Lake County Motorist

Suburban Chicagoland commuter and motorist weblog

Playing catch-up

Before we begin, let’s get caught up on a few Lake County Transportation topics.

Tri-State Rebuild and Widen: Trucking right along, although I can’t resist asking “Are we there yet?” about the completion date. The northbound express lane recently disappeared and there are three all-access northbound lanes now.

Route 120: The bypass seems to be the thing. Volozen shares info from the Daily Herald: Consensus Reached on 120 Vision. Route 120 Corridor Planning Council has the details in their October 16 press release.

Route 53: Aside from the “yes” vote registered on the 2009 referendum, I haven’t heard much else about 53. Note that the referendum’s passage didn’t mean 53 was going to happen any time soon, but Lake County voters have made their opinions known. Let me know when the earth movers show up.

Construction: There’s quite a bit of it. Methinks federal stimulus money is spurring construction jobs and roadwork-induced commuter headaches well into late fall/early winter this year. Hopefully a bit of short-term motorist pain will give way to long-term motorist relief, at least until the housing market picks up and population increases.  Lake County Passage’s text-only Mobile web page provides a quick glance of what’s underway. Commuters are especially delayed by the various projects around Rt. 22, which coupled with limited escape routing through woodsy burbs makes this road a much-groaned-about topic.

Motorist links for the Road Week Ahead:

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Filed under: Commuting, Congestion Relief, I-94, , ,

48 roadwork projects get greenlighted in Lake County

Lake County is kicking 48 roadwork projects into gear. Funding will come from the quarter-cent transportation tax approved during the mass transit “doomsday” crisis of Winter ’08. Included are several key projects County residents have been eagerly anticipating. A few thoughts on those with which I am familiar:

1) Widening of Route 21 from 137 to Route 120 in Libertyville and Gurnee 

This is a major southbound bottleneck during the morning commute. Glad to see it’s on the list.

2) Widening of Routes 60, 60/83 and 45 in the Mundelein and Vernon Hills area

Yes! What a bottleneck. Route 68/83 even made my list of the ten worst Lake County backups (as the “Route 83 Rather-Not”).

3) Extension of Cedar Lake Road from Route 120 to Route 60 in Round Lake

This appears to have been the plan for a while, so let’s go for it!

4) Widening of Delany Road from Tanahill Drive to York House Road

The Delaney morning delay is awful, and the left-turn signal onto U.S. Route 41 never seems to last long enough. Widening is great, but can something be done about this intersection?

5) Widening of Washington Street from Hunt Club Road to Cemetery Road in Gurnee

Also much needed. Washington needs all the capacity it can get.

I haven’t experienced rush hour at the “Millburn Strangler” on Route 45, but having driven in the area I can understand how cars could stack up there.

6) Widening of Washington Street from Lake Street to Hainesville Road in Grayslake

Currently, traffic narrows from two lanes to one west of Lake Street, right before reaching the Metra tracks and Washington Street Metra station. It’s an evening commute bottleneck.

Projects about which I’m not so sure:

Intersection expansion and improvement at Wadsworth Road and Route 41 in Wadsworth. This one can be congested westbound during the morning rush if a train interferes, but there are much more congested intersections than this one; how’d it make the list?

Not sure if an underpass at Fairfield, Route 134 and the Metra tracks in Round Lake is as traffic-essential as the other projects.

The News Swami has a witty take on the whole mess of affairs, along with suggestions as to what projects should be added to the list. I heard a rumor that the repaving of the dark side of the moon – I mean, Grand Avenue near Gurnee Mills – has been given a “go”, but haven’t a link to share to prove it.

Filed under: Congestion Relief, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The ten worst traffic backups in Lake County

Sometimes it can feel as if all of Lake County is one gridlocked, bottlenecked, backed-up road, but everything is relative. There are backups, and there are eye-rolling, engine-temperature-rising, steering-wheel-slapping brake sessions to set watches by. Year-round jam spots, not caused by temporary road construction, frequent enough to include in navigation directions: “Make a right on 83 to avoid the Route 60 traffic jam”.

From Deerfield to Mundelein, these are ten of the worst.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Congestion Relief, , , , , , , , , ,

Getting the roundabout on Route 120

Wednesday night’s Route 120 Land Use Planning Workshop was held after rush hour, all the better for westbound motorists to get a feel for the issue at hand: figuring out how to get all those people where they need to be, without damaging the community in the process.

As someone who had only seen scraps of information about the Route 120 bypass until [somewhat] recently, I was excited that progress was being made and information being shared.

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Filed under: Urban Planning, , , , , , , , , ,

Transportation is key in 2008 Strategic Plan

As previously noted, the Lake County Community Forums begin this week. The 2008 Strategic Plan, available on the county’s website, addresses the four strategic initiatives for near-future focus: transportation, drinking water, criminal justice and economic development. The Plan will likely provide inspiration for forum discussions.

Keeping with this blog’s commuter and motorist bent, here’s a recap of the transportation plan “as I read it”.

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Filed under: Urban Planning, , , , ,

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