Tag Archives: IDOT

IDOT Secretary Schneider “‘On The Move’ Recaps Winter Driving

Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider recaps one of the most driving challenged winters in Illinois history and thanks motorists for their patience with IDOT’s snow removal crews.

Study: 1 In 5 Chicago Drivers Ignore Handheld Cell Phone Ban

Using a hand-held cell phone will driving is now banned on all Illinois roads.

Using a hand-held cell phone will driving is now banned on all Illinois roads.

According to an Illinois Department of Transportation study, about one in five Chicago drivers flaunt the city’s nine-year old ban on using a handheld cell phone while driving.

The Chicago Tribune recently reported on the study, which observed over 33,000 drivers on streets, roads and highways all across the state.

While only a relatively small number of towns in Illinois (about 80) had handheld cell phone driving bans on the books, a statewide ban went into effect on January 1st. The study was done in November in advance of the new law in order to track the effectiveness of this traffic safety legislation.

Drivers can still use a mobile phone while driving a vehicle, however they must use some sort of hands free technology like a Bluetooth headset or the speakerphone functionality of the device.

Maybe not surprisingly, Chicago drivers were the worst offenders with 18% of all observed drivers using a mobile phone pressed against their ear or near their face while behind the wheel–despite living in a city with one of the first municipal bans in Illinois. Only 12% of motorists outside the state were seen using a handheld mobile phone while driving.

Quinn Puts Brakes 70 MPH Limit Push In Chicago Senator Says

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

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

The speed limit on Chicago area expressways won’t be going up to 70 or even 65 mph anytime soon–at least not until we get a Republican governor says Illinois State Senator Jim Oberweis (R).

That’s because, according to the Sun-Times, Oberweis’ move to have the recent law he spearheaded to raise the speed limit on all state expressways also apply to Chicago and other urban expressways, got voted down 2-1 in a Senate panel.

The vote was along party lines with Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park and Sen. Antonio Munoz, D-Chicago voted against it citing “safety concerns.”

“I believe they were under strong encouragement from someone in the Governor’s office,” Oberweis told the Expired Meter via e-mail.

City, IDOT Snow Plows Trying To Keep Up With Massive Snowfall

Snow plow on Milwaukee Avenue

A city snow plow rolls down Milwaukee Avenue Monday afternoon.

As snow continues to fall as of late afternoon Monday, city and state snow plows continue to battle the up to seven inches of snow on main thoroughfares, Lake Shore Drive and area expressways.

Department of Streets and Sanitation spokesperson Molly Poppe says the city’s full fleet of 287 snow plows will be working on major roadways until the snow stops. Only then will the trucks be redeployed onto residential streets.

Weather reports have snow continuing until at least 9 PM.

The ill timed snowstorm is making evening rush hour slower and more challenging than normal. Reports of multiple crashes and spin outs are being reported across the city.

IDOT Proposes Adding Traffic Lanes To Kennedy Expressway

The Kennedy Expressway looking westbound at Canfield Avenue. Photo credit: Heather Cherone/DNA Info.

The Kennedy Expressway looking westbound at Canfield Avenue. Photo credit: Heather Cherone/DNA Info.

Chicago drivers know how painfully congested the Kennedy Expressway (I-90) can get.

With drivers going to and from O’Hare Airport, the traffic from where I-90 splits from I-94 is often bumper-to-bumper all the way to the airport.

Now the Illinois Department of Transportation is hoping to widen a two-mile stretch of the Kennedy according to DNA Info.

IDOT is proposing adding another lane of traffic in each direction between Cumberland and Harlem. The agency says it will help traffic flow, ease congestion and help decrease the number of crashes which occur along there frequently.

City, State Snow Plow Fleets Clearing Area Roadways

Many snow covered side streets remain unplowed according to residents and some aldermen. Photo credit: John O'Brien/DNA Info.

Photo credit: John O’Brien/DNA Info.

The snow is still falling.

And according to the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation, the city’s full fleet of 287 snow plows are deployed and still clearing the inches of lake effect snow that continue to coat area roadways.

Streets and San says its plows are still clearing snow from main thoroughfares and have not begun clearing residential streets.

But Streets and Sanitation spokesperson Molly Poppe says this morning the city has deployed an additional 50 smaller four-wheel drive snow plows to clear streets around schools.

IDOT Crews On High Alert During Harsh Winter Weather

Minutemen truckThe Illinois Department of Transportation is saying temperatures are so cold, and conditions on so many roads in northern Illinois are so dangerous, motorists should not drive unless it’s completely necessary.

IDOT has 615 trucks a deployed in the northern part of the state to deal with the slice snow and ice covered roads and the white out conditions being caused by high winds on roadways.

In fact, according to Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider, due to the extreme cold IDOT Emergency Traffic Patrol or Minutemen Crews, which assist drivers with stalled vehicles or vehicles involved in crashes, will be actively patrolling for stranded motorists.

IDOT Says Illinois Road Conditions Improving Statewide

IDOT logoThe Illinois Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that road conditions
are improving across the state and all state maintained roadways are open.

Interstates I-57, I-74 and I-72 had been closed down the past few days due to heavy snows, high winds that caused drifting snow and white out conditions and below zero temperatures that iced up road surfaces making overall driving conditions extremely dangerous.

According to state officials, due to the approximately 375 passenger vehicles were stranded along I-57 on Monday along with six semi-trailers.

Harsh Weather Creates Dangerous Driving, Forces Road Closures

An IDOT snowplow clears snow from a state roadway. Photo credit: Pahz/Flickr.com

An IDOT snowplow clears snow from a state roadway. Photo credit: Pahz/Flickr.com

Lots of snow, extremely cold temperatures and high winds have conspired to make driving conditions very difficult and in some cases dangerous.

IDOT Ready For Big Snowstorm, Challenging Weather

Driving snowstormWith Chicagoland to be hit with five to 10 inches of snow over the weekend, the Illinois Department of Transportation says its crews are already deployed to handle the severe weather.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for snow from 6 p.m. Saturday to midnight Sunday throughout Illinois. The storm will drop most of its snow between midnight and noon on Sunday and winds of 15-30 mph will cause blowing snow to make driving a challenge if not dangerous due to low visibility.