WBEZ Curious City: When is Chicago-area traffic the worst?

(AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong)

(AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong)

WBEZ’s “Curious City” quotes Nebiyou Tilahun, assistant professor of urban planning and policy, why the evening rush hour creates Chicago’s busiest traffic. Tilahun says that personal trips, not just commuting, add to the evening rush.

Why is the morning rush hour generally lighter than the afternoon-evening rush hours? Citing data from the Federal Highway Administration, Nebiyou Tilahun, an assistant professor of urban planning at the University of Illinois Chicago, says it’s because people are doing more than just commuting in the afternoon.

“In percentage terms, commuting dominates over other types of trips in the morning. In the afternoon, it is one of several trip types that congest the roadway. Family and personal trips as well as social/recreation trips are made with more or almost equal frequency,” he says.

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