Community Involvement

IDOT believes in partnering with Illinois communities statewide to promote a safer, sustainable and effective transportation system for Illinoisans. Through effective partnerships and collaborations, we demonstrate our commitment to move the transportation vision, Transforming Transportation for Tomorrow forward.

Partnerships like this encourages and educates citizens of Illinois to create a positive impact in their community.

Love the Land of Lincoln

Our goal is to spread the word and remind people not to litter in Illinois. We need your help!

Adopt-A-Highway

Adpopt-A-Highway

The Illinois Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) program began at IDOT in 1995, and today nearly 1,700 volunteer groups have adopted about 3,400 miles of highway. Each year these groups collect an average of 32,000 bags of trash from state highways. Even with this tremendous effort and the savings generated, Illinois still must spend more than $12.5 million each year to pick up roadside trash. Illinois has the third largest road system in the nation with more than 139,000 miles of state, county, municipal and township roads. The state highway system is made up of about 16,000 center-line miles.

The Illinois Adopt-A-Highway program brings citizen volunteers into partnerships with IDOT to pick up trash and keep our roadsides clean. The program also educates and encourages people to stop littering. Through the cleanup efforts of more than 10,000 Adopt-A-Highway volunteers throughout Illinois, visitors and tourists have a better first impression of our state and roadways are safer because of less roadside debris.

Just about anyone can take part…here are some examples:

  • Civic groups
  • Clubs
  • Organizations
  • Sororities
  • Fraternities
  • Participants at least 10 years of age

Each volunteer group is assigned a two-mile section of highway. When your group applies to IDOT, the group may choose the section of highway to adopt as long as it has not been selected by another group. Volunteer groups agree to remove litter from the assigned section of highway at least four times each year for a two-year period. In return for this partnership, IDOT will provide roadside signs identifying your group as an Illinois Adopt-A-Highway program participant (IDOT reserves the right to approve all messages on the signs and all group applications). IDOT provides safety vests and trash bags to roadside cleanup volunteers and removes the filled bags from the roadside following a pickup day.

Illinois needs your help to keep its roadsides clean. Please consider adding your group of friends, neighbors, coworkers, or club members to our list of volunteers who make a positive impact on the area where they live.

To apply, please download the application below.  If you have any questions, please e-mail DOT.AAH@illinois.gov or call (217) 558-6105.

Help Keep our Waterways Clean

Over the past 25 years, the United States has made tremendous advances to clean up our nation's waterways by controlling pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants. However, little has been done to address the effects of stormwater runoff pollution.

Stormwater runoff pollution is a leading cause of water quality problems. Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS) is the primary reason many of our waters are still considered unfit for swimming and fishing. NPS pollution is caused by the everyday impacts of individuals interacting with the land. Each of us can contribute to this problem without even realizing it. Stormwater runoff pollution, unlike pollution from industry and sewage treatment plants, can come from a number of sources.

This type of pollution is caused by rainfall and snowmelt moving across and through the ground picking up pollutants along the way and depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, and our underground source of drinking water. Fortunately there are many ways in which we can all help to lower the amount of pollutants reaching our waterways and ground water.

"Things You Can Do To Reduce Stormwater Runoff Pollution"

  • Don't litter. Litter adversely affects water, plants, and animals.
  • Do not dump pollutants down a storm drain. Motor oil, grease, gas, paint, paint thinner, and other household chemicals are all pollutants. These chemicals can be devastating to fish and wildlife in and around our waterways.
  • Dispose of hazardous household chemicals properly. Many communities have hazardous waste collection centers.
  • Take your car to the car wash instead of washing it in the driveway. Cleaning chemicals are pollutants and the car wash has the means of properly disposing of the waste water.
  • Properly clean up and dispose of vehicle fluids and household chemicals. This especially includes any spillage or leakage that may have occurred.
  • Participate in community hazardous waste disposal days. Many communities have several days out of the year when citizens can bring hazardous waste to have them disposed of properly. These include, but are not limited to, paint, oil, and household chemicals.
  • Use fertilizers and herbicides sparingly. A light rainfall can cause these chemicals to runoff your lawn or garden into a storm sewer system.
  • Have your septic tank pumped and inspected regularly. Faulty systems can leak contaminants into surface water.
  • Pick up after your pets. Pet waste contains nutrients and pathogens that can contaminate surface water.
  • Recycle electronics and appliances. Items, such as computers and refrigerators can contain pollutants, including lead and freon.
  • Direct gutter downspouts away from driveways and bare soil areas. This will prevent debris and sediment from washing into storm sewers.
  • Help prevent erosion. Re-vegetate or mulch any exposed soil as soon as possible.
  • Participate in community clean up days.
  • Help educate people in your community.
  • Get your community groups involved.

