OK, maybe there is a good reason to move back to the Illinois. On October 4, the wonderfully insightful city of Naperville opened the gates to the country's first public-private automobile test track. The Test Track, built by the City of Naperville at a cost of $1.5 million, is to be used by 12 local automobile dealerships. It's located on a 9-acre piece of property near Aurora and Ogden Avenues, where many of the city's dealerships are located. The enclosed test-driving facility is illuminated for night operations and includes an asphalt track with the following features:
  • A 100-foot-long cobblestone surface to simulate driving on a
  • brick road.
  • A 10 percent hill climb incline intended to replicate driving on a
  • dirt road.
  • High bank testing area with a 10 percent cross slope.
  • Rough road testing on concrete pavement with embedded boulders.
  • Suburban driveway and curb comprised of standard concrete driveway.
  • Skid pad area consisting of asphalt pavement, irrigated so that it is constantly wet for wet braking tests.
  • Three security/Web cameras used to show activity on the track and allowing for live feeds to participating car dealers.
  • A simulated railroad crossing.
According to Naperville Mayor George Pradel, "The idea moves many of the customers who are test-driving vehicles off the streets and out of the nearby neighborhoods, thereby lessening congestion and increasing the safety of other motorists." Although the city owns the track facility, the dealers will chip in for its upkeep in exchange for access. We demand that every major city in America build one of these NOW. But let us play with the design a bit. A 1/4 mile drag strip, SOLO II autocross course, and a Nardo-length straightaway for top speed testing are conspicuously absent from the city of Napersville's design.

Thanks for the tip, Chris!

[Source: The City of Naperville]