AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Chicago O'hare oddities  (Read 6420 times)

colinstu

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 396
  • Last Login: October 06, 2019, 11:43:53 PM
Chicago O'hare oddities
« on: February 26, 2013, 06:24:29 AM »

I've driven through the area before but my recent trip to pick up and drop off a friend at ORD has caused me to think up of numerous questions.

The first of which, what the hell are these for?! http://goo.gl/maps/cFT3P On I-190 leaving the airport, there are two of these what I want to call "lane use control" things. I'm showing the second one in the link, but a bit earlier there is another. They both displayed an "X" and they are directly over the huge shoulder. I'm assuming these turn into a downward facing Arrow during rush hour or for emergencies? I'm not sure.

Going towards the airport from I-190 I also noticed some kind of flashing police lights and I think a speed camera in the right-most lane? There were also some tiny fricken signs telling people to slow down, of course they can't be read while trying to navigate this mess. The streetview imagery of that part is garbage+old so I can't show you... but is there any explanation behind that? Why only one lane being monitored?

There were also a bunch of flashing yellow lights when leaving ORD. http://goo.gl/maps/Ri6VQ Again, anyone know if these lights ever turn red or green?

Why are taxis and limos separated out in their own lot? http://goo.gl/maps/m7fjV They are also cordoned off from most traffic it seems while they pick up people... when I was picking up my friend... I noticed an outer ring of lanes deeper into the port... I couldn't really see in there. I assume this is for taxis only?

People also seem to park on the shoulders just about every where. Here is an article kinda talking about what I saw. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-28/news/ct-edit-ohare-0128-jm-20130128_1_cellphone-lot-free-cellphone-shoulder I thought that was interesting. I tried stopping for more than a few moments while picking the friend up and the police freaked out. I had to circle the whole thing numerous times to finally see him standing on the curb.

Anyways. I'll stick with MKE  :sombrero:

Logged

mgk920

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3502
  • Location: Appleton, WI USA
  • Last Login: Today at 03:32:01 AM
Re: Chicago O'hare oddities
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2013, 09:31:26 AM »

As for the camera(?), Chicago's Police Department has been busy installing marked surveillance cameras all over the city in recent years.  Perhaps that is one of them.

Mike
Logged

KEK Inc.

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1806
  • Nintendo Roadgeek

  • Age: 27
  • Location: Seattle, WA
  • Last Login: Today at 12:57:20 AM
Re: Chicago O'hare oddities
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2013, 11:04:16 AM »

There were also a bunch of flashing yellow lights when leaving ORD. http://goo.gl/maps/Ri6VQ Again, anyone know if these lights ever turn red or green?

It's probably a fire signal.  Turns red when a fire truck needs to cross the road.  It would explain why the ramp has one too.
Logged
Take the road less traveled.

kphoger

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10992
  • Location: Wichita, KS
  • Last Login: December 06, 2019, 03:57:57 PM
Re: Chicago O'hare oddities
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2013, 03:12:31 PM »

I've driven through the area before but my recent trip to pick up and drop off a friend at ORD has caused me to think up of numerous questions.

The first of which, what the hell are these for?! http://goo.gl/maps/cFT3P On I-190 leaving the airport, there are two of these what I want to call "lane use control" things. I'm showing the second one in the link, but a bit earlier there is another. They both displayed an "X" and they are directly over the huge shoulder. I'm assuming these turn into a downward facing Arrow during rush hour or for emergencies? I'm not sure.

I believe that, during peak traffic, drivers are sometimes allowed to use the shoulder.  I've never actually been driving when it was allowed, but I've seen signage spell it out somewhere (possibly at O'Hare, but I keep thinking it was approaching the Bottleneck on inbound I-88>I-290).  My memory of it is at least five years old, but that's what I'm thinking.

I tried stopping for more than a few moments while picking the friend up and the police freaked out. I had to circle the whole thing numerous times to finally see him standing on the curb.

