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Chicago Neighborhood, Zip Code and Transit Maps

It’s easy to get around the city of Chicago—the city was established as a grid, using the intersection of State Street and Madison Street as the center of the map. With State serving as the zero point between east and west and Madison the zero point between north and south, street numbers rise by a factor of 100 in each direction the further they are from the center. A handful of Chicago’s streets run diagonally, but most conform to the grid system. The grid structure gradually loosens into a suburban road style the further one travels into the city’s north, west, and south sides—an east side being nearly non-existent due to Lake Michigan.

Chicago has one of the best public transportation systems in the country. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) provides the city with both train and bus transportation. The train system has been nicknamed the "El", because the tracks are elevated above the city. There are lines of the El that travel underground beneath downtown, while other lines travel around elevated tracks circling downtown, forming what is known as "The Loop". The CTA train and bus system make moving around the city quick, easy, and clean.

There are a number of major highways that run through the city. Although these highways have numbers, many Chicagoans refer to them by other names. The Kennedy Expressway is I-90. I-94 is known as the Edens Expressway. The Eisenhower Expressway is actually I-290. The Stevenson Expressway is the name for I-55. The Dan Ryan Expressway is where I-90 and I-94 merge as 90/94. Other Chicago highways are simply referred to by their number, such as I-80 and I-57.