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Online maps will outline Chicago-area’s transportation woes, need for money

A website launching Monday will turn wonkish government data into interactive maps on the quality of bridges, roads and rail transportation across Cook and six other counties with the intention of rousing the public to push for costly upgrades and expansions.

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning created the site because it contends that northeastern Illinois’ deteriorating transportation network costs the area billions of dollars a year and that renewing and expanding it will require an unprecedented financial commitment.

“In making the case for investment in the system, we feel strongly about the need for decisions to be based on data and that the public will support these investments if there is real tangible benefit,” said Tom Garritano, the agency’s communications chief and director of the online project. “The website wasn’t set up for data geeks, but to take what the data geeks do, make it accessible to other people and help convince decision-makers about the need for these investments…. “Please click here to read Jon Hilkevitch’s story in the Tribune. The web sit can be found at

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