Chicago Area/Highway Classification

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The Chicago area has a variety of complex road and highways that need a better definition of classification, This page is to discuss that topic and find common ground on a standard of tagging in the area.

Highway Classes


High Speed Grade separated highways

This consists of Interstate highways, tollways, parts of LSD US-41, Parts of IL-390, exe...


High Speed Partially grade separated Highways

Examples: parts of US-41, Parts of Mannheim road and Irving Park road around Ohare airport, Kingery Highway, Parts of US-45 around I-294, LSD US-41 downtown segment, Lower Wacker Drive.


US and State routes. Usually classified as primary in other areas in the US.

-Us and State routes within the Chicago area are usually multiple lanes and fewer traffic signals.

Examples: IL43, US14, US41, IL19, IL50

Need to discuss upgrading other roads for connectivity issues or road type. Some Upgraded roads might include roads like Michigan Ave, Western Ave, Roosevelt, Ida b Wells, Ohio & Ontario Street. See Discussion Below


Major non residential roads that traverse the city crossing highways and rivers, commonly known as Major Mile roads within Chicago.

-Road are primarily controlled only with traffic lights and are primarily lined with businesses. Some major residential roads that have multiple lanes.

Examples: Montrose, Elston, Milwalkee, Randolf, Washington, Chicago, Grand,


County Routes

Major roads that are primarily residential that traverse the city.

-Roads are still primarily controlled with traffic lights at the major intersections but with some stop signs at non major intersections. They are primarily lined with residential lots.

Examples: South Indian street in the south loop, West Taylor Street in the medical district. Central Park Ave. Kimball Ave, Addison,.


Roads that are primarily lined with residential lots and primarily controlled by stop signs.

Ally ways

Small unnamed access roads that are primarily used to access garages and used for garbage pickup.

See Also


See also Talk:Chicago_Area/Highway_Classification

  • I've toyed a bit upgrading some of the loop area streets as primary for connectivity, part of michigan avenue, ohio street, ida b wells. but at what point do you not just mark all of the major roads as primary? Those roads dont nessesarily mean it is the prefered rout of everyone, or that its even the fastest route though the area. The US/state routes from my experience are actually better to drive because they have more lanes and less traffic lights along those routes. It really needs to be discussed a bit more. Nickvet419 This user is member of the wiki team of OSMFlag of United States. 08:03, 30 April 2023 (UTC)