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Meet Randy Blankenhorn, the New Guv's Surprise Pick for IDOT


Gov. Rauner was sworn in yesterday, and we guess his nominee for IDOT secretary shouldn’t be a surprise given his anti “business as usual” stance. Meet Randy Blankenhorn, head of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) since ’06, and before that a 22-year IDOT vet.


He’s pro Ashland Bus Rapid Transit (BRT): Millennial and subsequent job migration to urban centers has been well-documented in recent years, and BRT (in center-running bus-only lanes) will more effectively move them from home to work and back, he’s said (making Ashland more attractive for TOD). But companies in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor can’t get on board, saying the plan could derail a steady flow of supplies and customers. Also, Milwaukee’s already taken the name “Hipster Highway,” with all its bikes, what would we call this one?


Randy may be pro BRT but he’s equally anti former Gov. Quinn’s proposed $1.5B Illiana Expressway, a PPP that would link I-55 with I-65 in Indiana (and he’s said won’t generate enough revenue to be profitable any time soon). Illiana supporters say it’s a no-brainer to improve intermodal access and the efficiency of Chicago’s industrial ecosystem, but it may be biting off more than Illinois can chew given state debt, something the governor's promised to aggressively address.

You tell us, what would the Ashland BRT and/or Illiana mean for your development plans?