Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Why Did the Turtle (Unsuccessfully) Cross the Road?

Because the evil developer was too cheap to dig an underpass.

A sign is not going to work!!

Seems McHenry County officials think putting up a few "Turtle Crossing" signs is somehow going to save the lives of endangered Blanding's turtles. Read the whole article here.

The marsh, home to the state's second largest colony of Blanding's turtles, is part of a 250-acre nature preserve that abuts Algonquin Road, where traffic zooms by at 40 m.p.h.The turtles prefer laying their eggs on dry ground up to a mile away from water, and their homing instinct tells them to return to their birth area to build their nests.Before development, it was an easy trip. Now, strip malls, subdivisions and roads can make it deadly, which is one reason officials said they will soon be elevated to the state's endangered species list.

Letting them get run over is not the way to move them to the endangered species list. Why not dig a tunnel beneath the road for them? This should have been required when the development plans were approved.

When a developer built a strip mall nearby four years ago, he had to ensure artificial nesting sites were built in the preserve to try to keep the turtles away from the traffic. But some still tried to plod across the road, so when the county widened it to four lanes two years ago, the state asked it to post the "Turtle Crossing" signs.

So now what? Dig the tunnel. Erect Turtle Toll Booths to charge each car a nickel. That way, the toll isn't oppressive and the tunnel will be paid for the turtles. Also, no open road tolling. Everyone must sloooww down for the booth.

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