Saturday, December 02, 2006

Chicago Snow Traffic


Traffic in Chicago is horrendous. Many of the blog readers (the few, the brave) live in cities where they have a lot of traffic, but unless you live in NYC or LA I don't think that you can fully comprehend how horrible Chicago traffic has become.

We recently had our first big snowstorm of the year. It was supposed to be huge, up to a foot of snow, but it really wasn't that bad downtown. However, traffic was still amazingly snarled up. In a slightly worse storm last year travel times got up to the four hour mark out to the suburbs. Our current storm was bad enough that the weather forecasters basically said "if you aren't in your car already, don't even bother driving". Luckily, many of my co-workers take the Metra trains or the "L", so they were able to get through the weather. I walk, so I just threw a change of clothes in my gym bag and stumbled through the non-shoveled sidewalks to work.

In Chicago we are lucky that many people can take the train, but every year our roads move closer to gridlock. These types of storms show how fragile the entire system has become. Since our politicians don't have any (decent) plans to make things better and no spine to execute even their poor plans, it is just going to get worse.

For us in River North it just helps our property values; every storm lets people know the horrible cost of our sprawl; living close to work is a blessing, if you don't have kids or can afford the astronomical private school rates.

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