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Roads

Metropolitan Chicago needs a coordinated approach to reducing the congestion that costs the region billions each year. Roads are designed to efficiently transport people and goods safely to and from jobs, markets, and recreation. They are the fundamental piece and most heavily used part of the transportation system in the region. 

Roads Updates

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May 12, 2015  

Infrastructure Week 2015

May 11-15, 2015, marks the third annual Infrastructure Week , which features events and advocates from across business, labor, and public policy highlighting the importance of infrastructure... Read More About Infrastructure Week 2015
May 5, 2015  

2016 joint call for planning projects

CMAP, the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), and the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) released a call for local projects across metropolitan Chicago through the RTA ... Read More About 2016 joint call for planning projects
April 27, 2015  

Illinois Department of Transportation announces infrastructure tour

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has announced an infrastructure listening tour to "start a statewide conversation that lays the groundwork for a realistic, sustainable plan... Read More About Illinois Department of Transportation announces infrastructure tour
April 21, 2015  

Good Roads Day

On April 15, 2015, Illinois marked the 101 st anniversary of its inaugural Good Roads Day .  In mid-April 1914, Governor Edward F. Dunne "started the herculean task of pulling Illinois... Read More About Good Roads Day
April 7, 2015  

CMAQ/TAP project applications review

The call for projects for the FFY 2016-2020 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program and FFY 2015-2016 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) has closed, and... Read More About CMAQ/TAP project applications review
April 7, 2015  

U.S. Department of Transportation announces TIGER grant funding

Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) announced that $500 million will be made available through the seventh round of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic... Read More About U.S. Department of Transportation announces TIGER grant funding
February 20, 2015  

CREATE Program Status Check

New Policy Update provides background information on the CREATE program, including its project portfolio, implementation status, and performance impacts. Read More About CREATE Program Status Check
February 20, 2015  

Rail Crossing Delays in Metropolitan Chicago

The region's dense rail network plays a key role in moving both goods and passengers, but imposes costs on local communities. A New Policy Update focuses on rail crossing delays. Read More About Rail Crossing Delays in Metropolitan Chicago
February 12, 2015  

Obama Administration Releases Transportation Reauthorization Proposal

The White House proposed a $478 billion, six-year transportation reauthorization program as part of its FY16 budget request. Read More About Obama Administration Releases Transportation Reauthorization Proposal
January 28, 2015  

Reasonably Expected Revenues for the Regional Transportation System

While transportation is still a significant strength of northeastern Illinois, the region must enhance its existing funding streams and implement new revenue sources to support investments in the... Read More About Reasonably Expected Revenues for the Regional Transportation System
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The Chicago region is consistently ranked as one of the most congested regions in the United States. Congestion costs billions of dollars annually in wasted time and fuel, decreased productivity, inefficient freight movements, and pollution. The region needs to invest strategically in proven solutions, such as congestion pricing or adaptive signal control (ASCT), to help alleviate congestion experienced on roadways. The federally required Congestion Management Process (CMP) serves as the regions guide to comprehensively address congestion that users experience on the transportation system. With transportation funding dwindling, the maintenance and modernization of the road network is a concern for the region. Roads deteriorate over time due to damage from vehicles and the environment and need to be continually maintained. The region needs to make funding road maintenance and modernization a priority to maintain a modern and safe road network in the region.

Related Activities

Congestion Pricing. CMAP believes the implementation of express toll lanes will reduce congestion that costs drivers time, money, and patience. Building expressway capacity is critical to handle our traffic, but construction cannot relieve congestion completely, especially with growth in traffic over time. A new strategy is needed, one that gives drivers the option to avoid congestion.  

Conformity Analysis.  As part of the transportation planning and programming process, CMAP staff evaluates the impact of proposed transportation activities on the region's air quality. This evaluation, called a conformity analysis, is submitted to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for their review before a long-range regional transportation plan or Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is approved.

Congestion Management Process.  CMAP's regional congestion management process helps advance the quality of life and mobility goals described in GO TO 2040.  It requires a careful investigation of strategies that either directly reduce congestion or mitigate its effects by addressing related issues, such as air quality. From this, specific strategies can be selected and implemented in order to reach long term objectives set out by CMAP. 

