In a different forum, someone asked, "Why avoid Chicago traffic?"
Good question. I think poor Chicago has a perception problem rather than just a traffic problem. In truth, all the times we've driven from Wisconsin south, we've only one time (out of about 60 trips) had a huge problem and that was due to a serious accident. But it's an ongoing topic because it's so hard TO avoid. Recently, we've taken to going out of our way from North Central Illinois and driving through Rockford to catch I43 north, just to avoid Chicago. We figure it only adds about 15 minutes onto a 2000+ mile trip but we avoid Chicago. Believe me, it feels very strange to take a 90 degree turn rather than heading North.
Why avoid Chicago? Tolls, constant construction and it seems to take forever to get through. Other metro areas like Atlanta, Phoenix, Nashville don't seem to have that endless feel that Chicago does, don't ask me why.
Then there's the bigger question of which route through Chicago. But that's a different topic.