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City Data: Area Traffic Among City’s Worst

By Sam Charles | Thursday, December 13, 2012

Traffic in The Loop is the worst in the city, but congestion in Brown Line Media’s coverage area ranked highly as well. Credit: flickr/chadedwardus

Now it’s official.

Traffic on the arterial streets of Lincoln Square, Lakeview, Northcenter, Ravenswood, Roscoe Village and the surrounding communities is some of the worst in the city.

The City of Chicago recently expanded its data portal to include statistics on the average levels of traffic congestion in 29 different regions throughout the city, including the average speed on half mile segments of arterial streets.

The data, which can be found here, is updated every 10 minutes and gathered by tracking GPS signals from CTA buses. Congestion estimates are produced every ten minutes to measure the current estimated speed for about 1250 segments covering 300 miles of arterial roads, according to the city. The following speeds were recorded at 9 a.m. on Dec. 13.

Region 8, Lincoln Park and Lakeview, had the third-slowest average mph in the city, with traffic on the region’s arterial streets travelling at 17.7 mph. The region is bounded by North Avenue to the south, Montrose Avenue to the north, Ravenswood Avenue to the west and The Lake to the east.

Region 6, which includes the Irving Park, Avondale and Northcenter communities, saw the seventh-slowest traffic congestion in the city. The average speed on the main streets was 21.1 mph. Region 6 is bounded by Diversey Parkway to the south, Montrose Avenue to the north, Ravenswood Avenue to the east and Cicero Avenue to the west.

Region 3, bounded by Montrose Avenue to the south, Devon Avenue to the north, Cicero Avenue to the west and Ravenswood Avenue to the east, which includes North Park, Albany Park and Lincoln Square, saw the 11th-slowest average mph in the city, 21.8 mph.

The worst congestion in the city, predictably, was in The Loop, where the speeds averaged 12.2 mph.

For those with a lead foot, the South Side may be the place to be. The regions with the five highest average speeds on arterial streets covered the area from Hegewisch, on the Far South Side, to Garfield Ridge, just west of Midway Airport. Region 28, which includes Hegewisch, saw average arterial street speeds topping 47 mph.

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