Tag Archives: Eisenhower

What have we learned today with Big John and Ramblin’ Ray? (8-30-18)


Big John and Ramblin’ Ray recap today’s show with ‘What did we learn today?’ a segment where they comment on what they’ve learned from the show. As well as asking Executive Producer Tony Lossano, Technical Producer Michael Garay, and Associate Producer Kimberly Kaczmarek what they’ve learned. Today’s show covered Ray’s Facebook live on the incident on the Eisenhower Wednesday after the show, couples who drink together are happier together, and that tomorrows show will have Lauren Cohn and John Kass in for Big John and Ramblin’ Ray.

Plan to ease Eisenhower congestion calls for tolls, car pool lane

(CHICAGO) Drivers who want an express trip down the Eisenhower Expy. will have to join a carpool or pay a toll, according to the latest plans to expand and improve Chicago’s oldest and second busiest stretch of highway.

State transportation officials have unveiled a “High-Occupancy Toll” lane, in which drivers would have an average speed of 45 miles per hour — light speed compared to the current pace of traffic on the Ike (Interstate 290) during peak times, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

The $2.7 billion plan, which is not likely to see construction begin before 2020, also would add a lane in each direction between the key bottleneck span of I-290, between Mannheim Road and Austin Boulevard.

The “HOT” lane is key to providing reliable travel times on often-stalled stretches of the expressway, said Pete Harmet, the engineer heading the Eisenhower project. The lane would be open to cars carrying three or more passengers, buses and those willing to pay tolls that would rise and fall based on rush hours.

Traffic would move 56 percent faster in the HOT lanes and shave 25 percent of travel times in the three standard lanes, Harmet said.

“One of the key points is a reliable trip, a predictable trip,” Harmet said. “Right now, sometimes it can take a long time, and sometimes it can take longer.”

Similar carpool-toll lanes have been installed in California and Florida, where riders either register their cars as carpool vehicles or use a special transponder, like an I-PASS, to assess tolls while driving. Toll revenue would go toward maintenance and improvements on I-290, which has been toll-free since it opened in the 1950s, Harmet said.

Carpool-toll lanes have been successful at relieving congestion, but they are politically volatile proposals, said Joseph Schwieterman, director of the Chaddick Center for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University.

Drivers reflexively dislike the idea of paying tolls, and they hate watching cars zip past them in carpool lanes, Schwieterman said. But they don’t realize that the prospect of paying tolls and the incentive of carpooling reduces the overall number of cars on the road — and speeds up travel for everyone.

“It’s not an easy sell, even though the congestion problems are going to get worse,” Schwieterman said.

The Eisenhower is built in a “trough” in a densely populated area, so it is difficult to see how acquiring more land to expand the expressway could be politically palatable. Solutions that have been suggested, like building a double-decker highway, are costly and won’t necessarily alleviate long-term travel concerns. Reducing the number of cars on the expressway is likely the best option, Schwieterman said.

“It amazes me that people are willing to accept a dysfunctional Eisenhower, with no real plan to improve it,” he said.

The IDOT plan also would move left-side exits at Austin and Harlem that further slow traffic. It also includes an extension of the Blue Line’s Forest Park spur to Mannheim.

IDOT will release a draft environmental impact report on Dec. 30, and will submit a final draft sometime after a 45-day period for public comments and a pair of public hearings. A combination of state and federal funding would pay the cost of the $2.7 billion project, the largest on the expressway since massive renovations to the Hillside corridor in the early 2000s.

Will the Eisenhower Get Toll Lanes?

Illinois’ transportation chief says adding paid lanes is going so well on the Stevenson that the idea needs to spread.


The Eisenhower Expressway may become something else in a few years—a tollway, at least in part—if state transportation planners get their way.

Plans to add a couple of toll lanes to the Stevenson Expressway (Interstate 55) so far are going so well that his staff is considering “a similar concept” to ease congestion on other crowded highways “starting with the Eisenhower” (I-290), said Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn.

