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Author Topic: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?  (Read 3551 times)

Henry

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Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« on: December 27, 2017, 09:32:38 AM »

In Chicagoland, there's the Dan Ryan Expressway, the Kennedy Expressway, the Eisenhower Expressway, the Edens Expressway, the Kingery Expressway, the Stevenson Expressway and the former Calumet Expressway. However, on the extreme southern end of town you have the Bishop Ford Freeway, and I've always wondered why they broke with tradition instead of simply calling it the Bishop Ford Expressway. As a native Chicagoan who had to adapt to using the Freeway term upon moving to the West Coast, I often think that it's confusing to not have a hometown expressway labeled as such. What gives?
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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 09:40:26 AM »

I really don't think it's that confusing.  People just call them the "Kennedy," "Bishop Ford," etc. 
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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2017, 09:46:33 AM »

I've always found it odd that Chicago calls its freeways "expressways" when no metro around them does.  Detroit, St. Louis, Indy, Milwaukee... they all use the correct term "freeway".
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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2017, 11:47:36 AM »

I've always found it odd that Chicago calls its freeways "expressways" when no metro around them does.  Detroit, St. Louis, Indy, Milwaukee... they all use the correct term "freeway".

It's an older term, and it seems to vary by metro area.  Then again, you do have the Detroit Industrial Expressway (I-94) and the Detroit-Toledo Expressway (I-75).
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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2017, 12:32:52 PM »

To me, an “expressway” is a highway that has higher speeds and limited access, but there are still some traffic lights. Bangerter Highway and Mountain View Corridor near Salt Lake City are perfect examples.
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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2017, 12:59:11 PM »

Does it have anything to do with the fact that the name wasn't applied until 1996?
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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2017, 01:11:32 PM »

Does it have anything to do with the fact that the name wasn't applied until 1996?

More than likely.  It was (and still is to some folks) the Calumet Expressway.
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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2017, 09:23:02 PM »

I've always found it odd that Chicago calls its freeways "expressways" when no metro around them does.  Detroit, St. Louis, Indy, Milwaukee... they all use the correct term "freeway".

St. Louis used to use "expressway" more on the Missouri side, such as the Mark Twain Expressway (I-70), Daniel Boone Expressway (US 40), Ozark Expressway (I-55), Inner Belt Expressway (I-170), and the very seldom used in the past Circumferential Expressway (I-270/I-244/I-255).  St. Louis generally calls routes by numbers with the exception of the Inner Belt and possibly the Page Avenue Extension, so I'm guessing this is why "expressway" fell out of favor in the region.  That said, any of the named routes any more seem to use "highway" over "freeway or "expressway".
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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2017, 10:08:11 PM »

To me, an “expressway” is a highway that has higher speeds and limited access, but there are still some traffic lights. Bangerter Highway and Mountain View Corridor near Salt Lake City are perfect examples.
I think states that had toll roads early on it's more common to use expressway over freeway.. Florida cities use expressway while Georgia uses freeway

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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2018, 03:57:33 AM »

Does it have anything to do with the fact that the name wasn't applied until 1996?

Illinois has been using FHWA terminology on newer roads which is why the Bishop Ford Freeway is used instead of expressway. 

Another place where changes were made is the north end of IL 53 at Lake Cook Rd. 
The signs at the north end of the IL 53 Freeway once said “expressway ends.”  They now say freeway ends. 
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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2018, 09:39:42 AM »

Does it have anything to do with the fact that the name wasn't applied until 1996?

Illinois has been using FHWA terminology on newer roads which is why the Bishop Ford Freeway is used instead of expressway. 

Another place where changes were made is the north end of IL 53 at Lake Cook Rd. 
The signs at the north end of the IL 53 Freeway once said “expressway ends.”  They now say freeway ends.

That's really interesting!  I'm glad people are trying to get the definitions straightened out.  I had a feeling that the formal definition of an expressway, as opposed to a freeway, was instituted pretty recently, but I didn't know for sure.  I knew my definitions were messed up when I learned about IL-336, a rural 4-way divided "expressway" with heightened speeds, but it had at-grade access to low-volume side roads and entrances!  Before that, I thought an expressway was strictly on-ramps and off-ramps.
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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2018, 03:54:05 PM »

iirc, NYC still uses the term Expressways for their expressways. But that always seemed weird that the Bishop Ford was the only one to have the term, Freeway.

