Lucky to Have a Transit System

The Chicago Tribune’s Richard Wronski just published a piece that gives Chicago a dubious honor and gives us all more proof that the RTA region’s infamous traffic is in fact as bad as they say.  The good news:  The RTA region’s transit system is the second largest in the country by passenger miles traveled, behind only New York, and the third largest in the country by ridership, behind New York and Los Angeles.  In our region, you have a choice.  An excerpt of the Tribune article is below:

As every proud Chicagoan can attest, the city bristles at being considered second-best. So some might give a quiet cheer — and a “knew-it-all-along” shrug — at a new study Monday ranking the Kennedy Expressway as the nation’s No. 1 traffic bottleneck.

The 12-mile stretch of Interstate 90 from south of the Byrne Interchange at I-290 to northwest of the Edens junction (I-94) costs motorists more delay than any other stretch in the nation, according to the report by the American Highway Users Alliance.

The chronic backups on the Kennedy cost motorists 16.9 million hours worth of time, equivalent to $418 million in wasted time, in 2014, according to the study titled “Unclogging America’s Arteries.”

Furthermore, more than 6.3 million gallons of fuel is wasted there while cars idle or crawl in traffic. If the Kennedy bottleneck were fixed, carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced by 133 million pounds annually, the study found.

The study area extended from Roosevelt Road on the south to Nagle Avenue on the north.

The study comes just as Congress faces a Dec. 4 deadline to come up with legislation to provide federal highway spending.

It’s not the first time, however, that the Kennedy and Byrne interchange have been ranked among the nation’s worst-congested traffic spots.