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Traffic Nightmare In Lincoln Park Due To Bucktown Emissions Testing Site

By  Joe Ward and Mina Bloom | May 31, 2016 6:08pm 

 An emissions testing facility at 1850 W. Webster Ave. is causing major traffic backlogs on the Near North Side.
An emissions testing facility at 1850 W. Webster Ave. is causing major traffic backlogs on the Near North Side.
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DNAinfo/Mina Bloom

LINCOLN PARK — Drivers rushing to get their car emissions tested at a Bucktown facility created a traffic nightmare in part of Lincoln Park and other nearby neighborhoods on Tuesday, according to reports and an alderman.

The state emissions testing facility at 1850 W. Webster Ave. was reportedly swamped Tuesday after drivers learned that they needed proof of an emissions test before they could renew their state license place sticker, according to WBBM Chicago.

Many North Side streets more closely resembled parking lots during much of the after-work rush Tuesday, according to stranded motorists and Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd).

A DNAinfo Chicago reporter was stranded on Webster Avenue and moved about two blocks in 90 minutes Tuesday evening. Hopkins said in a tweet that traffic delays were centered near Webster and Elston. (The photo accompanying his tweet shows lines at a Joliet, Illinois testing facility.)

Traffic backlogs were reported near Webster and Ashland, where motorists complained of being stranded for hours Tuesday. Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) warned drivers to stay away from several straights in Lincoln Park.

Angry motorists can blame the state for their traffic woes. The rush to get to emissions testing facilities was partially caused by the state foregoing the sending of notices on emissions testing, according to WBBM:

Part of the problem behind the long lines is, from December until early April, the Illinois Protection Agency was not sending out notices about emissions tests. While the notices were suspended, the Illinois Secretary of State's office stopped requiring car owners to show proof they had passes an emissions test before renewing their license plates.

However, now that the Illinois EPA has resumed notifying drivers of their deadline to get an emissions test, the Secretary of State's office has said it will resume regular procedures for renewing license plate stickers on June 1.

Traffic backlogs were also reported on Armitage Avenue and Racine Avenue, among other North Side streets.

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