Litter Awareness

Adopt a Highway.pngIDOT’s Love the Land of Lincoln - Please Don’t Litter campaign extends litter awareness to businesses, groups, and communities throughout Illinois. To promote litter prevention we are asking businesses, organizations, and schools that want to support the program to join us. By participating in the Love the Land of Lincoln Please Don’t Litter campaign everyone can help to make a significant impact against litter in Illinois. Organizations that join in the effort will be listed on our website. Your participation simply involves picking up trash when you see it on the sidewalks or streets and being mindful of your own trash. Participants will also get a free Love the Land of Lincoln - Please Don’t Litter decal and/or bumper sticker. For more information on how to join please email Victoria Czuprynski at Victoria.Czuprynski@illinois.gov.

Scenic Byways

Any Illinois community or local organization may submit a nomination for national designation of a specific section of roadway, but the nomination must meet stringent criteria and be submitted through IDOT. Information regarding nominations, grants, and federal contact information may be found at the Federal Highway Administration’s Scenic Byways webpage.

The National Scenic Byways Program and the Illinois Scenic Byways Program include only one restriction. The federal law which created the program prohibits new off-site advertising along nationally designed roadways.

Please visit our Scenic Byways webpage for more information.

Safe Routes to School

Success Stories

Champaign Urbana Partners with the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District to Train School and Community Audiences about Safe Routes

C-U SRTS Project has successfully partnered with various community organizations and businesses to leverage its IDOT SRTS Community Education Grant thereby gaining more media coverage than the original $25,500 grant could purchase. The grant was awarded in 2008 to: “Train School and Community Audiences about Safe Routes to School.”

C-U SRTS Project has had major support in developing a successful SRTS program since 2004 from the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (CUMTD). CUMTD has contributed considerable staff support, in-kind contributions such as copying, and interior advertising space for International Walk To School Day events. CUMTD has been a leader in the community in advocating for pedestrian and bicycle issues and safety.

The project approached the CUMTD about the opportunity to put pedestrian safety messages on bus boards on the exterior of buses in the spring of 2009. CUMTD responded by offering the expertise of its marketing director to help design ads based on copy provided through:

  • Federal Highway Administration’s Pedestrian Safety Campaign
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Speed Campaign Toolkit

Four bus board designs were developed. The project paid for the production of eight signs, two for each message, and the CUMTD will place the bus boards on buses when ad space is not being used by paying customers. This has saved the Project thousands of dollars and given us the opportunity to disseminate our pedestrians and SRTS safety message widely within the community.

Please click the links below to see the different bus boards:

Champaign-Urbana Crossing Guard Appreciation Program

As part of our C-U SRTS Project grant, we developed a Crossing Guard Appreciation program. With this program, schools can nominate their crossing guard to receive recognition through presentation of a Certificate of Appreciation, a gift card to a local restaurant, and their picture in our monthly newspaper ad. We are using this program to again draw awareness to pedestrian and school zone safety. We use this along with our billboard advertising as well as our BusBoards on our local CU MTD buses. All of these media awareness ads are used to bring the awareness to the community as a whole on pedestrian safety for our children.

For more information, please contact:

Rose M. Hudson, Project Co-Chair
C-U SRTS Project
(217) 398-4206
cu-srtsproject.com

Wilmette Continues Successful "Caught Being Good" Program

Wilmette has generously shared examples of their successful Caught Being Good program. With the assistance of the Police Department and local merchants, Wilmette has instituted a summer-time program where police officers who "catch" students wearing their bike helmets can provide that student with a coupon redeemable for a summer treat.

This is a great program and a wonderful way to involve everyone in safe cycling!

Do you have a success story about how Safe Routes to School has impacted your school or community? We are always looking for stories to share and to inspire the Safe Routes community. If you have a Safe Routes success story to share, please send us the information at DOT.SafeRoutes@illinois.gov.

How can I get involved?

Thank you for your interest in encouraging safe walking and biking to school. Here are some things you can do today!

Apply for a Grant

For more information on the Illinois Safe Routes to School program eligibility, guidelines and program information, please visit the Safe Routes to School webpage.

Zero Fatalities

Help us Drive Fatalities to Zero!

IDOT has a zero fatality goal and we need your help!

  • Buckle up!
  • Be a designated driver!
  • Don’t Drink and Drive
  • Drop it and Drive
  • Slow Down and See Orange
  • Talk to a Teen
  • Be an example
  • Start Seeing Motorcycles

Infrastructure Projects

Transportation and the community!

We want to hear from you! IDOT handles multiple infrastructure improvements on an annual basis. Some infrastructure improvements are best served with community input. The department holds several public outreach meetings as well as hearings and seeks your input. Check our events page for upcoming meetings in your area (or subscribe to IDOT in Motion)