Chi-town’s gridlock is USA’s worst and that’s no bull

CHICAGO — If it’s called the Windy City, it’s not because your trucks move like the breeze when they’re passing through town.

In fact, new research shows that during morning and evening rush hour, traffic along I-90 near Chicago roars along at a breakneck 23 mph (that’s 37.1 km/h), earning the city the dubious honor of having the worst expressway congestion in the U.S. of A.

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have just released a study called 2009 Bottleneck Analysis of 100 Freight Significant Highway Locations.

The researchers use data from trucking companies’ tracking software to measure congestion at 100 truck-oriented locations across America.

Then the researchers assigned a severity ranking to each of the intersections, showing average speeds traffic can move through and at what time of day it’s at its worst.

While the general impact of congestion on freight is most significant during am and pm peak travel times at most of the locations, there are several areas where highway traffic moves slower than the posted limits 24 hours a day.

Chicago gets top (or bottom, depending on how you look at it) marks at two I-90 intersections.

The I-95 in Fort Lee, N.J.; the I-35 in Austin, Tex.; and the I-285 in Atlanta round up the rest of the worst gridlocked highways.

There are also a few locations believe it or not that have little or no congestion, such as intersections along the I-35 in San Antonio and I-85 in North Carolina.

To see the full report for yourself, (especially to find those elusive "no-gridlock" routes, click here.

Even better, if you want to add a location that you think should be monitored, click here.

ATRI says the bottleneck research will be an ongoing project.

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.