Midway Airport to Glenview

Since there are many fine residents of Chicago on this board, I thought I might be able to get some suggestions.

My father and his wife (both in their mid 70s) have to drive from Midway Airport to Glenview. They have never driven in Chicago. Or at least not in recent memory.

I’ve been looking at maps and using Mapquest and its ilk, but their directions all have them driving up the Dan Ryan and what not through the heart of Chicago. They will be driving during rush hour.

Would it be easier on them at all if they took the Stevenson to the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) and then took that up and got off further up, say along Willow Road?

Or should they just stop and eat dinner in the airport and hang out for a couple of hours to allow the commute to die down?

They could do the 294 thing, but the Dan Ryan does not, unfortunately, have a monopoly on traffic; basically all Chicago area expressways jam up at rush hour. (And the need to pay tolls may slow 'em down even more.) Worse yet, rush hour has become rush six hours or even more.

Would it be possible for someone in Glenciew to come and get 'em? Driving in and around Chicagoland is not a treat even if you are used to it.

Sorry I don’t have any brilliant ideas…

Thank you anyway.

I’m just a son worrying about his father with the car. I’m at that point where the roles are reversed.

My father is already worried about paying tolls. I think they are hoarding change already. I told him it wasn’t that expensive.


It’s been my experience that the best route would be Stevenson to 294 and north (and remember the signs say West to go North!). But, I don’t know if there is construction along the way.

I don’t know if this is an option for you considering luggage and stamina, but the red line train runs directly from Midway and north along Wabash.

Plan A: Red line north and transfer to bus to get from Wabash to Canal St. to take the metra train north to Glenview.

Plan B: Red line north to Howard St. station in Evanston and transfer to Purple line north to Linden station in Wilmette.

The train plan does take a while (about 2 - 2 1/2 hours) while the drive, rush hour in mind, takes about 1 1/2 hours.

BobT, don’t follow my above directions! It’s the orange line that runs from Midway! Orange line north to Washington St. and Transfer to Red line at Washington north to Howard.

Thanks for the advice.

I’ve done the train and it does take quite a bit of stamina. I know my father (73) wouldn’t have it. He does need a car as he is eventually going to be driving out to St. Charles.

I think I’m going to keep him off of the Dan Ryan.

I recently drove through Chicago on I-90/94 and on the Ryan Expressway, and even though I am used to driving in the Minneapolis/St. Paul rush hour traffic, Chicago traffic at 2:00 PM on a Sunday afternoon was terrifying for me. On my return trip I set my alarm for 4:30 AM so I could make it through Chicago before 8 AM. Is there any way they could take a taxi, and rent a car later? Really, I thought I was gonna die. If you don’t know exactly what lane to be in for your exit, you’re going to miss it. Changing lanes is next to impossible.

The tolls were no big deal even though I worried about them too, the Skyway Expressway (on my way back) was $2.00, but all the others were 40¢.

Errr… this is a sort of “six of one, half dozen of another” question.

The most direct route (ha-ha) is the Damn Ryan. On the bright side, during rush hour it is difficult to get into a high speed collision on that road - running out of gas because you’ve been at a stand-still is more likely.

The 294 route is longer, and at rush hour almost as crowded.

If it was me, personally, I’d hang out at Midway for some hours before heading north. But then, I’m nutty about airplanes.

There is the train route - either the Orange line to Wabash (elevated line) and transfer to the Red line on State Stree a block west (subway), then north to Howard and so forth… or take the Orange line into the loop and catch a Metra train going to Glenview. Longer time, yes, but no driving. On the other hand, rush hour trains are not much fun either. And you wouldn’t want your aging parents going that route as standees.

OR - there are shuttle busses that run from the airports to various suburbs (Tri-State is the one I’m famillar with). They could take a shuttle from Midway to points north, thereby letting someone else do the heavy driving through town. Much more comfortable than the CTA/RTA/Metra, although it will cost a little more too.

You know, I feel so bad about your folks having to drive the Damn Ryan in rush hour I almost want to pick 'em up at Midway myself and fly 'em to the north suburbs. Which is the expensive option - it is theoretically possible to have a small plane pick them up at Midway and fly them to the north suburbs, like Palwaukee or Waukegan and travel by car the rest of their trip (I’m assuming they’re renting) Depends on good weather, of course. A crazy idea, but it would be a memorable part of the trip. Wouldn’t take very long, either, since there’s no chance you’d be stopped in traffic. :slight_smile:

Perhaps there is just a van that would shuttle them from Midway to O’Hare. They could then pick up the rental car at O’Hare and drive up to Glenview from there, which would be much easier on them.

My father has driven in L.A. traffic since 1960, but I’ve found Chicago traffic to be different. It’s not worse, but it’s a different style.