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Chicago rush hour traffic question for locals, IN to North Shore

Chicago rush hour traffic question for locals, IN to North Shore

Old Jul 2nd, 2010, 06:35 PM
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Chicago rush hour traffic question for locals, IN to North Shore

If a person has no other choice but to endure the late afternoon, weekday rush hour drive from Gary, IN to Northbrook, IL, as a general rule of thumb, is one better off opting for for I90/I94 north or I80/I294 north? Travel time is likely to be from, 3:30 to 5:30. Any wisdom from skilled navigators appreciated. Also, any current construction issues these days on these routes? Thanks in advance!
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Old Jul 3rd, 2010, 09:03 AM
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I've had to drive this during rush hour and I'll offer some ideas.

The best thing to do is check travel times before you leave and then decide which route is best.

Generally I go with the 90/94 route.

If the Skyway is a mess, you can stay on 80/94 to 94 north. It takes you out of the way, but avoids the Skyway. This is only if the Skyway is not moving.

I think getting through the city will be the hardest part. Generally, once you pass Irving Park Road (the junction) on 94, things start to clear up.

You can stay on 90/94 and just tough it out or try some alternatives that are not as straight forward...

Exit at Stony Island which will put you on the south side of Chicago. Take that north until you can cut east (around the Museum of Science and Industry).

Then take Lake Shore Drive North - take this all the way up to the north side of the city to Sheridan Road. Sheridan winds along the lake. Then take a street to the west to get to Northbrook, such as Willow.

I've done it both ways a number of times. They may get you there at the exact same time, but the Stony Island/LSD/Sheridan route generally keeps you moving - and it's an absolutely beautiful drive!! At least you'd have something nice to look at during your drive.

If you do go that route, just be sure to have GPS or really familiarize yourself with the route as Sheridan does a bit of winding that can be confusing to a novice.

Good luck!
Gina817 is offline  
Old Jul 3rd, 2010, 10:10 AM
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What are you driving? It might be that you will be limited to taking only certain routes.

For example, trucks are prohibited on Lake Shore Drive. That also means pickups, vans and minivans with truck plates, with certain GVW, etc.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2010, 11:57 AM
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No commercial type vehicle. Family of four in mini-van, with some flexibility in schedule/itinerary. Thanks.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2010, 01:38 PM
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We live just north and east of Northbrook and (unfortunately) have to drive the drive you describe a LOT for hockey and tennis tournaments in IN and MI. I have found the 80 to 294 North route to be a bit better than going thru the city. It seems to move better, and the construction on 294 from 80 interchange north is complete. Guess it depends if you want to drive thru the city or not. The LSD/Sheridan Road option mentioned is beautiful and a totally different view(lakefront) than other options -- 90/94 and you'll drive thru the west part of the loop and have a 'view' of downtown. Of course 294 will hit you w/tolls (don't know if you have an iPass/similar auto-toll-paying device in your car?) and take you past O'Hare traffic. Depending on what area of Northbrook you're headed to -- 94 might be better/worse than 294. East/west travel on Willow & Lake Cooke & Dundee can be rough during Friday rush, too. If your destination is near 294, might be best to go that route, and if you're headed to east Northbrook, (i.e., near The Glen/Kraft 94 might end up being quicker...?) Hope this helps a bit!
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