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Thread: Rally route planning-getting around Chicago

  1. #1
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    Question Rally route planning-getting around Chicago

    OK, sports fans, time to check in.

    Due to time considerations, I sticking to the big slab to and from the rally.

    I essentially have two primary choices going from Milwaukee and heading towards St louis:
    1.) Take 294 around Chicago, then pick up 55 to STL.
    2.) Take 43 out of Milwaukee, to 39, then to 55.

    Door number 1 saves me about an hour and one half of riding, but puts me in the "kill zone" going around Chicago.

    Door #2 is far more tame, but adds a chunk of time.

    For you veteran rally rats and riders who have navigate around Chicago, is there a preferred time to hit 294?
    TIA
    Last edited by ultracyclist; 04-30-2012 at 04:50 AM. Reason: typo
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  2. #2
    2007 R1200R FLbmw's Avatar
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    For me personally, I always take the long way around any big city anywhere in the country. Big city traffic can get pretty radical at times. Take the long way around and enjoy the scenery.
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  3. #3
    George K1200RS GeorgeK1200RS's Avatar
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    I've lived in Chicago and Rockford and still travel there frequently to visit family and on business...also traveled to Milwaukee quite a bit when living in Rockford and found it quicker to fly out of Milwaukee than O'Hare.

    My experience says 43 to 39 to 55 will actually save you time...no matter what a mapping program tells you. There is virtually no traffic build up and only one short section of Toll Road to deal with (from Illinois border to Rockford).

    The only way going through metro Chicago would be quicker is if you did it at a dead traffic time and have an I-Pass to use open road toll payment.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Scott C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultracyclist View Post
    OK, sports fans, time to check in.

    Due to time considerations, I sticking to the big slab to and from the rally.

    I essentially have two primary choices going from Milwaukee and heading towards St louis:
    1.) Take 294 around Chicago, then pick up 55 to STL.
    2.) Take 43 out of Milwaukee, to 39, then to 55.

    Door number 1 saves me about an hour and one half of riding, but puts me in the "kill zone" going around Chicago.

    Door #2 is far more tame, but adds a chunk of time.

    For you veteran rally rats and riders who have navigate around Chicago, is there a preferred time to hit 294?
    TIA
    Taking 43 to 39 to 55 is a good route. Another option to consider would be to take 94 and exit at Lake Cook Rd (close to Northbrook) going West to 53 South which turns into I-355 going to I-55. The portion of Lake Cook Rd that you will be driving on should only take about 20-25 min between the 2 expressways.

    There is construction going on at the 90/294 interchange at Ohare so coming thru there on 294 at any time could cause delays. Both 53 and 355 are all expressway to I-55 and just try and avoid the rush hours.

    The route Im taking is 53 to 355 to I-55 then exiting 55 in Springfield and taking 72 West to 54 to 70 West to 65 South thereby missing the St Louis expressways and traffic.

    It's just another option, hope this helps you out.
    Last edited by Scott C; 04-30-2012 at 04:54 PM.

  5. #5
    Registered User chasman's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Once on I-55...

    Once on I-55 go south to Springfield to I-72. Take I-72 west to US Rte 54 at Pittsfield. Take US 54 west to I-70. Follow I-70 west to US Rte 65. Take US 65 south to Sedalia. Less construction and traffic then going around St. Louis.
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  6. #6
    Registered User ajayhawkfan's Avatar
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    I drive to WI on a regular basic. If you must take the interstate take the second choice.

    However I would also try to skip STL. Crossing into MO at Quincy, Hannibal or Louisiana will save you the hassle of STL. Highway 54 through Louisiana would be my choice.

  7. #7
    Registered User tvtommy's Avatar
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    Weekend mornings are best for Chicago freeways. I believe there is construction happening on 294 on the south end.

    If it was me, I'd take 39, and stop at the Rochelle train park near I88 and 39 for a hangout with the train peeps for a rest stop.
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  8. #8
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    I live northwest of Chicago and have ridden / driven to STL many times. As several have mentioned here -- traffic is the big variable. I'd certainly go around the city on 355 if you do choose the Chicago route. Surface / state roads i.e. 31 and 47, that show on your map as potential routes around are a PIA -- lots of lights / locals / cross streets -- avoid them. The suggestion above of Lake Cook to 53/355 is the exception, and a good route. It is a toll so take that into consideration. You can get iPass on line and at the Lake Forest Oasis on 94.

    39 down through the center of the state is never crowded, but VERY flat, VERY straight, and VERY boring. However most stretch's have a parallel local road and even portions of old Route 66 that serve as a good diversion.

  9. #9
    beemerFROG derost's Avatar
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    355 is too far East, go West while going South

    From Milwaukee I would take 43 over to Beloit and down to Rockford. I live in the NW suburbs and am choosing to take 39 to 88 west out to 110 south. Basically going diagonally across to get closer to the state line... much prettier driving as it is not as flat. I will be completely avoiding ALL major cities but still clipping along. My suggestion is to go to map quest, type in your starting/ ending points, and when the route comes up, it will allow you to drag and drop it into place showing you alternatives and how they effect your time. If you have a Garmin, you can then hook it to your computer and send the route from map quest to your Garmin. What's nice about that is it save it as a route and not a destination. YOU decide the route to take not the Garmin. Makes customizing a tom easier.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeK1200RS View Post
    I've lived in Chicago and Rockford and still travel there frequently to visit family and on business...also traveled to Milwaukee quite a bit when living in Rockford and found it quicker to fly out of Milwaukee than O'Hare.

    My experience says 43 to 39 to 55 will actually save you time...no matter what a mapping program tells you. There is virtually no traffic build up and only one short section of Toll Road to deal with (from Illinois border to Rockford).

    The only way going through metro Chicago would be quicker is if you did it at a dead traffic time and have an I-Pass to use open road toll payment.
    Same reply from me. I lived in Rockford, now live in West Subs of Chi, but go to Rockford regularily. From Milwaukee no question I'd be riding the back roads through Wis until I got to the IOWA border -then hit whatever angles its way to Sedalia.

  11. #11
    Registered User Scott C's Avatar
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    I was on 94/294 this past Wednesday night and it is still under heavy construction.

    Best to avoid it if possible especially during peak traffic times.

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