That's one reason I prefer to pick people up at the Rosemont CTA station, and just advise them to use the Blue Line L to get there.
Logged
Keep right except to pass.  Yes.  You.

colinstu

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 396
  • Last Login: October 06, 2019, 11:43:53 PM
Re: Chicago O'hare oddities
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2013, 06:32:13 PM »

Spent some time on google, found out about this on the whole "red X" "green arrow" electronic sign.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-05-22/classified/ct-met-getting-around-0523-20110522-18_1_bessie-coleman-drive-congestion-shoulder-lane

Apparently it kicking on is kind of rare... and only happens it seems if traffic clogs up into the airport. If it actually relieves anything... I doubt it, lol.
Logged

Alps

  • Everybody Obeys the Octagon
  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 12865
  • Elimitante the truck trarffic,

  • Age: 36
  • Location: New Jersey
  • Last Login: December 08, 2019, 09:58:21 PM
    • Alps' Roads
Re: Chicago O'hare oddities
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2013, 07:00:12 PM »

Why are taxis and limos separated out in their own lot? http://goo.gl/maps/m7fjV They are also cordoned off from most traffic it seems while they pick up people... when I was picking up my friend... I noticed an outer ring of lanes deeper into the port... I couldn't really see in there. I assume this is for taxis only?


Taxi/limo dispatchers have a much easier time if their vehicles are located on the airport. Send from the front of the queue, keep a nice flow past the airport, take people to their destinations, get a pick-up back to the airport, and then return to the back of the queue for your next assignment. So that's actually not anything special, there. Port Authority NY/NJ also has separate taxi/limo frontages. It's just much easier to find the vehicle you need, and especially for people coming to pick someone up, they have an easier time stopping and finding the person.

Brandon

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10499
  • Mr. Accelerator is our friend; Mr. Brake is not.

  • Age: 42
  • Location: Joliet, IL
  • Last Login: December 08, 2019, 08:28:36 PM
Re: Chicago O'hare oddities
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2013, 07:47:48 PM »

I've driven through the area before but my recent trip to pick up and drop off a friend at ORD has caused me to think up of numerous questions.

The first of which, what the hell are these for?! http://goo.gl/maps/cFT3P On I-190 leaving the airport, there are two of these what I want to call "lane use control" things. I'm showing the second one in the link, but a bit earlier there is another. They both displayed an "X" and they are directly over the huge shoulder. I'm assuming these turn into a downward facing Arrow during rush hour or for emergencies? I'm not sure.

Going towards the airport from I-190 I also noticed some kind of flashing police lights and I think a speed camera in the right-most lane? There were also some tiny fricken signs telling people to slow down, of course they can't be read while trying to navigate this mess. The streetview imagery of that part is garbage+old so I can't show you... but is there any explanation behind that? Why only one lane being monitored?

The flashing blue lights are for police surveillance cameras for the City of Chicago PD.  They have others at street corners in many of the neighborhoods.  Don't worry about your speed by them.  They're not set up for anything other than looking for trouble spots (in this case, downed vehicles and the like).

Quote
There were also a bunch of flashing yellow lights when leaving ORD. http://goo.gl/maps/Ri6VQ Again, anyone know if these lights ever turn red or green?

Why are taxis and limos separated out in their own lot? http://goo.gl/maps/m7fjV They are also cordoned off from most traffic it seems while they pick up people... when I was picking up my friend... I noticed an outer ring of lanes deeper into the port... I couldn't really see in there. I assume this is for taxis only?

With the size and volume of O'Hare, they need their own separate lot.  I doubt cell phone lot users would want to be tangled up in the taxi/limo mess.  It's done at Midway this way as well.

Quote
People also seem to park on the shoulders just about every where. Here is an article kinda talking about what I saw. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-28/news/ct-edit-ohare-0128-jm-20130128_1_cellphone-lot-free-cellphone-shoulder I thought that was interesting. I tried stopping for more than a few moments while picking the friend up and the police freaked out. I had to circle the whole thing numerous times to finally see him standing on the curb.

