Traffic in Chicago, LA, Boston, and NYC – Why is the traffic going in the wrong direction?


                I would think that if it was 5:30 on a weekday, the traffic coming out of Chicago would be terrible, but not going into town. Wrong! Evidently in Chicago, no one works in the city.  I had to drive 22 miles from O’Hare to downtown Chicago for a consultant dinner on Tuesday night.  It took over an hour and a half to get to my destination.   There was no traffic leaving the city, it was all inbound.

                On Wednesday I had to drive to Northern Indiana, around Gary area.  I decided to leave really early, around 3pm to give me plenty of time.  This trip was 62 miles.  Once again, the traffic in the middle of the day took me 2.5 hours to get to Indiana.  The traffic going into town was a crawl the entire time.  Evidently no one works at all in Chicago.

                In comparison to LA, Chicago wins for terrible traffic.  However, I spent 6 months in Sherman Oaks, CA at the “busiest” intersection in the country, 405 and 101.  I recall standing on my balcony at 1am and seeing the never ending line of traffic.  The only good thing was traffic was always moving.  In LA you don’t quote miles ever…you state in hours.  My suggestion is Chicago should quote in 1/2 day, full day, or days.

                Boston is another odd city to drive.  Downtown is a maze of dead ends and one way streets.  No grid or blocks make any sense.  Going across town from Financial district to Kenmore the street do go in alphabetical order, that is the only thing that makes sense in my home town.  93N or 93S, forget it.  You’ll sit in traffic around the clock as the main highway into and out of the city.  The 90 is a straight shoot west and you’ll fly for the first 10 minutes.  As soon as you get a couple miles out of town, you’ll hit grid lock.  Shouldn’t it be the other way around?  And oh, if you see a sign for 95 or 495, just stay away.  Evidently everyone who works in Boston lives in New Hampshire.

                Finally, how can I not talk about NYC.  Well, how about this…don’t drive.  Don’t even think about it.  Take a car service, not a cab…a city car service.  Stay blocks away from your destination area, not miles.  And don’t fly into JFK if you have to go into the city.  What else is there to say…oh, how about take the train. 

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