Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions


  Office phone numbers:  

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.


The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

  Cook County was created on January 15, 1831 and named after Daniel P. Cook, Member of Congress and the first Attorney from the State of Illinois.

Cook County road signs raise eyebrows
Cook County spending $120,000 to put up arcane road markers that are of little use to motorists

Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Chicago Tribune
by John Hilkevitch

Alan Kuska was tooling down Roberts Road in the southwest suburbs when he noticed a new, completely baffling road sign.

W32? What does that mean?

It turns out the sign is part of a new program by Cook County to put in 1,300 route markers whose sole purpose is letting drivers know they are on a road owned and maintained by the county.

The message behind the signs isn't at all clear to motorists, who are paying for them—an estimated $120,000 over two years—through motor fuel taxes.

County officials say they are posting the signs "as a public service."

But the route numbers on the signs do not correspond to state routes or U.S. highways. Instead, the alpha-numeric designations are only used by the Cook County Highway Department. They have no meaning to the public.

East-west routes begin with the letter A, B or C, followed by a number.

The W doesn't apply to west, but to north-south routes. Those can also start with a V.

"From what I can tell, there is no rhyme or reason to the W32," said Kuska of Forest Park. "It isn't as if Bridgeview is a rural area or that the local police and fire departments have any trouble finding addresses. I think the signs are a waste of money."

The signs are being posted at about 1-mile intervals and at the beginning and end of routes on the 1,500-mile network of county-maintained roads, said Rupert Graham, superintendent of the county Highway Department.

Even though Cook drivers have gotten along fine without any county markers, Graham said department officials decided to install the signs through next year because some other counties have similar signage. The Cook County Board approved the project, he said.

Neither the Federal Highway Administration nor the Illinois Department of Transportation requires such signage.

"The signs may not mean anything to the public, but we are informing the public that these are county roads," Graham said, adding that unlike some road signs in other jurisdictions, the new county markers do not tout the names of any politicians.

The signs, however, are being made by Western Remac Inc. of Woodridge, the same company that made the open-road tolling signs emblazoned with Gov. Rod Blagojevich's name on Illinois toll roads. The former governor's name was covered up on the tollway signs this month after his impeachment conviction.

The Cook County route marker sign contract was awarded to Western Remac in January. The company was the low bidder at $60,000 a year over two years, officials said, adding that the county Highway Department does not operate a sign shop.

On Tuesday, county commissioners gave preliminary approval to a nearly $3 billion budget after approving cuts to Board President Todd Stroger's spending proposal.The route markers represent the emerging standard for highway departments around the country, said Chris Geovanis, a spokeswoman for the county.

"We are not technically required by law to put them up. The thinking is that with no signage, there virtually is no way for people to know who to contact if they hit a big pothole or skid on some black ice and need to report unsafe conditions," Geovanis said.

"It makes it easier to attribute responsibility for maintenance in areas where multiple jurisdictions are involved," she said.

Drivers remain skeptical.

"I wonder why it's needed in days of budget shortfalls," said Richard Smith of Tinley Park. "These signs don't serve a purpose to the motoring public, and they surely weren't cheap to produce and install."

Recent Headlines

Cook County approves road projects for upcoming years
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Northwest Indiana Times

Palatine, County Forest Preserve To Partner Up
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Palatine Journal Online

Man dies following beating at Cook County Jail
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health Board selects new leaders
Friday, July 25, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

The PrivateBank pledges $10 million to the Cook County Land Bank
Friday, July 25, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Commissioners switch votes, rehire erstwhile contractor
Friday, July 25, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board adds two questions to packed fall ballot
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County to cut buildings' carbon emissions
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Fox 32 Chicago

Cook County Board sends assault weapons referendum to the ballot
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County mulls fund-of-funds investment, other changes
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Pensions & Investments

Forest Preserves of Cook County to get expertise, guidance from new Policy Council
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Special to

Preserves and parks offering memorial trees and benches — for a price
Monday, July 21, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Community leaders, sheriff aim to help mentally ill inmates
Monday, July 21, 2014
FOX 32 Chicago

TIF Revenue Down 2 Percent in Suburban Cook Co.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Palatine Patch

Recorder of Deeds staffers accused of political motive in firing
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County sheriff's department will focus on catching people wanted on arrest warrants
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

An unwelcome surprise from the Cook County health system
Monday, July 14, 2014
Chicago Tribune

New Cook County Health CEO must find millions in savings - stat
Monday, July 14, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

Fitch cuts rating on Cook County
Saturday, July 12, 2014

Man trapped in Cook County Jail 30-plus hours files court papers
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Chicago Tribune

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.