Anyways. I'll stick with MKE  :sombrero:

That should use is a major problem.  There's a cell phone lot off Mannheim for that.  However, when I go to pick someone up at O'Hare, I stop at the O'Hare Oasis on the Tri-State Tollway to wait and use that as my cell phone lot.  It's much nicer, has nicer washrooms, I can eat something if I choose to, and the Tollway has provided a computer listing airline arrivals at the west end of the building so you can check on the flight.  :D

MKE is nice, having been through it twice (once out, once in).  Parking was cheap, and the TSA there was nicer than at ORD or MDW.
Logged
"If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention." - Ramsay Bolton

Illinois: America's own banana republic.

Free HK.  F the PRC.

hobsini2

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2173
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Bolingbrook, IL
  • Last Login: August 18, 2019, 12:44:17 PM
Re: Chicago O'hare oddities
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2013, 02:01:01 AM »

I've driven through the area before but my recent trip to pick up and drop off a friend at ORD has caused me to think up of numerous questions.

The first of which, what the hell are these for?! http://goo.gl/maps/cFT3P On I-190 leaving the airport, there are two of these what I want to call "lane use control" things. I'm showing the second one in the link, but a bit earlier there is another. They both displayed an "X" and they are directly over the huge shoulder. I'm assuming these turn into a downward facing Arrow during rush hour or for emergencies? I'm not sure.

Going towards the airport from I-190 I also noticed some kind of flashing police lights and I think a speed camera in the right-most lane? There were also some tiny fricken signs telling people to slow down, of course they can't be read while trying to navigate this mess. The streetview imagery of that part is garbage+old so I can't show you... but is there any explanation behind that? Why only one lane being monitored?

There were also a bunch of flashing yellow lights when leaving ORD. http://goo.gl/maps/Ri6VQ Again, anyone know if these lights ever turn red or green?

Why are taxis and limos separated out in their own lot? http://goo.gl/maps/m7fjV They are also cordoned off from most traffic it seems while they pick up people... when I was picking up my friend... I noticed an outer ring of lanes deeper into the port... I couldn't really see in there. I assume this is for taxis only?

People also seem to park on the shoulders just about every where. Here is an article kinda talking about what I saw. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-28/news/ct-edit-ohare-0128-jm-20130128_1_cellphone-lot-free-cellphone-shoulder I thought that was interesting. I tried stopping for more than a few moments while picking the friend up and the police freaked out. I had to circle the whole thing numerous times to finally see him standing on the curb.

Anyways. I'll stick with MKE  :sombrero:


Colinstu, as someone who is in the limo business and dealing with O'Hare and Midway on a near daily basis, I can answer these questions.

1) Your first question about http://goo.gl/maps/cFT3P when you leave O'Hare on 190 is that when the "Shoulder riding is permitted", the box lights up a green down arrow. When it is not permitted, it is supposed to light up a red X but is usually just turned off, as it is in the picture.  The shoulder riding is allowed about 10% of the time by my observations.

2) The blue lights you see is a police camera but it is used because so many people think that they can "park" on the right shoulder from Mannheim to the taxiway bridges while they wait for the call from the person who they are waiting on. This practice is actually illegal and there are signs that post it as such but people do not pay attention to them. About once an hour, the CPD comes by to "push" people away from this.  There is a cell phone lot (off Mannheim North) and a kiss n fly lot (off Bessie Coleman Dr North, using the Terminal 5 Exit) that they are supposed to use.  The DOA traffic cops down at the terminal do not allow people to sit longer than about 30 seconds to receive their party before they "push" the drivers to go around.

3) The yellow flashing lights as you leave the 1, 2 and 3 terminals is for the Fire Department located just to the right of that set of signals. When a fire truck or ambulance leaves with their lights on, the flashing yellow becomes a solid yellow then a solid red with the "bubble police lights" flashing.  When they pass, the lights go back to flashing yellow.  No green lights.

