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Old 11-05-2011, 09:22 PM
14 posts, read 18,892 times
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Hi, guys. I've lived and worked only on the South side of Chicago my whole life. However, I recently graduated from college and have a potential job offer up in Niles. I basically live in downtown Chicago right now and would like to continue living here. From the looks of it, the I90/94 (Kennedy) seems to be the expressway with the most direct route.

The thing is I've been checking out traffic reports in the morning for it lately. It usually looks awful. Would anyone know how long it would take to drive from downtown to Niles on average most days? If it's absolutely terrible, any advice on alternative routes, shortcuts, side streets, etc? Thanks.
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:37 PM
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Have you completely ruled out the possibility of taking public transit?
The CTA Blue Line 'L' will take you out in that direction without having to worry about traffic.

Niles is a big place. It would be helpful if you could give us at least a major intersection. From the Jefferson Park station bus Routes 85A, 225, and 226 serve parts of Niles. From the Harlem station, 90N and 423 serve other parts. From the Cumberland station, 290 and 241 serve yet other parts. Niles is pretty well covered from a transit perspective. If driving concerns you, that does give you the option to bypass it all.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:24 PM
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The job would pretty much be near the intersection of Oakton St. and Lehigh Ave. I'm not too familiar with the area so all I have is google maps to go on for now.

I'd really prefer to stay away from public transportation unless there happens to be a train stop very very close to it. Especially with winter coming up, I'd rather not wait out in the cold. Thanks for the response, btw .
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Old 11-06-2011, 02:23 PM
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There is a metra stop in the area at

8501 Lehigh Ave, Morton Grove which is a little over 1/2 mile from that intersection.

Not great, but walkable if you wanted to do it.
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Old 11-06-2011, 02:35 PM
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I tend to agree that this is not an ideal commute via public transit.

Fortunately Niles does tie into the Chicago street grid pretty seamlessly -- if you absolutely need to get off the Kennedy you can use surface streets to get to your destination, now the reality is that during rush hour you probably will not do much better than a total trip averrage speed of 20mph, so you are really trading time at stop lights, waiting for trains and behind a bus for time spent in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

The trick is to use aids like real time traffic via the Internet or other data sources to determine where / when it makes sense to stay on the expressway vs hoping over to surface streets...
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Old 11-06-2011, 03:39 PM
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You will Shurely be thinking about the train after a snowstorm drags the trip out to an hour.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:04 PM
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Okay, I understand. But just in case it ever comes in handy, the 226 Oakton bus runs directly from that intersection to the Jefferson Park train station.
Pace Bus - Route 226 - Oakton Street
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:37 PM
14 posts, read 18,892 times
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I'll definitely keep those public transportation alternatives in mind. Thanks for the feedback, guys.

Hypothetically, if I decided to bite the bullet and just drive all the way over there, how much time am I looking at on average? The Kennedy seems to always be in the red whenever I look at morning traffic reports but I don't necessarily know how bad that is time-wise for my specific route. I'm even wondering if just taking the streets all the way over there would be an improvement or not. Sorry if I sound like a newbie.
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:57 PM
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I find this website is usually pretty accurate for a quick glance at travel times:

Travel Times
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