I Forgot How Bad Chicago Traffic Can Be

I Forgot How Bad Chicago Traffic Can Be

So Saturday morning I went to the NHL Draft and fan fest at the United Center and then had lunch in Lincoln Park.

Then came time for the fun drive home back to eastern Will County early in the afternoon, follow on me on this okay?

I got on Lake Shore Drive (LSD), at North Avenue (yes I was closer to LSD than I-94), and came southbound, got caught in Oak Street beach traffic and the turn there before Chicago Ave then it opened up a little.

Stop & go all the way south to Roosevelt and then I realized that the right lanes to go onto the Stevenson (I-55), were all backed up to due ongoing construction adjacent to McCormick Place, that's what is pictured above.

No worries, just stay on LSD and come off and go west on 31st Street and catch the “Ryan” (I 94), but no a lot of people got that idea and there was some “beach event” at McCormick Place so people were getting off to park.

AND there was the sold out Sox game (honoring Mark Buehlre), at 1:05 P.M. and so there would be congestion once you get west of State street at 31st backing up from 35th Street (Guaranteed Rate Field), and the police control traffic down by the “red” (preferred), parking lots.

So after 20 or so minutes (of waiting on the 31st Street off ramp), I came up the exit ramp at 31st only to jump back down on southbound LSD (and yes the next exit at Oakwood was backed up too), so kept going southbound to 57th Street.

Dang, signs up saying on Stony Island the Metra electric crossing tracks at 71st (near my old grade school Paul Revere), are closed for repairs.

Again no worries, I thought in my head I’ll just take 57th south to Cornell Drive and then over to the “Midway” (Midway Plaisance), and then westbound to “Cottage” (Cottage Grove Ave), and take 71st Street westbound to the “Ryan”.

Funny enough the detour sign on Cornell Drive stated that was the official detour and no problems, the Midway always flies (unless something is going on at U of C and it was clear), and get to Cottage right by where I was born (at the old “Lying In” hospital), at 58th & Maryland.

Swing south down Cottage and man they redid 63rd at the Green Line (it’s been 15 years since I drove past there), nice new stores, train station, impressive.

Kept down Cottage to 71st, right by Third District (Grand Crossing), for the Chicago Police Department and wow all the old buildings are torn down along 71st and South Chicago Ave, just vacant lots.

Speaking of vacant lots as I came westbound down 71st a lot more vacant lots.

My grandparents used to live at 72nd at Eberhart in Park Manor back in the 70’s & 80’s, it was never like that.

I got caught at the light at “King” (Dr. Martin Luther King Drive), and I see a large funeral procession in front of “Rayners”, A.A. Rayner the iconic funeral home at 71st at Calumet across the street from my childhood church and school (St. Columbanus), now Augustus Tolton Academy.

So with 71st blocked I turn south bound down Calumet and oh man are the pot holes bad on Calumet, yet (as always), people speed down there.

Wow again Park Manor never had side streets this bad back in the day and yes funeral traffic was lining up on Calumet (up to the park near (72nd Street), as well as on 71st but I was able to get by.

Took Calumet all the way to 75th Street and then back west bound to try and catch the “Ryan” again, passed by the iconic Lem’s BBQ, almost stopped in for a link (Italian sausage), meal.

Finally, finally made the light to get on Lafayette Ave south bound and dropped down on the Ryan at 76th Street and headed home.

Who ever said “Summer in the city and the living is easy”, was a liar who never drove through Chicago construction traffic.

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