Parts of Chicago are difficult to get around. There is heavy traffic, and there may not be room to expand the roads.
On Oct. 20, a report discussed how the Illinois Department of Transportation is having to look for other solutions to reduce traffic congestions around Borman Expressway. The area has no more room for additional lanes, so there have to be alternatives to help reduce collisions and congestion.
Addressing the Borman Expressway
INDOT has taken steps forward in handling the challenges of the Borman Expressway. According to the report, there are now updated plans to address the 14-mile-long expressway running from Interstate 65 at the east to the state line on the west. The goal is to incorporate Transportation Systems and Management Operations, or TSMO, along the route. The plan is named “Flexroad.”
What’s the goal with Flexroad?
With Flexroad, the hope is to incorporate a number of solutions to help reduce the traffic congestion on the route. Right now, there are around 160,000 vehicles passing through the area each day. Of those vehicles, a quarter or more are large trucks.
Using the current road system, the plan is to combine a number of solutions to relieve congestion. There are plans to add a variable speed limit with the opportunity to change those limits during times of heavy traffic. There are work-zone management techniques that INDOT would like to add in. Adding signals to on-ramps and queue warnings may also help drivers decide to take alternative routes or join the expressway only when there is the space to do so safely.
Adding dynamic shoulder is another option that has been investigated. It’s believed that doing this would reduce commuters’ travel time by seven minutes overall. Adding variable speeds could reduce crashes related to congestion as well as travel times by around 5%.
This kind of adjustment is needed on a roadway where many people are hurt and killed annually. Changes are coming, but the public is still being asked to add their commentary.
In the meantime, know that this route is potentially dangerous. If you can take an alternative route, that may help you get to your destination more quickly and with a lower risk of an auto collision.