4) The limo/taxi staging lot at both O'Hare and Midway is not just for parking of those vehicles but also a money maker for the city. Every time a limo/taxi goes down to the terminals to pickup a party, the driver pays a $4 tax stamp to the MPEA (Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority).  If you fail to pay the tax stamp, the vehicle can be impounded.  When I started in the business 14 years ago, it was $1. Then after 9/11, it went to $2. It went to $4 a year ago last September 1st.  Anyway, when you pay this at O'Hare, and you are going down to Terminals 1, 2, or 3, there is a "Chute" that separates the limo/taxi traffic from the regular passenger cars.  When we get in to Terminal 1 Arrivals (Downstairs), the right pair of lanes (right next to the terminal doors) is for city taxis, the middle pair (over the 1st island) is for limos and suburban taxis and the outside lanes (over the 2nd island) is for regular passenger cars.  At Terminal 5 Arrivals, all taxis and limos are on the inside lanes, regular passenger cars are on the outside lanes over the island.  The Departures at all O'Hare Terminals are upstairs and no tax stamp is collected.  At Midway, it is the same kind of setup as Terminal 1 at O'Hare.

5) See my answer to question 2.

Steve, the staging lot at both O'Hare and Midway has different meanings for city of Chicago taxis, Suburban taxis and limos. At O'Hare, for the limos, it is a regular parking lot where the individual companies dispatch the orders to the drivers. Same for the Suburban taxis but their staging lot is at the north end of Bessie Coleman by the Enterprise Rent A Car. For the taxis, they line up and are called down to whatever terminal the airport sends them to regardless of what company the taxi is from.

At Midway, slightly different. The lot is at 55th and Kilpatrick (east of Cicero). The city taxis line up the same way and are "called down" at Midway as O'Hare. The suburban taxis and all limos use the lot as a regular parking lot and are dispatched accordingly like O'Hare. Another difference, is there is an overflow lot that is also the "Cell Lot" for regular passenger cars. The suburban taxis and limos can park at the back of that lot when the main lot is full.  This lot is located at 60th and Cicero.

Any other questions about procedures at ORD and MDW, I would be happy to answer them.

BTW, I do also deal with Chicago Executive (formerly Palwaukee), DuPage County Airport, and Aurora Municipal when I have to pick up people on charter flights.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 02:03:56 AM by hobsini2 »
Logged
I knew it. I'm surrounded by assholes. Keep firing, assholes! - Dark Helmet (Spaceballs)

colinstu

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 396
  • Last Login: October 06, 2019, 11:43:53 PM
Re: Chicago O'hare oddities
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2013, 05:37:41 AM »

Awesome reply! Just what I was looking for. Thanks!

edit: If you can think of any other neat things to talk about O'hare and I-190, please share :)
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 05:50:36 AM by colinstu »
Logged

GeekJedi

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 498
  • Age: 49
  • Location: I-43 & WI 83
  • Last Login: December 06, 2019, 11:23:30 AM
    • The Geek Jedi
Re: Chicago O'hare oddities
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2013, 10:41:42 AM »

Awesome reply! Just what I was looking for. Thanks!

edit: If you can think of any other neat things to talk about O'hare and I-190, please share :)

I agree - I will probably never need to know any of that, but boy is it fascinating!  Thanks for sharing.
Logged
"Wisconsin - The Concurrency State!"

hobsini2

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2173
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Bolingbrook, IL
  • Last Login: August 18, 2019, 12:44:17 PM
Re: Chicago O'hare oddities
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2013, 02:07:39 PM »

A couple of things I do know that I did not mention yet about 190 is that there is no begin and end sign for 190 on the west end of the highway. I believe the official beginning of 190 when heading east, because of the placement of the first trail blazer, not a BGS, is after the Airport Tram bridge between Bessie Coleman and Mannheim.

