Nominees sought for Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission
Illinoisans with an interest in history and the Mother Road are encouraged to nominate themselves for open seats on the recently created Route 66 Centennial Commission.
The state holds the distinction of being the starting point for the highway, and has undertaken a number of historic preservation efforts to boost tourism along the state’s portion of Route 66. Proponents say the events will be fun, but also an economically important public service opportunity. The Commission’s 20 members will develop plans for celebrating the famous highway’s 100th anniversary, coming up in 2026.
The Governor, who signed legislation creating the commission in July, will appoint three public members; one of those members will lead the commission. Along with the Governor’s selections, eight appointments to the commission will be made by Senate and House majority and minority leaders. The president of the Route 66 Association of Illinois and the executive director of the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway, or their designees will also serve on the commission.
Rounding out the commission:
- Secretary of the Department of Transportation
- Director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency
- Department of Natural Resources Director
- Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director
- Director of the State Archives
- Director of the Office of Tourism
The commission will meet at least quarterly. Applications for gubernatorial appointments can be made online at https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/bac/Pages/NominateForm.aspx.
Make your mark along Illinois highways
New IDOT contest asks public to submit ideas and key phrases for electronic signs
Illinois residents are encouraged to apply their creativity and knack for words to help improve safety on Illinois roadways.
IDOT is inviting the public to submit ideas for safety messages to display on the electronic signs located over highways throughout the state. The message signs are seen by millions of motorists, and are considered an effective way to reach the public with life-saving information.
Keep it short and simple
Messages are restricted to three lines with 18 characters per line. Spaces and punctuation count as characters
Align messaging with one of the six categories: distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding, occupant restraint, work zone safety and vulnerable users, such as motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians
One message from each category will be chosen for display by an IDOT committee. The deadline for submissions is Nov. 19. Winners will be announced in early 2019
Visit idot.illinois.gov/dms-contest<http://idot.illinois.gov/dms-contest> to learn more about contest rules and to submit ideas. The winning messages will be displayed at times throughout the year to help promote traffic safety. Winning entrants also receive a personalized street sign.
The sign contest and renewed focus on safety messaging are part of IDOT’s Life or Death Illinois campaign in response to back-to-back years of more than 1,000 deaths on Illinois roads, the highest total in a decade. Other efforts include crashed cars at rest areas as a physical reminder of the importance of responsible driving and continued development of new ways to improve safety in work zones. On Oct. 30, IDOT will convene state and local agencies, elected officials and other stakeholders for a safety summit with discussion focused on distracted driving.
Life or Death Illinois is a multimedia campaign that includes vivid imagery and key statistics to underline the importance of safe driving and appeal to audiences to stop and consider the seriousness of the issues on the state’s roads. It marks the first time IDOT expanded its key safety messages beyond the ongoing problems of impaired driving and unbuckled motorists to include new materials aimed at reducing deaths and injuries tied to motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, work zones and distracted driving.
Visit lifeordeathillinois.com<https://lifeordeathillinois.com/> for more information.
‘Autonomous Illinois’ moves Illinois to forefront of connected, automated vehicle testing, research
Initiative partners state, private industry to promote safety, economic opportunity
IDOT has launched a new statewide, multiagency initiative, “Autonomous Illinois” to develop a testing program for connected and automated vehicles. The enterprise was created by an executive order directing IDOT to oversee a program aimed at advancing the state to the forefront in research on these emerging safety technologies. The Governor emphasized that because Illinois is widely considered the national “transport hub,” the state is uniquely qualified to lead research of connected and automated vehicles.
This initiative seeks to make Illinois roads safer, generate investment, and create employment opportunities in the high-tech jobs sector. As part of the Governor’s executive order, IDOT will oversee a testing program that requires a driver to remain behind the wheel, capable of taking control of the vehicle at all times.
Autonomous Illinois will bring together communities interested in connected and automated vehicle testing with industry, universities, research institutions and other technology partners. IDOT and other state agencies, including the Illinois State Police, Illinois Tollway, Department of Insurance and Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, will assist with the program.
Autonomous Illinois will work with private industry as well to determine infrastructure, data and support needs to further testing and implementation in Illinois. To facilitate the dialogue, IDOT has created a new Autonomous Illinois web portal at www.idot.illinois.gov/autonomous<idot.illinois.gov/autonomous>.
Connected and automated vehicles will generate an estimated $800 billion annually in economic benefits nationwide by 2050, which includes the creation of jobs, increased productivity for motorists and fuel savings. They also will help reduce the number of crashes – 94 percent of which are caused by human error – that result in more than 1,000 deaths in Illinois and a negative economic impact of $14 billion a year, according to the most recent data.
Sen. Schimpf, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and the Illinois Bicentennial Office share list of ‘Honor 200’ Recipients
Sen. Schimpf announces several recipients are from Dist. 58
Senator Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo), the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and the Illinois Bicentennial Office are pleased to share several nominees in and around Senate District 58 have been named among the recipients of Bicentennial Honor 200 on Wednesday, Oct. 24, in Springfield. The event honors the work of 200 veterans who continue to make extraordinary contributions to the people of Illinois.
Southern Illinois Area Recipients:
- Charles "Red" Becker, Evansville
- Ethan Blumhorst, Carbondale
- David M. Helfrich, Freeburg
- Gary Charles Henning, Freeburg
- Eugene L. Hollaway, Chester
- John C. Preston, Red Bud
- Dustin Row, Columbia
- Oscar Harrison Sanders, Jr., Anna
“These veterans’ service didn’t stop when they retired from their military service,” said Sen. Schimpf. “They continue to be heroes in action—going beyond the call of duty to help people in their communities. These 200 Illinois veterans truly make us proud.”
All the Honor 200 recipients have been invited to attend the state’s official 200th birthday celebration at the United Center in Chicago on Dec. 3.
About Honor 200:
The recipients represent more than 50 counties across the state of Illinois. Nominees were evaluated based on their achievements, and on the extent to which their contributions have aided, benefited and provided inspiration to their community at large. In addition, nominees must have received an honorable discharge from the U.S. military and reside in Illinois.
Honor your hero on Veterans Day
Illinois Senate Republican Caucus to show appreciation for veterans via ‘Wall of Honor’
Illinois veterans deserve our utmost honor, respect, and remembrance. They dedicated their lives to protect our country, freedom, and others around the world. While we can never do enough for these brave men and women, small tokens of appreciation can go a long way in honoring them and showing younger generations the impact our veterans have on the fabric of our country.
To show appreciation for veterans and their sacrifices, the Illinois Senate Republican Caucus in teaming up with the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs to showcase their legacy of service. Together, they are encouraging families and friends of veterans across the state to submit a photograph and written story of any veteran, which will be displayed on the Veterans Day “Wall of Honor” in the Illinois State Capitol rotunda Nov. 5-16.
How to submit a veteran:
Send a photo and written story (max: 250 words) along with the following information: name, military branch (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, National Guard, Navy) and conflict served (Afghanistan, Iraq, September 11, Gulf War, Vietnam, Korea, WWII, WWI, peacetime, other). Military photos are preferred but not necessary.
Mail a submission:
Veterans Day Wall
309 G Statehouse
Springfield, Ill. 62706
Email a submission: