night to oppose the plan to build NorthPoint Development’s Compass Business Park, which would act as a warehouse and distribution center.
Though the Compass Business Park would bring an estimated $87 million in tax revenue to the village and school taxing bodies while also creating thousands of jobs for Will County residents, locals say that the increased truck traffic that the facility could harm their well being.
It is estimated that the facility could serve as many as 53,000 trucks per day. Northpoint says that it has taken measures to ensure that the truck won’t wind up on local roads. These measures include installing 10 truck barriers in key areas.
Residents Say They Fear For Childrens’ Safety
Elwood resident Michael Busby told those assembled at the meeting that he was worried that the trucks would hurt the community’s children: “There’s so many semis right now, and I think it’s gonna accumulate more, and it’s gonna hurt our kids in the future, especially driving down the roads.”
Local woman Delilah Legrett echoes this sentiment: “For me to have the light pollution, sound pollution, air pollution in my backyard with my four children, there is no amount of revenue to counteract that.”
Because of the number of attendees at the meeting, organizers elected to adjourn and reconvene the meeting on January 11.
Will County Really Doesn’t Like Trucks
This isn’t the first time that Will County has come out in force to oppose trucking. The “Safe Roads Illinois” campaign launched in 2015 also opposed commercial development because of the “blatant disrespect” for the law shown by truck drivers. Safe Roads Illinois says that “unplanned, overdevelopment of intermodal facilities and warehouses in Will County is overrunning our community, creating dangerous conditions and taking lives.”
From the Safe Roads Illinois ‘About Us’ page:
While we support jobs and commerce, we are paying the ultimate price when truckers:
- Run red lights and cut off drivers
- Speed, tailgate and slam on the brakes
- Crash through railroad crossing safety gates
- Ignore signs and drive in our neighborhoods
- Disregard weight limits and vehicle safety regulations
- Disobey law enforcement
Safe Roads Illinois also produced a series of dramatic YouTube videos in which Will County residents talk about the dangers that they feel that trucks pose to their community.
The Elwood Police Chief is even featured in one of the videos as he outlines the danger of trucks on Will County roads.