Also, whenever O'Hare gets a large amount of rainfall, over 4 inches in a day (it has happened), 190 will flood and be unpassable at the taxiway bridges because of the road dipping down. This happens about once a year. It happened once while I was waiting at O'Hare for a pickup. This was that day in 2011. http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Flash-Floods--126057179.html  http://blogs.woodtv.com/files/2008/10/ohare-flood.jpg and http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/tula1954sks/flood/ORDFLOOD034.jpg

Unfortunately, I can't find a pic of the roadway itself flooded but it was.  The someone that I was waiting for got stuck due to the weather and needed to be in Kalamazoo, Michigan that night.  They ended up taking the airport tram to the kiss n fly since that was the only way passengers could leave O'Hare that day. So I drove them all the way to K'zoo.

As you leave Terminal 3, there is a large black building on the right that I have been asked several time what it is by passengers. That is the building housing the ORD Telephone Switch and it also has a large Conference Center for communications people to fly in, have their meeting, and fly out all within walking distance of Terminal 3.
Logged
I knew it. I'm surrounded by assholes. Keep firing, assholes! - Dark Helmet (Spaceballs)

KEVIN_224

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1770
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Connecticut
  • Last Login: December 08, 2019, 09:37:23 AM
Re: Chicago O'hare oddities
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2013, 02:49:35 PM »

In a similar vein to the O'Hare (ORD) flooding, it also happened on July 23/24, 2010 in both greater Chicago and in southern Wisconsin, just west of Milwaukee. I flew from Bradley (BDL) in Connecticut to Midway (MDW). While the planes were able to taxi to the gates with little trouble, I did see standing water between runways. You may or may not see that in the first picture.

After my plane touched down and was taxiing at Midway (MDW), July 24, 2010:


More evidence of said deluge the night before, passing over a rail yard on South Cicero Avenue (IL Route 50), at the Chicago/Bedford Park city line:


A flooded Walmart parking lot, just after the rail yard in the previous picture:
Logged

InterstateNG

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 518
  • Last Login: January 03, 2014, 01:12:36 PM
Re: Chicago O'hare oddities
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2013, 04:50:04 PM »


Also, whenever O'Hare gets a large amount of rainfall, over 4 inches in a day (it has happened), 190 will flood and be unpassable at the taxiway bridges because of the road dipping down. This happens about once a year. It happened once while I was waiting at O'Hare for a pickup. This was that day in 2011. http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Flash-Floods--126057179.html  http://blogs.woodtv.com/files/2008/10/ohare-flood.jpg and http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/tula1954sks/flood/ORDFLOOD034.jpg

Unfortunately, I can't find a pic of the roadway itself flooded but it was.  The someone that I was waiting for got stuck due to the weather and needed to be in Kalamazoo, Michigan that night.  They ended up taking the airport tram to the kiss n fly since that was the only way passengers could leave O'Hare that day. So I drove them all the way to K'zoo.

I was staying out by O'Hare during that rain event.  An incredible storm.  There must have been a dozen cars that got washed into the ditch along Manheim that were still there the next morning.
Logged
I demand an apology.

hobsini2

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2173
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Bolingbrook, IL
  • Last Login: August 18, 2019, 12:44:17 PM
Re: Chicago O'hare oddities
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2013, 09:59:24 PM »

Yeah I know. I was driving that morning from Aurora to ORD. The state already closed the 294 ramps due to flooding on 294 itself. I got wind of this from another driver so I decide to get off at Midwest Rd, go south to 31st then east to La Grange/Mannheim. Midwest Rd and 31st were fine for the most part. Manheim started being difficult near Cermak. The Hillside police decided just as I was going through the intersection at Roosevelt to close Mannheim north of there.  I managed to push the gas on the limo to keep going in what had to be about 6 or 7 inches of water.  I know dumb move.  I managed to get to Lake St before Stone Park closed Mannheim north of that. Somehow, I managed to get back on to 294 at Lake, which was amazingly open.  It took me about 2 hrs to do what normally is a 45 minute trip.
Logged
I knew it. I'm surrounded by assholes. Keep firing, assholes! - Dark Helmet (Spaceballs)

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.