WBEZ | Chicago traffic http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-traffic Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Report: Chicago traffic is bad; leave early http://www.wbez.org/news/report-chicago-traffic-bad-leave-early-105360 <p><p><iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/59081680?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=b30000" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe></p><p>Chicago commuters can rely on traffic being unreliable. That&rsquo;s according to a new <a href="http://d2dtl5nnlpfr0r.cloudfront.net/tti.tamu.edu/documents/mobility-report-2012.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">congestion study</a> that looks at travel times and its impact on the local economy.<br /><br />To measure travel reliability, you need to look at the amount of change there is in the traffic from day to day. Those variables could be a random accident, a presidential motorcade or a thunderstorm.</p><p>David Schrank co-authored the <a href="http://d2dtl5nnlpfr0r.cloudfront.net/tti.tamu.edu/documents/mobility-report-2012.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=yes,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">Urban Mobility Report</a> from Texas A&amp;M.</p><p>&quot;One day it&rsquo;s an hour. The next day it&rsquo;s half an hour. The variability is much higher, so your planning time index goes up significantly because you the motorist don&rsquo;t know what to expect when you get in your vehicle,&quot; he said.</p><p>Shrank says the planning time index (PTI) is 3.95 for Chicago freeways.</p><p>That means you&rsquo;d multiply that number by how long your commute would take without traffic. If it takes you 20 minutes to drive to work without traffic, then plan on leaving 79 minutes early to better ensure a timely arrival.</p><p>Shrank says it won&#39;t always take that long to get to a destination. Some days, you might be very early.</p><p>The Washington D.C. area has the highest PTI value at 5.72. It also ranks at number one for worst congestion in the country.</p><p>Shrank says in 2011, overall congestion cost Chicago more than $6 billion, or just over $11,000 per commuter. That includes fuel costs and truck congestion costs.</p><p>Shrank applauds the city on some strategies, like the use of ramp metering. Those are the traffic lights at the entrance of the freeway.</p><p>&quot;Those can keep traffic from backing up behind an incident as badly and keep some movement happening on the roadway instead of becoming a parking lot because there&#39;s a crash or a stalled vehicle,&quot; he said.</p><p>Randy Blankenhorn with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning says more could and will be done to get at the problem.</p><p>He says the agency is proposing congestion pricing on five new expressway projects under the <a href="http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=018be2f0-70cc-4f54-a1df-06cdd125dd6f&amp;groupId=20583" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=yes,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">GO TO 2040</a> plan. Congestion pricing is a way of charging users, like tollways.</p><p>&quot;I think that the plan tries to look at how this region is going to grow and what that means for congestion. We&#39;ve got to do a better job of managing the way people move in and out and around metropolitan Chicago,&quot; he said.</p><p>Blankenhorn says the proposal also includes adding lanes to existing expressways.</p><p>&quot;If we did this on the Stevenson Expressway where we added a lane and made it an express toll lane, you could really reduce your travel time from over 45 minutes down to 25 minutes at a cost of about $2.25,&quot; he said.</p><p>Blankenhorn also says the report is evidence that public transportation needs to be improved around the region.</p><p>WBEZ spoke to Chicago commuters like Tony Brouzas about the report.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;You can never tell which roads are going to be under construction downtown. It always seems like there&rsquo;s some major thoroughfare that is closed off,&quot; he said. &quot;[Traffic] makes you not want to come downtown or to try to take the Metra&mdash;but the Metra raised the prices so much it almost makes more sense to drive than to take the train.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Scott Kanowsky contributed to this report.</em></p></p> Tue, 05 Feb 2013 14:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/report-chicago-traffic-bad-leave-early-105360 Traffic reporter Sarah Jindra unwinds Chicago's roadways http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-09/traffic-reporter-sarah-jindra-unwinds-chicagos-roadways-95387 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-09/6808858_600x338.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Traffic reporter Sarah Jindra gave <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> listeners the history of Chicago’s main roadways and explains why some keep Chicagoans from getting to work on time. She also explained how she determines estimated times of arrival.&nbsp;</p><p>Music Button: Cake, "Stickshifts and Safetybelts", from the album Fashion Nugget, (Volcano)</p></p> Mon, 09 Jan 2012 15:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-09/traffic-reporter-sarah-jindra-unwinds-chicagos-roadways-95387 Halsted bridge (@ Division) is closed. What's your suggested detour? http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/halsted-bridge-division-closed-whats-your-suggested-detour <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/http___www.cityofchicago.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="327" width="510" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-November/2010-11-30/http___www.cityofchicago.jpg" alt="" title="" /></p><p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;Oh, the traffic humanity. For anyone who lives downtown and/or on the Near Northwest Side of Chicago, you understand how important Halsted street is. Getting over the river into Lincoln&nbsp;Park can be difficult and Halsted's traffic patterns definitely confirm that. But according to our traffic guru Sarah Jindra, the bridge at Division Street will <a href="http://bit.ly/gLLh6S">close tonight until December 2011</a>. That's right, Halsted will be cut in two for a whole year.</p><p style="text-align: left;">So will the detour take us around Goose Island? Will people clog up Elston Ave (currently the best unclogged street in Chi)? Or will we see more traffic going through Wells Street and LaSalle?&nbsp;Can there be more traffic on LaSalle?&nbsp;God help us.</p><p>So if I'm coming northbound from Lake Street and I want to get to the new Whole Foods, does anyone have a proper detour?</p></p> Tue, 30 Nov 2010 22:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/halsted-bridge-division-closed-whats-your-suggested-detour Sarah Jindra: Decoding Chicago's traffic reports (FAQ) http://www.wbez.org/jkaufmann/2010/10/sarah-jindra-decoding-chicagos-traffic-reports-faq/38715 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/traffic.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>Our great traffic reporter Sarah Jindra spent some extra time on the clock this week to put together a PDF for Chicago traffic beginners. Even if you are a long-time Chicagoan, there are probably some parts of the traffic reports that baffle you. Well, Jindra did the dirty work and now you can use this resource to be the smartest guy in your car. This is the best PDF I&#39;ve ever opened.</p><p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="0.772922022279349" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="600" id="doc_33616" scrolling="no" src="//www.scribd.com/embeds/181823840/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-2gjr3bqkhwvjqytzru78&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Here&#39;s a couple highlights from the FAQ:</p><p><strong>Q: How are the travel times determined?</strong></p><p>A: There are sensors in the roadways that track how fast or slow drivers are going. Really smart people created equations that automatically calculate travel times based on the sensor data.</p><p><strong>Q: What&#39;s the extension?</strong> A: The part of The Eisenhower (I-290) that runs between I-355 and I-294.</p><p><strong>Q: I always miss my road! How do I know when it&#39;s coming?</strong> A: I read travel times in the same order every single report. Most other traffic reporters in Chicago have an order they use as well. Find out what the road before yours is, and listen up! So enjoy and remember to thank Sarah next time you have the chance.</p><p><strong>PDF</strong>: <a href="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//Decoding-Chicago-Traffic-Reports1.pdf">Decoding Chicago Traffic Reports</a></p></p> Mon, 04 Oct 2010 13:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/jkaufmann/2010/10/sarah-jindra-decoding-chicagos-traffic-reports-faq/38715