But you also have to wonder, why is Tollway used instead of Toll Road or Turnpike? And why hasn't 57 been given a name yet?
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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2018, 05:36:28 PM »

iirc, NYC still uses the term Expressways for their expressways. But that always seemed weird that the Bishop Ford was the only one to have the term, Freeway.

But you also have to wonder, why is Tollway used instead of Toll Road or Turnpike? And why hasn't 57 been given a name yet?

I-57 Actually was originally referred to as the Dan Ryan Expressway West Leg, but that name sort of dropped for whatever reason. The term "tollway" around here has basically been in use since they were built. I'm not too sure why the difference, but it's just how we refer to them here.
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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2018, 07:18:16 PM »

I've always found it odd that Chicago calls its freeways "expressways" when no metro around them does.  Detroit, St. Louis, Indy, Milwaukee... they all use the correct term "freeway".

From what I remember, people in Indianapolis call them highways. I remember people using the term freeway or expressway occasionally, but much less frequently than highway. Now I'm living in California, so of course it's the freeway.
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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2018, 12:52:28 PM »

I've always found it odd that Chicago calls its freeways "expressways" when no metro around them does.  Detroit, St. Louis, Indy, Milwaukee... they all use the correct term "freeway".

From what I remember, people in Indianapolis call them highways. I remember people using the term freeway or expressway occasionally, but much less frequently than highway. Now I'm living in California, so of course it's the freeway.

I live in Indiana, admittedly not Indianapolis, but I can confirm that the term used here is highway. Like highway 465, or highway (insert number here).
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kphoger

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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2018, 01:58:01 PM »

Just the other day, a friend asked if western Kansas had any north-south highways.  I said: Yeah, about every thirty miles or so.  He looked confused.
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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2018, 08:52:17 PM »

I've always found it odd that Chicago calls its freeways "expressways" when no metro around them does.  Detroit, St. Louis, Indy, Milwaukee... they all use the correct term "freeway".

From what I remember, people in Indianapolis call them highways. I remember people using the term freeway or expressway occasionally, but much less frequently than highway. Now I'm living in California, so of course it's the freeway.

I live in Indiana, admittedly not Indianapolis, but I can confirm that the term used here is highway. Like highway 465, or highway (insert number here).

I find that kind of interesting, today during the traffic reports over the "snow" storm I generally heard highways refereed to as I-XX, US-XX and SR-XX and personally I thought that in Indiana highways were named that way, not just Highway-XX like in Wisconsin. I do believe though that expressway and freeway are rarely used except by transplants.

Honestly, I almost never hear of anyone say Highway 465, it's I-465, and never I-465/I-74 when the highways are multiplexed.
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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2018, 05:21:53 AM »

I've always found it odd that Chicago calls its freeways "expressways" when no metro around them does.  Detroit, St. Louis, Indy, Milwaukee... they all use the correct term "freeway".

Chicago was one of the first cities to build urban freeways with the Edens and Eisenhower predating the Interstate System.  The FHWA definitions between Freeway and Expressway came later.  IDOT and NYSDOT are applying the term "Freeway" to new sign installs at least on their Freeway Ends sign.  NY 590 near Rochester, NY and IL 53 in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago received new Freeway Ends signs to replace to old Expressway Ends signs. 
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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2018, 08:48:49 AM »

I always thought Freeway and Expressway were pretty much the same thing? I guess there was no confusion until the post war boom came to an end and the US started running out of money and went back to building 1940s era highway designs with at grade crossings when they surely would have been built limited access back when America was great.
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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2018, 09:30:19 AM »

I always thought Freeway and Expressway were pretty much the same thing? ....

In most people's minds, they probably are.

Over the years this forum has seen several discussions of the regional variations in how people refer to that sort of road, and the general consensus has been that it's not a big deal (though some people feel strongly about the FHWA definition somehow being more "correct").
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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2018, 11:23:44 AM »

Toledo and Akron call their freeways "expressways".  Made sense in Toledo when I-280 was once an expressway with at-grade intersections. 
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kphoger

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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2018, 01:56:17 PM »

I always thought Freeway and Expressway were pretty much the same thing? ....

