Is there logic to those tollway travel-time destinations? We answer your questions.

By Marni Pyke

Micki Coppel always knows how long it will take to reach Lake-Cook Road when he's driving west on the Jane Addams Tollway (I-90).

That's because a helpful digital sign near the Route 53/I-290 interchange flashes the travel times.

Heading east in the same vicinity, it's a different story. Minutes to I-294 and downtown are displayed - but not to Lake-Cook Road.

What gives? Coppel asked the Daily Herald. "I travel that way frequently. That posting would be very helpful."

We'll answer that question and others in this week's reader-based column.

Destinations posted by the Illinois tollway aren't random, officials said.

The fact is, the small digital message signs in place along the westbound and eastbound I-90, including the Route 53 interchange, "are limited in the amount of space to post travel times," spokesman Dan Rozek said.

"Because of that limited capacity, the tollway prioritizes travel times to the location where the majority of our customers are traveling."

So "on westbound I-90, the predominant destination for drivers exiting at Route 53 is Lake-Cook Road, which is why the travel time to that location is posted on that sign," Rozek said.

On eastbound I-90, most drivers approaching Route 53/I-290 are heading toward Chicago or I-294, so those travel times are typically slotted. This also gives customers a chance to choose the best route, he said.

Meanwhile, frequent flyer Warren Olsen is curious about the fate of O'Hare International Airport's Parking Lot E.

"I travel out of O'Hare at least once or twice each month," said Olsen, who works in Elgin. "I occasionally park in the main garage by the terminals but only for one to two days because of the $44 daily rate. More often, I am out in Lot F and take the train - when it runs - to Terminal 1.

"Too often, however, Lot F is full," he said. Then, "you get directed to Lot G. That then requires (taking) a bus back to the train at the rental car facility, which just adds to the time."

So, "why isn't the airport using former Lot E as an option for parking, other than miscellaneous parking of buses and other non-traveler cars?" Olsen wondered.

It goes back to the opening of Runway 9-Center/27-Center in November 2020, Chicago Department of Aviation Communications Director Kevin Bargnes explained.

"Lot E and the former Airport Transit System station for Lot E both lie within the Runway Protection Zone for this runway. Federal Aviation Administration regulations prohibit public parking or congregation in all RPZs. However, the lot can continue to be utilized by airport employees," Bargnes said.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Department of Aviation is building a new, six-story parking garage at Terminal 5 that "will add more than 1,400 spaces to the site when it opens next year, and offer a mix of long-term and short-term parking options like those found in the Main Parking Garage," Bargnes said.

Passengers planning to leave their cars at the airport can check the status of all lots in advance at

Finally, Barb Higgens is frustrated over "what is delaying the repairs on Euclid in Palatine between Roselle and Plum Grove? It's a real mess and seems to be taking a very long time. Work is not being done there on a regular basis. What's the holdup?" she asked.

Cook County spokeswoman Brittany Hill said the Euclid Road project is on track and "expected to be completed next month."

"Part of the work being done right now is pouring concrete, which takes time to cure before the next step of the project can be completed, which is laying asphalt and then striping," Hill said.

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