Lake County Motorist

Suburban Chicagoland commuter and motorist weblog

It came from the sky

News flash: It’s January in Chicagoland. Snow fell out of the sky last night and landed on surfaces, including the roads. It fell and fell throughout the night, and hours later when the sun rose over the morning commuters……it was still there, as if nobody anticipated that such a thing could happen here and now.

WBBM 780‘s amiable traffic reporter Bart Shore referred to this morning’s commute as the worst he’d seen in a while. I scoffed (Word of the Week) at Bart’s assessment, until I left home and found myself staring at miles of taillights on eastbound Route 60.

Sadly, that was the speediest part of my commute. I’m kidding, somewhat. When I finally pulled into the company parking lot nearly two hours later, my sense of humor was gone.

Two-lane county roads wore thin coats of snow and ice at 7:30 this morning. Were trucks not out plowing and salting through the night, as snow fell out of the sky and landed on surfaces including the roads? Poor road conditions only heighten headaches on traffic-choked routes already suffering under the weight of Lake County’s population explosion, of which I am part of the “problem”.

As evidenced from my reaction to Bart, I didn’t think it would be so bad out there until I got out there. I wonder if our transportation team thought the same?


Footnote: In all fairness, judging by several reports the traffic was bad all over Chicagoland, not just in Lake County. But my first-hand experience was with Lake County roads, so that’s what I covered.

Filed under: Road Conditions, ,

Kudos and criticisms for a snow-dusted commute

A dusting of snow fell across the northern suburbs tonight, just in time for evening rush. Hooray! Not really.

Milwaukee Road north of Half-Day was a mess. There was just enough snow to obscure lane markings and left-turn lanes (glad you finally found it, anonymous Altima that veered to the left without using turn signals) while the snow drifted about. Road salt? What road salt? I was afraid to slam on my brakes lest the anti-locks be the only thing keeping me from landing in the backseat of Anonymous Altima. -1 IDOT.

On the other hand, Townline Road (Route 60) was salted and grippy, which my tires loved. +1 IDOT.

Total: 0.

Maybe – probably – it’s all a matter of timing. Maybe three salt trucks were doing their thing half a mile behind me on Milwaukee. I saw two salt trucks heading south as I drove further north. I hope one of them was headed to Milwaukee Avenue.

Filed under: Road Conditions, , , ,

Back to work

I can tell that people are heading back to work after holiday vacations because the northbound Tri-State traffic was awful this evening. The southbound drive wasn’t too bad this morning, so I was lulled into a false sense of traffic security and thought to myself “why not take the tollway home instead of the surface streets?”

After several minutes of stop-and-go traffic worsened by a multi-car accident off to the side at Half-Day Road, I exited at Route 60 and decided to take my chances with it and Route 45. Ahh, that route was much better and its traffic moved rather smoothly.

And to think: the full construction workload resumes soon, so things will only get slower on the Tri-State. For me, “back to work” means back to avoiding the Tri-State during rush hour.

Filed under: Commuting, I-94, , ,

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