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Author Topic: Prairie Parkway.  (Read 17656 times)

sparker

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #75 on: November 07, 2017, 11:47:28 AM »

Someone needs to put signs up around Indianapolis that reads "Heading to the NW? Use I-74 to I-39 to avoid Chicago."

If I had the money, I'd be the bastard to do it.
As long as it says "Even though it's a longer route and will take you more time" I'm good with it.
For the past three years I've been driving to a tennis tournament in Cincinnati from Wisconsin every August.  I've used I-39 and I-74 every time to avoid the Chicago metro, and been happy every time to have a predictable, relaxed drive free from traffic jam worries and to not pay tolls. 
Nothing wrong with going by way of Chicago if you have some business there also, or just want to drive by that enormous and high downtown.  I have some relatives in the Chicago area.  But if I have no specific business there on a particular trip, then I will take the outer bypass of I-74 and I-39.

If one's WI (or farther NW) origin or destination is anywhere but the eastern slice of the state (Milwaukee and on up the west shore of L. Michigan) -- or there's no chance one can pick & choose the day of the week -- or even the time of the day -- when Chicagoland would have to be crossed -- then I-39 and its connectors, particularly I-74, would seem to be the most optimal way to go east except for N. Indiana (S. Bend and environs) and Michigan destinations; I would think that I-39 to I-80 -- and taking your chances on the Borman -- would be preferable to detouring much further south (unless you like, and can fit, time-wise,  a bucolic drive across N. IL and IN as part of the trip).  Unfortunately, the plain fact is that Chicago is located in a place that is difficult to avoid when it comes to locations north of its latitude, and that all the alternatives not involving points well to the west and south are sub-optimal at best. 

That brings us back full circle to the original point of this thread -- the Prairie Parkway, which a number of us have conflated with the notorious Illiana proposal as a mid-distance alternative to both Chicago congestion and the prospects of taking the "long way around" via I-39 and friends.  It's just too bad that this or any bypass proposal has fallen by the wayside due to lack of political support, lack of funding, or both.  The problem is that Chicago folks aren't particularly interested in supporting anything that avoids their area; and except for tolls -- which would only partially accrue to them in any case -- haven't figured a way to realistically monetize such a bypass concept.  And neither IDOT nor ISTHA wishes to stick their neck out on behalf of a project without regional consensus -- a project which, while connecting the outer exurban reaches, would primarily be of benefit to travelers from out of the region.  Absent real or perceived benefit to the Chicago area itself, Prairie/Illiana/whatever is likely, for the foreseeable future, dead in the water! 
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