Citizens for Appropriate Transportation (CAT) Issue Brief

Eisenhower Transportation Corridor


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The Eisenhower Corridor has three modes of transportation - expressway, CTA Blue Line, and rail freight tracks.  

Cars, trucks, transit buses, pedestrians, and bicyclists cross the Corridor on seven bridges.  The highest Average Daily Traffic (ADT) occurs on Harlem Avenue (37,000 vehicles a day), followed by Austin Boulevard (20,200), Ridgeland (15,100) and Oak Park Avenue (14,000).  Home Avenue is a bridge solely for pedestrians and bicyclists. 

The expressway has six through traffic lanes from east of Austin Boulevard to Mannheim Road.  Currently the Ike carries about 200,000 vehicles a day.  In the HOV Feasibility Study finished in 1998, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) proposed adding two more lanes as high-occupancy vehicle lanes restricted to vehicles with three or more passengers. 

The CTA Blue Line has two tracks with space originally intended to allow construction of an Express Track in the future.  The CTA says they do not need an express track, but do need wider platforms to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The three stations that serve Oak Park are Austin, Oak Park, and Harlem.  Each station has access from both ends.  Based on 2014 data, the highest average weekday ridership is Austin (1,393), followed by Oak Park Avenue (1,267) and Harlem (868).  More than 70 percent of CTA’s riders at the three stations get to the station by walking or being dropped-off. 

The CSX has three freight tracks through part of Oak Park and two tracks in the rest of Oak Park.  CSX wants a higher vertical bridge clearance when IDOT rebuilds the expressway.

Both Pace and the Chicago Transit Authority have bus stops at CTA Blue Line Stations.

Pedestrians walk across the bridges (in an unfriendly pedestrian environment) and walk to the CTA Blue Line Stations.

Bicycle riders use the bridges and have their own set of needs.

Rick Kuner - revised May 2015