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It's easy to get around the city of Chicago. The city was built with a grid system, with the intersection of Madison Street and State Street serving as the center of the city. State Street runs north and south, and Madison Street runs east and west. The intersection of these streets is numbered 0. The farther from the city center a street is, the higher its number, increasing by a factor of 100 in all four directions. There is no real east side of the city because of Lake Michigan. There are some streets that run diagonally, but most conform to the grid system. As you travel further out of the city, the grid fades away into a more suburban road style.
Chicago's many unique neighborhoods form a quilt of ethnic diversity, home-style variety, and boundless energy. Use the link below or the map to the left to learn more about the neighborhoods that make Chicago famous!
Within the city limits there are close to 60 different Chicago zip codes - many of which do not coincide with recognized neighborhood boundaries.
The CTA regulates Chicago's public transportation. The CTA services the actual city of Chicago as well as many of the nearby suburbs. Over 1.5 million commuters use CTA transportation every day.
This map represents the downtown Chicago area, also known as "The Loop". The Green, Purple, Brown, Blue, and Red lines are all represented.
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 when 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.