The only real way to solve the congestion problems in our part of the Ike is to get more cars off the expressways. But you’ve heard and read this before. My idea, which I have not seen put forward yet, won’t solve but could, at least, ease the congestion.

On most expressways, whenever there is a lane closure and all traffic must get into, say, three lanes from four, there is a backup. But after the change, traffic in the three lanes proceeds merrily along. Until, that is, someone in the left lane crosses lanes to exit right, creating another slowdown. This happens in reverse on the westbound Ike when, for instance, one enters at, or east of, Central onto the right lane and exits at Austin from the left. Slowdown occurs. And when entrants from Harlem cross the traffic to exit right at the next opportunity, the result is the same. Due to lane changing, the same problems occur eastbound at Harlem and Austin.

These backups can be eased by making all exits from, and entrances to, the right lanes. Little or no extra land need be used to facilitate this. The new lanes can be made without much interruption to the current traffic flow, which could continue during construction. The other lanes could then be shifted to their left to further help flow and to get rid of the old center ramps, which are monuments to errant thinking in the past. Decorate the unused space, if you wish.

Of course, highly paid people with great skills would work out the details.

Gerhart Schmeltekopf
Oak Park

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