In most people's minds, they probably are.

Over the years this forum has seen several discussions of the regional variations in how people refer to that sort of road, and the general consensus has been that it's not a big deal (though some people feel strongly about the FHWA definition somehow being more "correct").

Go over to skyscrapercity and call something without full access control a "highway", however, and you'll get the whole nine yards.
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1995hoo

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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2018, 02:06:25 PM »

I always thought Freeway and Expressway were pretty much the same thing? ....

In most people's minds, they probably are.

Over the years this forum has seen several discussions of the regional variations in how people refer to that sort of road, and the general consensus has been that it's not a big deal (though some people feel strongly about the FHWA definition somehow being more "correct").

Go over to skyscrapercity and call something without full access control a "highway", however, and you'll get the whole nine yards.

I don't know about getting "the whole nine yards," but around here if you used "highway" to refer to something that's not an Interstate or similar, most people would certainly look askance at you. (Example: "Between here and Fair Oaks the Fairfax County Parkway has too many traffic lights, so take the highway instead." My relatives from Phoenix might call the Fairfax County Parkway "Highway 286," which nobody here would ever do, and they'd refer to "the highway"—in this case, I-495 and I-66—as "the freeway," which nobody here would ever do.)

"Highway" is used around here as a generic term for the types of roads you used to head for when you wanted to drive fast. I say "used to" simply because as traffic volumes have increased over the years, it's not all that easy around here to find an empty highway on which you can open it up to see what your car can do.

The exception to all this is, of course, if "Highway" is at the end of a road's name and someone refers to the road by that name (examples: Crain Highway in Maryland; Lee Highway in Northern Virginia, which is anything BUT a "highway" and is essentially a suburban arterial).
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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2018, 08:58:17 AM »

I always thought Freeway and Expressway were pretty much the same thing? ....

In most people's minds, they probably are.

Over the years this forum has seen several discussions of the regional variations in how people refer to that sort of road, and the general consensus has been that it's not a big deal (though some people feel strongly about the FHWA definition somehow being more "correct").

On Rand MacNalley's Road Maps they have Yellow Highways which are the 40s era four lane divided highways with at grade crossings like the old US 41 from Chicago to Milwaukee and US 30 across Indiana to Fort Wayne. Then there are Blue and Green Highways which are full fledged modern highways with ramps and interchanges, green meaning toll. I had always assumed the romanticism around "Route 66" was one of the yellow four lane divided highways with at grade crossings loaded with Eisenhower era architecture. I drove it from Gardner to Springfield and was dismayed to find a primitive two lane 20s era blacktop that even meandered through residential subdivisions in Bloomington. Something more akin to a depression era highway than Harley Earls fins on 50s Chevy's with Neon drive ins burger joints I had expected. I much prefer modern travel on Interstates with a stop at the Pilot Travel Center with some good regular coffee (not that $5 Starbucks glass of coffee flavored WHOLE MILK loaded with SUGAR that all the beatniks drink, check out the 500 calorie count on that stuff.)
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Re: Chicago: Why Bishop Ford Freeway?
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2018, 10:59:23 AM »


 I had always assumed the romanticism around "Route 66" was one of the yellow four lane divided highways with at grade crossings loaded with Eisenhower era architecture. I drove it from Gardner to Springfield and was dismayed to find a primitive two lane 20s era blacktop that even meandered through residential subdivisions in Bloomington. Something more akin to a depression era highway than Harley Earls fins on 50s Chevy's with Neon drive ins burger joints I had expected. I much prefer modern travel on Interstates with a stop at the Pilot Travel Center with some good regular coffee (not that $5 Starbucks glass of coffee flavored WHOLE MILK loaded with SUGAR that all the beatniks drink, check out the 500 calorie count on that stuff.)

Be fair, there's quite a few different 66 alignments through Illinois, and the twinned section of US 66 was truncated to a two lane when I-55 was put through in the70's so that the interstate could use the right of way.

I was dismayed when IDOT tore out the US 66 overpass over IL 17.  I loved that thing.

I do like that in the areas where the southbound US 66 lanes are still around that most of the communities there are turning it into a bike lane.
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