Like you, I have been paying close attention to the vigorous public discussion around my proposal to explore new privately funded bypass roads in Northwest and Central Indiana. After legislative action to date, some forty public meetings, and lots of other open debate, it is clear to me that we are far from the degree of consensus that is necessary before embarking on major public works projects of high local impact.
Accordingly, I withdraw the suggestion that any action be taken on an Indiana Commerce Connector, or an Illiana Expressway east of I-65. Either of these ideas might benefit from further research, and I would welcome some form of that if your committees are so inclined. But the people of the affected areas have spoken clearly enough to persuade me that these ideas are, at best, premature.
By contrast, an Illiana bypass from I-65 west seems to be broadly supported and can, I hope, be given the chance to move forward.
I appreciate the citizenship of everyone who participated in these two debates. We must never be afraid to venture new ideas for fear of controversy; a state that does that will surely stagnate. But we must also never assume that every new idea is a good one, or imperative to act on immediately.
I hope that you will reshape the legislation along the above lines, but am happy to work with you on whatever approach you deem best for the interests of our state.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Daniels Drops Plan For Indy Commerce Connector
Gov. Mitch Daniels has wisely abandoned his poorly thought out plan to build a new toll road bypass outside the I-465 beltway surrounding Indianapolis as part of his proposed plan to build I-69 from Indianapolis to Evansville. In a letter to lawmakers he withdrew the plan, along with a proposal to build a new Illiana expressway east of I-65 in northwest Indiana, in response to overwhelming public opposition to it. Daniels is, however, continuing the push for an Illiana expressway west of I-65 linking northwest Indiana to Illinois. The letter reads: