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Crosstown Traffic

By Matt Wood in Miscellaneous on Feb 21, 2007 1:17PM

Didn't someone yesterday just say it's a good thing Papa Daley never built the fabled Crosstown Expressway? Well, Mike Madigan must have been reading, and he disagrees. The Illinois House Speaker brought up the idea again yesterday to the surprise of many, including Governor Rod. Madigan's version of the Crosstown Expressway would be a toll road running from the Kennedy/Edens junction in the north, along Cicero Avenue to 75th Street, then cutting east to the Dan Ryan. It would form an inner expressway ring complementing the Tri-State Tollway, er, I-294, um, 80/90/294, ah screw it.

chicagoist_200702_simcity.jpegThe Crosstown was a pet project of Mayor Richard J. Daley, who envisioned it as a way to ease gridlock by shunting heavy truck traffic away from downtown. His plans were ultimately shot down by concerns over the number of homes and businesses it would displace. Madigan hopes to overcome these objections by proposing construction along railroad lines near Cicero. It's like a giant, real-world version of SimCity, except that politicians can't ignore real-world residents when they complain about a hasty demolition project. Oh, wait.

The current Mayor Daley likes the idea because it will give him another trophy to slap his name all over if Chicago gets the Olympics in 2016 (you really don't think he's going to lose next week, do you?). The new highway will need a name, of course. Crosstown seems so generic, so help us start handicapping other options in the comments. The Richard J. Daley Expressway has 2:1 odds right now.

SimCity screenshot from MobyGames.