Hinsdale Oasis pavilion now closed
HINSDALE, Ill. — The Illinois Tollway has closed the Hinsdale Oasis pavilion over the Tri-State Tollway (I-294). It was permanently closed to the public on September 13. The tollway plans to remove the over-the-road structure to make room for a fifth lane of traffic each direction. The gas...
Crazy that 15 years ago they completely demolished and renovated these, and now they are shutting them down completely.
Aw man. I saw Mancow “frozen” in a block of ice there. They had a special banana shake at the McD’s for the event. Good times.
I'm a transportation engineer that worked on the tollway plans that included the removal of this oasis. While most here seem to hate the plan, ultimately the addition needed on the highway justified the removal of the oasis proved to be significantly better than keeping the oasis. It won't be just an additional lane, but an increased shoulder for PACE flux. This was coordinated with the nearby village through public meetings.
While some people here on Reddit became traffic engineers after watching 1 video from NotJustBikes, I'm here to tell you that this wasn't just scraped up but years of planning. While I'm not 100% pro what is being constructed, I am happy where the tollway ultimately decided to go after coordination with different planning agencies and municipalities.
Edit: one thing I do know. Attend those public meetings and your comment has to be addressed. More people attending those meetings and talking with their aldermen. The more infastructure will be planned for you.
I love highway oases. You don't have to get off the highway and fight with traffic to get gas or food in the ultra-congested areas around the ramps. They are good places to stretch your legs and let pets out. Local residents don't have to deal with the influx of travellers and excess gas stations and fast food joints clogging their neighborhoods. Shame.
It's insane to me there are aren't even any rest stops nearby. Between belvidere and Chicago, there are zero rest stops. Sure, you can pull off in any suburb and there's likely to be a gas station/mini-mart nearby, but you have to pay a toll to get off the highway and maybe another to get back on, as well as going out of your way. Why can't we have a gas station in a similar place, where you can just drive up some ramp, fuel up, go to the bathroom, grab a snack, and then drive down a ramp back to the highway?
I used to drive out to the NW burbs for work and stopped at the des plaines oasis multiple times a week. During traffic, it was an incredible place to just grab a cup of coffee, sit over the highway, and watch the cars (slowly) go by. But now it's just nonstop highway bullshit with no respite.
Really sad, used to stop at these as a kid on the way to six flags.
Adding lanes of traffic only makes things worse! ugh this is so stupid. I stopped at this oasis all the time on my way to school but honestly widening the highway is just going to make traffic longer on the 294.
Literally pulled in there an hour ago on the way to o'hare for mcdonalds. Super lame
We all joke around but this oasis produced a significant amount of sales tax for Hinsdale.
For all those claiming induced demand, yes that is very much a possibility (I'd say likelihood) for 294 itself. But the true value of added lanes for the tollway is that it can increase overall throughput, not lower travel times or make it safer. Which means more $ in their pockets of course. But also, that increase in demand does have to come from somewhere else in the system; it's not like people are suddenly buying cars specifically to ride 294 now that a fifth lane is added. Other N-S parallel arteries may see a bit of a relief in traffic if throughput on 294 increases.