Tag Archives: Chicago traffic
But Traffic Enforcement Up
Because there’s less road local road construction than in previous years, News Radio 780 Traffic Reporter Steven Hass believes traffic for this holiday weekend should be running smoother and faster than last year.
“The on-going construction list is much shorter this year than last, but there are still a couple of projects,” said Haas rattling off a list of construction and repaving projects around the area. “Of course, there are numerous suburban projects, but all in all, it is a lighter year in the construction department.”
While the City of Chicago has done a respectable job of handling the challenge of the NATO Summit over the past few days, the major road closures which will still be in effect through 6 PM Monday will have an impact on both morning and evening commutes.
With Lake Shore Drive closed from 39th St. all the way to Balbo, I-55 closed from LSD to I-90/94, and many major streets east of Michigan Ave. shut down as well, the morning commute for drivers who normally use these thoroughfares is going to be a challenge.
Even though some downtown employers have told many of their employees to stay home Monday, this decrease in bodies won’t completely offset the increased vehicle volume from those commuting by car displaced by the LSD closures.
The footprint of road closures related to the NATO Summit continues to grow.
Saturday afternoon, Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management & Communication (OEMC) announced Columbus Drive would be closed from the Chicago River at Wacker Drive to Illinois Street “until further notice.”
The two block stretch is about a block east of Michigan Ave. and two blocks west of Lake Shore Drive.
A few hours later, OEMC announced temporary extension of the closure on Lake Shore Drive on Sunday.
Stay far, far away.
That’s The Expired Meter’s best advice for driving during the duration of the NATO Summit occurring over the next few days here in Chicago–just stay the hell away from the vicinity of McCormick Place Friday night through Monday afternoon.
While streets directly adjacent to McCormick Place have been closed since this past Sunday, the scope of road closures and parking restrictions will begin at midnight Friday night/Saturday morning and continue through Monday afternoon.
If you park on a street that’s slated to be closed for this event, expect that your car will be towed starting at midnight Friday.
Here’s the full list of road closures associated with the NATO Summit.
The Secret Service and Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications believe all affected streets roadways will be open for Monday evening’s rush hour.
Major Roadways Closed
Two Year Project To Be Completed By End Of 2012
The City of Chicago’s “Revive Wacker Drive” plan to reconstruct both levels of Wacker Drive officially enters the second of its two years as it begins work on the two level street at Monroe and Adams starting Monday, January 9th.
This means come Monday, both Monroe and Adams will be closed to thru traffic (from Canal to Franklin) until sometime this summer, while Madison Street will finally be open to all traffic–vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian.
The Madison Street/Wacker Drive intersection stage of the project was just completed after being closed since July 4th to traffic.
The next phase begins Monday, January 9th where the project moves southward once again when work will be started on both levels of Wacker Drive at the Monroe and Adams Street intersections.
“Our crews continue to work efficiently to meet the demands of a very aggressive construction schedule,” said Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein regarding the continued on-time and on-budget construction project. “We will maintain that same level of efficiency in 2012 so that motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists can again have full access to this vital roadway and the businesses that surround it.”
This holiday season, more drivers will be headed over the river, through the woods to Grandmother’s house and many other destinations than last year according to a report by AAA.
Christmas holiday traffic will be up just a smidgen this year, at least according to AAA Chicago.
The group estimates 4.25 million Illinois drivers will be on the road for the 11 day holiday stretch between December 23rd and January 2nd this year–only a .5% increase from 2010.
Congestion, accidents, construction just to name a few.
But Monday night, it was hundreds of protesters flooding onto Michigan Avenue in front of the Art Institute which snarled rush hour downtown traffic according to the Associated Press.
Whether you support the protesters or not, blocking traffic is not only an ineffective way of getting a point across (unless the goal is to anger drivers) but it is also dangerous for people to walk in front of moving vehicles as it could lead to hospitalization or even premature death.
45,000 runners will take to Chicago’s streets Sunday for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, in turn displacing and inconveniencing thousands of city drivers.
The entire 26 mile length of the Chicago marathon race course will be closed to vehicle traffic for the race. This means no parking will be allowed on these streets starting at 7 AM Sunday morning. OEMC warns that police and Streets and Sanitation tow trucks will be removing cars parked in violation of the parking ban–a ban which begins as early as Saturday night depending on the location along the route. Streets closures along the route will extend until 3 PM, but may open earlier as the last of the runners finish the course.
According to the Texas Transportation Institute’s annual Urban Mobility Report, Chicago has been replaced at number one by Washington DC dropping into the second spot in the for the nation’s worst traffic congestion.
This is due to mild improvements in several areas. But you might not feel the improvements, at least according to a researcher from Texas A&M University.
“Realistically, as drivers will tell you, you can’t really feel it,” says Texas Transportation Institute Research Engineer and co-author of the 2010 study Bill Eisele. “But Chicago’s ranking has gone down from first.”
Starting at Lake Shore Drive, bridges along the Chicago River will be raised every Saturday morning starting at 9 and Wednesday mornings at 9:30, to allow these high masted vessels to travel from Lake Michigan down the main and south branches of the Chicago River to their winter dry docks.
Drivers trying to cross any of these city bridges on Saturday and Wednesday mornings face being delayed from reaching their destination for several minutes if they get caught by the bridge lift.
Chicago Department of Transportation spokesperson Brian Steele says the city tries to minimize the delays experienced by motorists during bridge lifts.