Question For Chicago Peeps

It’s looking like we may be passing through Chicago with a little too much proximity to rush hour. Back home in Colosse, you can avoid the worst of it by taking a loop around the city. Is there any option in Chicago that would allow us to avoid the worst of the traffic by bypassing the city (or the city’s core)?

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.


  1. You’re coming in on the 90, right? AFAIK you’ve got three options: the outer ring, the inner ring, or just plow through the Loop like a linebacker. All of them take about equivalent amounts of time based on experience Mrs. Likko and I accumulated during our time in Tennessee when we drove to visit family in Wisconsin.

    Outer loop: take the Veteran’s Tollway (I-355) to the 80 east. It’s a longer, rather dull drive, but I’ve never had any traffic when I’ve circled Chicago this way.

    Inner loop: Stay on the 90 until you get to the Tri-State Tollway (I-294). That merges with the 80 also. Shorter travel, but you’re more likely to get backups around the interchanges, especially the Eisenhower.

    Or, plow on through on the Ryan Expressway (I-90). Takes you straight through downtown. Guaranteed traffic. But a shorter distance to travel by far.

    Like I say, I think it’s all kind of a wash when you’re dealing with rush hour timing. If I’m following you right, maybe you want to stop a little early that day somewhere south of Madison and avoid the craziness altogether? Get some cheese curds and frozen custard at Culver’s, and worry about working them off your waistlines later!

    • if your coming from Madison another option is to take from Rockford to Peru then take 80

  2. Stay off I-90 just now, though you may not be able to avoid it. Roughly 40-50 miles of construction are underway at present in the western suburbs. Just got back from a funeral down there.

    Daily lane closure report

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