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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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November 25, 2014

Public input on IL Route 53/120 corridor land use plan

Thanks to all that participated in the IL Route 53/120 Corridor Land Use Plan open houses in Grayslake and Lake Zurich this November. Read More About Public input on IL Route 53/120 corridor land use plan
November 7, 2014

Voters consider state and local land use transportation funding measures

Several states considered ballot measures on land use and transportation funding on Election Day. Read More About Voters consider state and local land use transportation funding measures
October 9, 2014

GO TO 2040 updated in accordance with federal law

Please visit www.cmap.illinois.gov/2040 for all GO TO 2040 plan materials. Read More About GO TO 2040 updated in accordance with federal law
October 1, 2014

Federal Freight and Transportation Action Roundup

This year has seen increased Congressional interest in freight and transportation, including two bills, two proposals, and a report on P3s. Read More About Federal Freight and Transportation Action Roundup
July 30, 2014

Senate Passes Transportation Reauthorization Bill Extension

The version passed by the Senate would provide $8.1 billion in transfers to the Highway Trust Fund to extend the federal transportation program through December 19, 2014 Read More About Senate Passes Transportation Reauthorization Bill Extension
July 25, 2014

New Recommendations for National Strategic Freight Plan

In June 2014, the National Freight Advisory Committee submitted a report on improving the freight system to U.S. DOT. Read More About New Recommendations for National Strategic Freight Plan
July 22, 2014

White House Announces Build America Investment Initiative

The initiative will focus on innovative financing via collaboration between the private sector and state and local governments on public-private partnerships. Read More About White House Announces Build America Investment Initiative
July 22, 2014

Improved GO TO 2040 Case Study Library

Completed Local Technical Assistance projects and GO TO 2040-related work are highlighted in a new interactive map. Read More About Improved GO TO 2040 Case Study Library
July 15, 2014

Community planning proposals

CMAP received 104 applications were submitted by 77 different applicants to the LTA program. Read More About Community planning proposals
July 10, 2014

U.S. House Committee Marks Up Transportation Bill Extension

The Highway and Transportation Funding Act would provide $10.9 billion in transfers to the Highway Trust Fund. Read More About U.S. House Committee Marks Up Transportation Bill Extension
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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.  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)

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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