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What Happens When a Suburb Can't Afford Its Roads

The village of Long Grove considers privatizing its public streets.
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From the Chicago Tribune comes the strange story of Long Grove, a well-to-do suburb that nevertheless can't pay to maintain its roads. Housing permits helped subsidize the cost of road maintenance in the village for years. Then the crash hit and the permit fees dipped to zero, which the Tribune emphasizes in its accompanying bar graph by writing "0" where there's already no bar. Now Long Grove has resorted to an "unusual plan":

It's an uncertain time for public roads in general. Deals to privatize public infrastructure have been on the rise in recent years, and experts believe the trend will only continue. The difference in Long Grove's case is that we're talking about a local road network with no hope for the toll revenue that's attracting business partners to major highways and bridges. What Long Grove seems to mean by privatization is closer to what occurred in pre-colonial post road days: everyone taking care of their own.