How many miles of roads does Normal have?

By: Diane Benjamin

I’ve written before about Trustee Karyn Smith stating at a Council meeting and in emails the Town of Normal has close to 450 miles of roads. She even compared it to driving to Cairo Il and back.

Actually it’s 289 miles to Cairo, so that example is an exaggeration. Round trip would be 578 miles.

I finally emailed her and asked where her information came from. It took a week to get an answer because she had to ask City Manager Pam Reece.

What this does prove is Karyn believes whatever she is told. Then she regurgitates that information without fact checking it.

The financial statement state this: PDF pages 219-220

Streets (Miles) 189

If you look at those pages, the street miles in 2011 was 213. There is no explanation as to where the roads were that no longer exist.

Karyn asked Pam where the 450 number came from. Below is Pam’s response to Karyn:

So, according to Pam the 189 reflects all center line miles”. Is that the same as TWO LANE ROADS?

What does the budget say? PDF page 360

Lane miles increased (Budget) while street miles decreased (CAFR). (Makes perfect sense)

There is a difference of 249 miles between what the CAFR says and what the budget says. Scratching your head yet?

Normal has some 4 lane roads like College, parts of Raab, and a few others. State roads like Main and Veterans Parkway can’t be included since Normal doesn’t maintain them. There are some 3 lane roads when turn lanes are included, but that is a normally a short distance.

I responded to Karyn saying this explanation doesn’t make any sense. The “lane miles” stated in the budget are more than twice the “center line miles” stated in the CAFR.

No response so far.

The gas tax was just raised another $.04. Karyn is going to push to give Connect Transit more money to run empty heavy buses that destroy the streets. If she really believes the Town has to maintain close to 450 miles of roads, why would she want to divert gas tax money to the buses destroying those roads?

Does she not know how bad the roads are?

I hope this clears up how many miles of roads Normal really has. It doesn’t for me.

12 thoughts on “How many miles of roads does Normal have?

  1. Only a bureaucrat would come up with metrics like this. So each mile of two lane road is two miles in their mind and each mile of four lane road is four miles. Sounds like a way to pump up their stats to justify more taxation.

  2. I agree with you, Tyler…and it all sounds “Normal” to them (See what I did there..LOL)

    Normal (and Bloomington) have over complicated simple infrastructure issues. Can we just consolidate the “twin cities” and stop ALL of the duplication of everything?

    Really can we strip down the budget to just the infrastructure and start over?!?!?

  3. Karyn Smith was elected to the Council as an outsider and someone who seemed to be able to ask the difficult questions. She has, but she’s been far too satisfied with the answers she’s been fed. You may come to the council as an outsider like Karyn, but without an adequate framework of understanding government, freedom, and the flushing of tax dollars, you’ll become a full fledged bureaucrat. She’s been poisoned by the Kool aide. You’re either part of the solution or you become part of the problem. Karyn Smith has become part of the problem.

    1. Karyn may not be the great watchdog that Stan is, but I still thank her for running and for her service as she’s a step up from what we would have had otherwise, imo.
      If you want better still, you have 20 months to Support-Recruit-Become a better candidate.

  4. What is funny they seem to have problems keeping track of roads but accoording to the slantagraph they are proud of knowing their frigging tree inventory, down to the last root……

  5. OF COURSE, uptown is going to use “lane miles” makes the village look more prosperous!
    By the way when is Rivian SUPPOSED to roll out cars? When corn hits $10 a bushel?

  6. This isn’t rocket surgery. ‘Center line miles’ is essentially a metric of how big a town is, or perhaps how spacious if you compare it against population. If you drive 1 mile and get 20mpg, you need 1/20 gal of gas, whether you’re driving on College or Main or Walnut (assuming no stops).
    ‘Lane miles’ are needed to calculate and budget construction, maintenance, and replacement costs. If you’re going to repave 1 mile of road, the widest parts of College or Main will cost roughly 2.5x as much as Walnut. (ignoring secondary costs like setting up detours etc.)
    It would be good if the person giving the statistic would specify which metric they’re using to minimize these misunderstandings. Also, saying ‘to X and back’ is not a good example if you’re quoting lane miles – that’s more appropriate to center line miles. More like ‘equal to paving X miles of interstate’ after dividing by 4 or 5.

  7. Has there ever been a better example of a simple question being tortured by running it through the Reece gobbledegook obfuscation machine?

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