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Category Archives: Chicago traffic

Protesters Tie Up Rush Hour Traffic On Dan Ryan, Lake Shore Dr.

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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:

UIC Awarded $5.5 Contract To Continue Traffic Research

John Dillenburg, senior research scientist in computer science, with systems specialists Sri Poodipeddi and Anjum Malik. Photo credit: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services

John Dillenburg, senior research scientist in computer science, with systems specialists Sri Poodipeddi and Anjum Malik. Photo credit: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services

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.

Google Maps Says Avoid Driving Wednesday Before Thanksgiving

Worst Day to Travel graphicIf you don’t want to be stuck in traffic this holiday weekend, Google Maps says avoid driving Wednesday.

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.

Police Close Select Chicago Roadways Due To Ferguson Protests

police600Monday 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 Hour

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.

Protestors Shutdown Wicker Park Intersection Tuesday Night

 

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.

IDOT Warns Of Weekend Roadwork On Chicago Area Expressways

Signs along Chicagoland expressways will  not go up to 65 or 70 mph despite Sen. Oberweis' efforts to clarify a new law he sponsored.

Traffic backs up along the inbound Kennedy Expressway.

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.

Downtown Rush Hour ‘Carmageddon’ Friday Evening

Chicago-Critical-MassAvoid the Loop this evening drivers.

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.

IDOT Escorts Bike Rider Off Kennedy Expressway

Expressway sign prohbiting vehicles

A sign at an entrance ramp to the Kennedy Expressway prohibits certain vehicles–including bicycles–from riding on the high speed roadway.

A seemingly confused bicycle rider was riding on the outbound Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) during rush hour last Thursday evening according to DNA Info.

Luckily, some quick thinking Illinois Department of Transportation workers helped escort the biker off the expressway at Armitage around 6 PM according to the Illinois State Police.

The bike rider was not detained, ticketed nor arrested.

It is illegal for the bicycles and mopeds to be operated on the Kennedy expressway and generally speaking, all expressways and tollways.

More Expressway Flooding Creates Traffic Problems Near O’Hare

Airport Parking SignAnother heavy thunderstorm dropped massive amounts of rain on the region causing another flooding incident on a Chicagoland expressway.

I-190 to O’Hare was reduced to one lane due to flooding Tuesday morning, causing major traffic backups which caused some travelers to exit their vehicles and walk to the airport to make their flight according to DNA Info.

The area has received over 2″ of rain in the past 24 hours.

Last week the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) at 25th Avenue near Broadview suffered a full closure due to flooding caused by heavy rain and a collapsed sewer drain.

Later Tuesday afternoon the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced that maintenance crews will conduct an inspection of a pumping station near I-190. IDOT says the flooding occurred due to heavy rainfall and brief power outages that caused pumps to fail.

Here’s DNA Info’s story, “Traffic to O’Hare a Mess Because of Flooding on Expressway.”