Author Topic: US 40 in Illinois- HORRIBLE!  (Read 585 times)

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Offline Buchmark

US 40 in Illinois- HORRIBLE!
« on: May 02, 2024, 07:38:19 pm »
Just rode part of Eastern Express (Cloverdale, IN, to Marshall, IL).  US40 once we crossed into IL has NO paved shoulder, just 3 ft of large gravel, and LOTS of traffic/semis going 55+, one lane each direction so no place to move if oncoming traffic.  I have reported it to ACA route feedback.

We are creating our own (longer, not on 40) route for tmro.

Offline John Nettles

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  • I ride for smiles, not miles.
Re: US 40 in Illinois- HORRIBLE!
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2024, 08:27:40 pm »
I agree.  Just before Carla retired from ACA, I was offering a different, much less traffic route.  But once you get to Martinsburg, the traffic lessens.  I wonder if you followed the current EE route.  I thought it went south from Terra Haute along county roads via Lincoln Trail State Park (nice campground).

Try these routes:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/43890374 Again, traffic volume decreases between Martinsville & Effingham but picks up along US40 between Montrose & Effingham. The stretch between Teutopolis & Effingham has some traffic so avoid during rush hour.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/37786469?privacy_code=nWURL2tESu1qnwiE  A much more rural and less traffic route that ACA's

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/37787567 And if you want to go into St. Louis, check this route out.

Tailwinds, John

Offline jamawani

Re: US 40 in Illinois- HORRIBLE!
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2024, 08:28:38 pm »
I am not a big fan of the Eastern Express - - too many miles of busy roads.
(I'm guessing from the place names and US 40  that you are doing that route.)

Once you get to Missouri you will be on the Katy Trail and traffic-free,
but parts of the Eastern Express in Kansas, US 36, I cannot recommend.

Illinois has a state DOT website with traffic counts. (AADT - Average Annual Daily Traffic)
Less than 500 - Super, 500-999 - Nice, 1000-1999 - O.K., 2000-2999 - Middling, 3000-4999 - Iffy, 5000+ - Tough.

https://www.gettingaroundillinois.com/Traffic%20Counts/index.html


Looks like you were in the 4500-5000 range from the state line to Marshall.
US 40 is in the 2000-3000 range West of Marshall to Montrose,
but pops back up towards 5000 the closer you get to Effingham.
Of course, US 40 is diagonal - and diagonal roads are rare in the Midwest.
From Illinois to the Rockies, if the road is diagonal, it is likely to have a lot of traffic.

But then, zig-zagging at right angles does add miles.
Also, you need to be careful because county roads may or may not be paved.
And when wet, Illinois farm roads become quicksand.

If you use the Illinois DOT traffic counts and Google Street View,
you should be able to map out alternate routes.
Roads that have almost no traffic.
With Street View, if they are not highlighted, they are probably not paved.

Good luck and happy trails - - Jama

Offline jamawani

Re: US 40 in Illinois- HORRIBLE!
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2024, 08:52:14 pm »
PS - Crossing the Mississippi River

The Eastern Express has you crossing the Mississippi at Alton on the new bridge. Safe, but meh.
You have a view of the river with lots of cars zooming by, and not riding along the river on the west side.
There is a bike trail along Hwy 100 to the Illinois River free ferry then the Golden Eagle Ferry across the Mississippi.
Hwy 100 is a fairly busy 4-lane road with the bike trail on the north side, under the cliffs.
It's a nice feeling to cross the Mississippi on a ferry when you are riding cross-country.
On my first X-USA trip in 1987, the Golden Eagle Ferry was still a side-wheeler.
(The Grafton Ferry - in between - runs only on weekends and is not as scenic.)
Some extra miles.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/46481777


Offline Buchmark

Re: US 40 in Illinois- HORRIBLE!
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2024, 10:16:53 pm »
Thanks, guys.  Traffic with a shoulder I can deal with.  Traffic and no shoulder is too dangerous, and VERY slow trying to be safe(r).

Offline John Nettles

  • World Traveler
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  • Posts: 1922
  • I ride for smiles, not miles.
Re: US 40 in Illinois- HORRIBLE!
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2024, 10:27:40 pm »
BTW, I rode the my version ( https://ridewithgps.com/collections/1838432?privacy_code=HcgDfseQAYBANTbP for the entire eastbound route) of the EE from St. Louis to Pittsburgh last fall and thought it was fine overall.  I only stayed mostly in hotels on that tour but there are campgrounds also.  I enjoyed the covered bridges too. 

Where are you going after St Louis area?


Offline Buchmark

Re: US 40 in Illinois- HORRIBLE!
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2024, 09:10:28 am »
We rode the Katy Trail and are in Boonville now.  Will head north and west on roads from here.