In a speech today at a City Club luncheon, Blankenhorn said the idea still is in its initial stages and will not proceed unless “a new revenue” source is found for a needed total reconstruction of the Ike from the Jane Byrne Interchange west to I-294. But with money tight, “We need to find ways to leverage private investment in our transportation system.”

Read the entire story here: Illinois eyes toll lanes for Eisenhower Expressway – Blogs On Politics – Crain’s Chicago Business

Police: Pedestrian fatally struck by car on Eisenhower

A man was fatally struck by a vehicle Monday night on the Eisenhower Expressway in Maywood. | Network Video Productions

(MAYWOOD) A man was fatally struck by a car Monday night on the Eisenhower Expressway in west suburban Maywood, police said.

He was struck about 10:30 p.m. in the westbound lanes of I-290 near 9th Avenue, according to Illinois State Police.

The man, whose exact age was not known, was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, where he was pronounced dead, police said. The Cook County medical examiner’s office could not immediately confirm the fatality.

The man driving the car was not injured, but was also taken to the hospital as a precaution, police said. No citations or charges have been issued in the crash.

It was not immediately known why the pedestrian was on the expressway as Illinois State Police investigate.

Paying for the Need for Speed

By Bill Cameron, WLS News

There’s a new idea to help move traffic faster on the expressways.

How would feel about paying a toll to use a faster lane on a freeway like the Stevenson or Eisenhower?

At the City Club, Illinois Tollway Chairman Bob Schillerstrom was talking up the idea.

“From everything we can hear people are very supportive of these.  If you wanted to come down here like I did today on the Eisenhower and you didn’t want to be late it would have been a very good investment for me to have a managed lane and also made me a little bit less worried about getting here in a timely fashion,” said Schillerstrom.  “So, managed lanes are on the very, you know, top of our list and you know hopefully, we can have some for you to try, on the Stevenson, in the near future.”

But there are bureaucratic roadblocks to clear, like the feds not wanting to let states start charging for the freeways they mostly paid for.

@ 2015 WLS News

Update: Baby delivered in car off the Eisenhower Expressway in Oak Park

                 Camila was born early Monday morning on the Eisenhower Expressway. | photo credit: West Suburban Medical Center 

(Oak Park)  After a woman gave birth in a car just off the Eisenhower Expressway early Monday with only her husband to aid in the delivery, she pressed the healthy infant to her chest for warmth until paramedics arrived.

Mother and infant, a baby girl weighing 8 pounds and 1 ounce, were both healthy Monday morning at West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

“Baby is doing fantastic, and mother is doing very well,” said Dr. Donald Reese, who cared for both at the hospital.

The birth occurred about 3:40 a.m. in the 900 block of South Austin. The baby’s father called 911, a Chicago Fire Department spokesman said.

The family did not want to be identified for now, according to a hospital spokeswoman. But they did release photos of the baby and her name, Camila.

Reese, who cut the umbilical cord and delivered the afterbirth when the woman arrived at the hospital via ambulance, said the the mother did everything right — some babies just move quicker than others.

“Labor is one of those amazing things in nature that one tdime it can take weeks and the next time it can take 30 minutes,” he said.

“The delivery went pretty quick, probably less than five minutes,” Reese said, adding that contractions began about 30 minutes earlier. “The baby was only a little cold, the mom did a wonderful job of keeping her warm from the delivery site to here.”

The mother had been heading to MacNeal Hospital, also in Oak Park, where she had received pre-natal care, but paramedics chose West Suburban Hospital because it was closer.

It was probably something the baby’s two older siblings, who were there, will never forget.

Reese said he sees the scenario about once a month and is always left wondering if the cars that babies are delivered in are spacious.

The mother, who’s in her 30s, speaks only Spanish. Her due date was Tuesday. She jokingly told Reese through a translator: “This is my last baby.”

© Copyright 2015 Sun-Times Media, LLC