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Old 05-17-2007, 06:52 PM
1 posts, read 5,092 times
Reputation: 10


I know there's a lot of threads along these lines but when I searched I couldn't find a specific answer to my question, hoping one of you can help.

My wife and I both work in the Loop and have a baby in a daycare there that we really like. It is time to move to a bigger place though and we are looking at Oak Park, Forest Park, Brookfield etc. Basically, whichever location we choose it's looking like our daily drive will be from 290/Harlem to the Loop. Give or take an exit. Arriving in the Loop at 8am, leaving at 5pm.

So, any estimates on what that drive time would be? I've heard it's brutal but it's not like it's far, only about 12 miles or so. Are there any other cunning routes, like Roosevelt maybe?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-17-2007, 07:53 PM
Location: South Side
4,157 posts, read 9,949,429 times
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There's no way to avoid a jam trying to get in the Loop at 8 am. Take the Metra train or the el. If you must drive, the radio gives the commuting time every 10 minutes. If 1-290 (the Ike) is jammed, try North avenue or Roosevelt on the south. Neither will be much better, tho'. My best estimate is 30" for the eight or so miles in to the loop.
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Old 05-18-2007, 07:07 AM
Location: Chicago
108 posts, read 480,400 times
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It's one of the worst expressways I've ever been on once you get west of Austin. It was even at a traffic jam on Saturday night at 11pm, that should give you some indication of what your in for. Roosevelt is a good alternate route for the heavy congested areas, and I think you could cut up Austin or Cicero and not have to be in any of the not so nice areas that are in between Oak Park and the west loop.

but what do i know, i live and work in the western suburbs...
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Old 05-24-2007, 10:34 PM
2,297 posts, read 5,753,864 times
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Don't even think about driving. You must take Metra or the El.
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Old 05-27-2007, 07:45 PM
7 posts, read 33,527 times
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I do this drive daily from Oak Park. It's really NOT BAD. Not sure what the above people are referring to. You have to get on at Austin and you will be fine. I leave at 7:45 and get there at 8:05 latest daily. Been doing this for years. It's very consistant too, give or take 10 minutes.

It actually takes me longer to take the "L", which is why I opted to drive instead. Trust me, I do this daily!

I would agree that anywhere before Austin is horrible, but as long as you get on 290 at Austin you are smooth sailing!!!!
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Old 05-28-2007, 04:40 PM
Location: Near West Burbs, IL
622 posts, read 2,501,957 times
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I make that drive a few times a week anywhere between 6:15-7:15. First obstacle is the entrance ramp from harlem which is usually backed up quite a bit. you'll sit through 2-3 lights on average. When it's real bad I snake through Oak Park to get to Austin, but that takes time as well. Once you're on at Harlem, it's real slow until austin, then a bit slow before the slight curve around Cicero (amazing what a little curve in the road will do to people), then picks up once you get closer to western. Then it's backed up badly as of late near the kennedy/dan ryan interchange. This is because of the current dan ryan construction, hopefully that gets better after this year. All in all, brandon is pretty much on target to the travel time from austin. Not horrible in am.

What's much much worse is coming home. I can leave anywhere between 5:30 and 6:30 and it's pretty horrid no matter what. Usually 30 minutes from the beginning of the expressway to Harlem, but some days (especially fridays) can be 10-15 minutes longer. The part that I really hate is getting to the darn expressway. I work just north of the loop and it's brutal to get to the road.

Bottom line--if the metra train is an option, do it. I try to take it as much as I can during the week. The reduced stress, the walking to and from the train, and the occasional beer on the way home do wonders for one's psyche.
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