Tag Archives: Chicago traffic
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.
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 new poll released by mayoral candidate Bob Fioretti seems to show that incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel is more disliked than the morning traffic headaches on the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) according to Illinois News Online.
That’s saying something as morning commuters who take the Ike to work know what a major pain in the butt the traffic can be.
While the poll from Fioretti, the seems a bit tongue in cheek, to give the Rahm vs. Eisenhower traffic comparison some context it also seems the mayor’s unfavorable ratings are even higher than Fox News and the Green Bay Packers.
Here’s Illinois News Online’s full story, “Poll: Emanuel’s Unfavorables Rival Green Bay, Traffic.”
As part of the ongoing Ohio Street Bridge project, the reversible express lanes will be closed all weekend and the westbound Ontario Street feeder ramp will be closed starting at 10 PM Friday, September 5th.
Drivers needing to go westbound will be detoured eastbound to the Taylor Street exit and then directed to re-enter the expressway there going westbound.
The express lanes will re-open by 7 AM Sunday morning, while the Ontario feeder ramp will be back open by 9 AM Sunday.
IDOT warns drivers to expect delays.
The Illinois Department of Transportation announced an overnight closure of the westbound Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) for Wednesday, September 3rd.
As part of the ongoing Ohio Street bridge project, starting at 9 PM Wednesday and extending until 5 AM Thursday morning, traffic lanes will be reduced from Jackson Blvd. to Ogden Ave.
In addition, the ramps for Jackson, Adams St. an Randolph St. will be closed on the westbound Kennedy. Also the westbound ramp from Congress Parkway onto westbound I-90/94 and the Ontario St. ramp to the eastbound Kennedy will be closed.
And according to the Illinois Department of Transportation, this weekends closures could be worse than last weekend’s.
“IDOT is asking the public for its continued patience and to still plan accordingly if traveling in and out of Chicago this weekend to avoid any backups and delays,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider said. “We’re asking the public to plan ahead and use public transportation if possible, as this weekend’s traffic configuration has the potential to cause many more traffic impacts than last weekend.”
The closures are necessary to facilitate the demolition of the Ohio Street Bridge as part of a $16.5 million Ohio Street interchange improvement project.
The Chicago Tribune published an excellent piece on the reversible lanes recently that gives readers amazing insight into how they work.
These additional two lanes are switched twice a day. The lanes are inbound for the morning rush and then flipped for the outbound rush hour in the middle of the day during the week. On Friday nights an additional set of reversals are made to accommodate drivers headed into the city for dinner or a night on the town.
That’s the question asked and answered by WBEZ 91.5 FM resident historian John R. Schmidt.
Isn’t it simply too many vehicles traveling on too few miles of roadway? According to Schmidt, it has to do with how the expressway was originally constructed back in the 1950′s.
Schmidt says back then, all the city’s expressways were designed with the idea of allowing traffic to flow in and out of the city. Traffic engineers didn’t take into consideration the idea of local drivers using the expressways for local, crosstown driving–thus underestimating traffic volumes.
What’s that old Chicago joke?
There are two seasons in Chicago. Winter and construction.
Unfortunately, the summer of 2013 promises to live up to that joke.
According to an extensive report in the Chicago Sun-Times, drivers will be feeling the pain of being caught in construction related traffic all over the greater Chicagoland area this summer.
Here’s a rundown of all the area’s major construction projects and how it will affect you getting to where you want to go: “Road construction may put a bump in summer travel.”