Getting around Chicago

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Chicago, Illinois

Getting around Chicago Reviews

xlavinho xlavinho
6 reviews
CTA 7 day unlimited pass Nov 25, 2009
To get around in Chicago, make sure to buy a CTA 7-day pass. It costs 23$, I bought mine at O'Hare. I took the Blue Line from O'Hare to down town Chicago. It is the easiest way to get around in the city. If you are planning to go to a baseball game, or go shopping to Wicker Park it's good to have an unlimited pass.
At O'Hare
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lisak64 lisak64
6 reviews
Jul 11, 2007
Chicago's streets are laid out on a simple grid system with the axis being 0 North and 0 West. The downtown intersection of Madison and State is 0. Madison is a East/West Street and State Street is a North/South Street. This is good to learn when visiting because it will help you get around and not be taken advantage of by taxi drivers.

Example: If an address is 300 West Madison, the location is 3 blocks west of State Street on Madison.

When someone gives you an address that includes a street name, all you need to do is ask them how far north/south east or west the street is. For instance, if someone asks you to meet them at a restaurant at the corner of Belmont and Sheffield, ask how far west/north the streets are. Once you learn that Sheffield is 1000 West and Belmont is 3200 North you can calculate where the intersection is and the distance from your starting point of State and Lake. 800 units or 8 city blocks equals 1 mile.

State is 0 E/W and Lake is 200 N. Sheffield is 1000W and Belmont is 3200N.

Total distance north = 200 + 3200 = 3400 (add the number of both north streets)

Total distance west: 0 + 1000 = 1000 (do the same for the west streets)

3400 + 1000 = 5400. Divide 54 by 8 and you get 5.5 miles.

So when you get into your taxi for instance, you know that if the meter reads 8 miles, something is up.

All city street signs and subway stops show coordinates and after a few days and some assistance from locals, you'll have the city grid down. Maps of Chicago will also include N/S and E/W coordinates.
kaki0301 says:
interesting :)
Posted on: Aug 13, 2007

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