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Does anyone have any idea why the traffic nearly always, no matter what time of the day or night, backs up as you approach the Sayre and Hamlin exits on the westbound route to Ohare? After Hamlin the traffic almost always picks up to speed again. I have never understood it because its not like there is another major road joining at that point. Traffic joining the kennedy there is minimal yet always the traffic backs up. I am really curious.
 

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Eventually there's supposed to be another lane between Harlem-ish and the I-190 split, http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/02/14/plan-to-add-lanes-to-kennedy-expressway-motoring-ahead/

And the curve was designed in the 1960's when traffic count was a lot lower and/or the planners were too cheap/short-sighted to demolish a few more houses to make the curve gentler/get bigger capacity.

People slow down to take the curve just north of Foster but then don't bother accelerating out of the curve. In the afternoons you get drivers who slow down as the get blinded by the sun when coming around the curve.

See also fluid dynamics....for the math behind traffic.
 

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It's basic fluid dynamics. The curve causes "friction" slowing traffic. Same phenomenon occurs on Eisenhower at Independence.
 

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I really hate the one where 130th Street traffic merges into the Dan Ryan and then the Dan Ryan and I-57 traffic (westbound/northbound) merge together. Everybody slows down because the unfamiliar drivers have to figure out what is expected and there is absolutely no reason to slow because everyone gets their own lane. You can change lanes later.
 

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Does anyone have any idea why the traffic nearly always, no matter what time of the day or night, backs up as you approach the Sayre and Hamlin exits on the westbound route to Ohare? After Hamlin the traffic almost always picks up to speed again. I have never understood it because its not like there is another major road joining at that point. Traffic joining the kennedy there is minimal yet always the traffic backs up. I am really curious.
Harlem exits and enters on the left which throws a lot of drivers and slows traffic even further as people try to cross traffic lanes. Same on the Ike.
 
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