Roadway Functional Classification.  Local governments can use roadway functional classification to provide a direct link between transportation and land use. Local comprehensive plans should consider the interaction between adjacent land use and transportation facilities by establishing policies that link access to property, zoning, and development density to the functional classification of area roadways. A well-defined functional classification system in combination with designated truck routes can also be used to direct freight movements to appropriate facilities.

Road Resources

GO TO 2040. The comprehensive plan's Regional Mobility chapter contains recommendations pertaining to the regional transportation system.

Transportation Data.  CMAP prepares data-driven estimates of future traffic patterns at a variety of scales in support of regional transportation planning and capital programming activities. These projections are supported by a substantial regional travel demand modeling system a large-scale travel survey program.   

Expressway Atlas - 2014.  CMAP has prepared a 2014 update to the popular Expressway Atlas.  The desktop reference for 2014 includes summaries of vehicles miles traveled (VMT) by expressway.  In addition, area-wide trend data is presented.  Finally, the Atlas includes traffic flow graphics for the entire IDOT Expressway System equipped with counting devices.  These graphics provide link-by-link and ramp-by-ramp counts using highly detailed corridor-level drawings.  

2014 Expressway Atlas (full document, pdf format, 6.4 MB)

Expressway Atlas - 2012.  CMAP has prepared a 2012 Expressway Atlas.  The atlas provides a desktop reference of Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) volumes and other traffic system statistics and graphics for northeastern Illinois.  This baseline data is useful for transportation system planning, but it also includes volume trends by location going back to 1984.

2012 Expressway Atlas (full document, pdf, 25MB)
2012 Expressway Atlas Part 1, Introduction, Methods, and System Data (pdf, 5 MB)
2012 Expressway Atlas Part 2, Daily and Monthly Factors, AADT Tables, Hourly Percent Tables (pdf, 22 MB)
2012 Expressway Atlas Part 3, Traffic Flow Graphics (pdf, 4 MB)

Visualizations Explore the Metropolitan Chicago Transportation Network.  Interactive mobility visualizations allow users to explore data on metropolitan Chicago's transportation system, including road, transit, and freight networks, which drive our regional economy.  

More About Roads

The road network is the region's most utilized transportation asset, moving people and goods to and from just about every destination in the region. Roads are operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and affect nearly every mode of transportation. Programming and planning for our region's road network should consider all transportation modes that directly use the road network including automobile, freight, transit, bicycle, and pedestrians. Users of the region's road network face many headaches on a daily basis including congestion and maintenance and operations issues, and safety concerns. The Chicago region needs to invest strategically to create and maintain a safe, efficient and seamless road network.

The Chicago region has one of the most congested road networks in the country. Congestion costs the Chicago region billions of dollars annually in wasted time and fuel, decreased productivity, inefficient freight movements, and pollution. Road users experience two types of congestion, recurring and non-recurring.

Recurring congestion is congestion that routinely occurs overtime and is usually caused by a lack of roadway capacity. Non-recurring congestion is congestion that does not routinely occur and is caused by a traffic incident, inclement weather, construction zone, or special events. Non-recurring congestion is especially frustrating to roadway users because of the unanticipated increase in travel time. In order for the region to reduce recurring and non-recurring congestion experienced on the road network, it will need to identify and invest in proven congestion solutions such as congestion pricing, Adaptive Signal Control (ASCT), or Active Corridor Management (ACM).

The region needs to maintain the road network at an acceptable quality in order to have a safe, well-functioning roadway system. Roads deteriorate over time due to vehicle use and the environment. Properly maintained roads provides a better user experience and reduces vehicle operating costs, as there is a direct link between road condition and vehicle operating costs. A well maintained system also improves the safety of the road network. With transportation funding dwindling, the maintenance and modernization of the road network is a concern and should be a priority for the region.

The road network in the region is used by multiple modes of transportation, some more exposed then others, and creating a safe environment for all is a major public concern. Road safety should be considered throughout the entire programming and planning process to reduce the number of fatalities, injuries, and crashes on the region's road network. Improving safety and reducing the number of crashes will improve the reliability, reduce non-recurring congestion, and provide a better user experience for people traveling on our region's roads.

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