Category Archives: Chicago traffic
Chicago’s spring bridge lift season begins this this Saturday, April 18th at 8:00AM, starting at the Ashland Bridge over the Chicago River.
During the spring bridge lift, local sailboat owners begin bringing their high masted sea vessels from storage, and down the Chicago River back to Lake Michigan in mid-April.
Every spring and fall, CDOT is in charge of the process of raising the city’s 27 movable bridges twice weekly along the main and south branches of the Chicago River in order to allow recreational water craft to return to the lake.
CDOT crews have had a section of Madison St. between State St. and Clark St. reduced to two lanes for a while as part of the Loop Link construction project.
But starting Friday, those closures will be extended from LaSalle St. to Wacker Drive to continue the project. While two lanes of closures will be in place during weekday daytime hours, CDOT says additional lanes may be closed overnights through out the duration of the project which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015.
Protesters struck again during Thursday night’s evening commute, temporarily blocking traffic on both the Dan Ryan Expressway and Lake Shore Drive.
The protesters were part of an organized reaction to the news that the police officer involved in the death of a man in New York City who resisted arrest, was not indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday.
DNA Info reports the protesters, starting in the Loop, marched down State Street towards Soldier Field, where traffic was already worse than normal due to a Thursday night Bears game.
The marchers then went west on Roosevelt Road to the Dan Ryan expressway where they slowed traffic in both directions with their protest.
According to DNA Info:
How can Chicago reduce traffic congestion?
The University of Illinois’ Artificial Intelligence Lab is trying to find the answers.
That’s the reason the Illinois Department of Transportation awarded the lab $5.5 million to continue developing the Gateway Traveler Information System and the TravelMidwest.com website.
These sites gives motorists real time information on expressway congestion for the greater Chicago area to allow drivers to find the most efficient way to their destination.
The interactive maps allow users to zoom in get data on travel times, congestion, construction, accidents, and other events which effect traffic.
Wednesday is the worst day for motorists to travel during the Thanksgiving Day holiday exodus from the city according to the internet’s most popular search site.
Of course, this is no surprise to hardened Chicago drivers used to the painful traffic congestion on some of the nation’s most traveled expressways even when its not on the day before a major holiday.
Google Map, using its access to vast amounts of data from 21 major cities over the past two years has given drivers insight into turkey day holiday travel in a recent report.
Monday evening’s announcement that Ferguson, MO police officer Darren Wilson won’t be indicted for killing 18-year old Michael Brown has sparked protests in Chicago resulting in street closures in some areas of the city.
The Chicago Police Department says Lake Shore Drive has been shutdown in both directions from Roosevelt Road south, due to ongoing protests centered around the Bronzeville neighborhood.
“Due to Police Activity NB & SB S Lake Shore Drive SB @ at Roosevelt Rd has been shut down and until further notice,” CPD said in a one sentence statement.
Protesters have gathered outside Chicago Police Headquarters at 35th and Michigan Avenue and reports have other protesters converging on Daley Plaza and the Thompson Center downtown. Some streets surrounding these areas with large numbers of protestors are being closed by police according to CPD.
The intersection of 35th and Martin Luther King Drive and surround streets are closed. Michigan Avenue from 31st to Cermak. The Stevenson (I-55) is closed between the Kennedy (I-90/94) and Lake Shore Drive.
Overwhelming forensic evidence and strong eye witness testimony showed Michael Brown, after robbing a convenience store, attacked officer Wilson who shot and killed Brown in self defense and led the grand jury to pass on indicting Wilson.
UPDATE 11:00 PM: Protestors are reporting via Twitter CPD has blocked bridges along Wacker Drive to prevent protesters from coming into River North.
UPDATE 11:10 PM: Traffic reports have the Stevenson reopened from Kennedy to LSD.
Winds, Waves Close Northbound Lake Shore Drive At Rush HourWind gusts of 60 mph pushed 20 foot waves onto the northbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive Friday afternoon forcing the city to reduce travel to a single lane and causing some severe rush hour traffic backups.
DNA Info reports at one point all four lanes were closed from Oak Street to North Avenue but conditions improved as the evening wore on.
“We are urging motorists to drive with caution and recommending they use an alternate route in the meantime,” said Melissa Stratton a spokesperson for the city Office of Emergency Management.
The problems on Lake Shore Drive, along with snow and sleet showers across the area, made Halloween’s rush hour even more horrific than normal Fridays.
Commuters experienced longer than normal travel times were the norm on most Chicago expressways.
A lake shore flood advisory is in place until 4 AM Saturday.
A group of over 50 protestors shut down traffic at the very busyintersection of North, Damen and Milwaukee Avenues Tuesday night according to DNA Info.
The protestors were marching in “solidarity” with protestors in Ferguson, Missouri, where an unarmed black man named Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer recently.
The chanting marchers blocked the intersection around 9 PM and then walked south on Milwaukee Avenue to Division and Ashland. The protest lasted about 30 minutes. Two protestors were arrested for obstruction of traffic after failing to obey police officers trying to clear the streets.
A trio of maintenance projects will offer short term traffic challenges for motorists this weekend on Chicago expressways.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is conducting two bridge inspections Saturday and Sunday morning.
A cluster of protests and events downtown late Friday afternoon and early evening will make a normally difficult rush hour even more challenging.
Starting at 4 PM, a protest against Israel protecting itself from Hamas terrorists will take place in Daley Center.
This is followed by the monthly Critical Mass ride which coincidentally begins at Daley Center at 5:30 PM. The Critical Mass route is never announced in advance, so after departing from Daley Center a few thousand bike riders could be messing or massing up traffic all over the city.