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Old 06-28-2007, 11:21 AM
 
358 posts, read 837,254 times
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When driving on the Kennedy Expressway a few days ago, various signs gave an estimate in minutes how long it would take to reach a certain exit or area. One destination that was frequently listed as "the circle." Where/what is the circle? At first, I thought it was the Loop area, but I'd never heard the Loop referred to another name.

I don't live in Chicago, but since my daughter recently moved there, I'm sure I'll be seeing a lot more of the signs telling me how long it will take me to get there. Now, I just want to know what the circle is!
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Old 06-28-2007, 11:48 AM
NSH
 
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the circle is where 3 expressways converge downtown. The entrance and exit ramps converge in a huge mess of spaghetti, so instead of calling it a huge mess of spaghetti they call it "the circle"
It centers on Congress blvd and extends roughly from jefferson to halsted. The University of Illinois at Chicago is right here and is sometimes referred to as "circle campus"
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Old 06-28-2007, 12:06 PM
 
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Thank you very much!
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Old 06-28-2007, 03:02 PM
 
Location: South Side
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UIC, the University of Illinois at Chicago, was for years termed UICC, ie, the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle. They changed the designation because it was silly to have a college campus named after a nickname for an intersection, that nickname made up by radio traffic reporters. The intersection is also termed 'the spaghetti bowl' which is equally silly.

Traffic reports in Chicago are not for the faint of heart. When they say "twenty minutes out to the junction' only some members of the cognoscente can figure out what they are talking about.
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Old 06-29-2007, 01:35 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Actually the "full name" is the Circle Interchange. It's basically a way of measuring how long before you reach the heart of downtown. Here is a satellite image of it. Northbound is the Kennedy Expressway. Southbound is the Dan Ryan Expressway. Westbound is the Eisenhower Expressway. Eastbound is Congress Parkway, which takes you straight into the heart of the city's legal, government and financial district just on the other side of the river.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manigault View Post
Traffic reports in Chicago are not for the faint of heart. When they say "twenty minutes out to the junction' only some members of the cognoscente can figure out what they are talking about.
A relative recently visited. He heard a traffic report on the radio and was like, "my God, this report goes on for like, half an hour..." After a long, ponderous pause he asks, "do you have any idea what the hell she just said?" At least they tend to work counterclockwise so you have some idea when to expect your bit of road to be announced: start with Edens (sometimes LSD), Kennedy, Tri-State, Ike, Reagan, Stevenson, Dan Ryan, Bishop Ford, then I-65 if anything is going on there, then notable suburban crap. Sometimes they'll get to mentioning the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway, which as every area resident knows, goes to neither.

Last edited by Drover; 06-29-2007 at 01:48 AM..
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:40 PM
 
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You gotta love Chicago traffic. My 15 mile, suburb to suburb commute took 45 minutes this evening. Rush hour my ***. And half of that trip is on an expressway!
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Old 06-29-2007, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prairiestate View Post
You gotta love Chicago traffic. My 15 mile, suburb to suburb commute took 45 minutes this evening. Rush hour my ***. And half of that trip is on an expressway!
I actually couldn't believe my good luck today with regard to traffic. I made it from the Irving Park neighborhood to Plainfield in 45 minutes during the morning rush.
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Old 07-28-2007, 09:57 PM
 
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When it comes to the expressways, it's good to know the names. If you don't know what the "Edens", "Stevenson", and "Bishop Ford" are, you're lost.

Hit up 780 am for the best traffic. Traffic and weather on the eights, baby.
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Old 07-29-2007, 10:34 AM
 
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I've noticed that many people either know the expressways by name or number, and often not both.
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Old 07-29-2007, 04:19 PM
 
7,244 posts, read 13,140,801 times
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Let's do the rundown: (These are from memory, so I may have to edit later...)

The Edens is I-94 after the 'Junction', which is where 90 and 94 split apart at Montrose.

The Kennedy is I-90 from O'Hare to Downtown.

The Northwest (which I think is the same as the 'Elgin-O'hare', but they might be slightly different) is I-90 beyond O'Hare headed out to Rockford.

The Tri-State is I-294.

The Reagan (also known as the East-West) is I-88.

The Eisenhower (or 'Ike') is I-290.

The Stevenson is I-55.

The North-South tollway is I-355.

The Dan-Ryan is 90-94 below the Circle.

I-90 breaks off and becomes the Chicago Skyway (and eventually part of the "Indiana Toll Road")

The Dan-Ryan splits at 95th Street into I-57 (which doesn't really have a nickname) and the Bishop Ford (also I-94).

That's all of the expressways, I think. Then there's Lake Shore Drive, which runs along the lake and is wide and has controlled access, but isn't a proper expressway.

phew. Who needs a drink?
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