Practical Strategies for Reducing Congestion and Increasing Mobility for Chicago

Chicago’s transportation network suffers from a failure to provide north-south routes to supply regional access that bypasses the downtown, a failure to address rising congestion and development in the northern region, and a failure to invest in essential road capacity. These deficiencies can be addressed by adding incremental capacity to the existing network by putting the right roadway capacity in the right places at the right times. Chicago needs an aggressive approach to re-examining the road network, which should include four critical dimensions: the addition of new capacity in key areas of the network; better management of the existing network, through Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technologies, including adaptive traffic control and improved signal coordination, ramp metering and congestion pricing; the addition of new roadways to create critical north-south routes that more efficiently address contemporary travel needs outside the city of Chicago, thereby filling in the “missing links”; and integrating transit into regional roadway network planning and programming.

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