Chicago Truck Data Portal

Counting trucks for environmental justice. Truck traffic in cities spews pollution, causing health issues for people who breathe its dirty air.
How many trucks are driving on our streets?

To help find out, in 2023 we deployed truck counting cameras at 35 spots around Chicagoland. The cameras also counted light vehicles and buses (other sources of pollution) and people moving around. These temporary cameras were set up for 24 hours, one time at each spot. We chose spots not only near main streets and highways, but neighborhood streets, schools, parks, intermodal rail yards, and in Chicago’s largest industrial corridors. To count medium- and heavy-duty trucks and distinguish between them, we used a special software called Miovision.


Collecting truck traffic data is vital. It shows the issue through hard numbers. These counts are most powerful when echoing lived experiences.

The data supports the many years of community advocacy and community testimony. We hope that learning more and more about the effects of heavy diesel emissions can lead to changes such as 'zero-emission technologies' that can better our built environment.

Jocelyn Vazquez-Gomez, Community Science Organizer, LVEJO

Jocelyn Vazquez-Gomez, Community Science Organizer, LVEJO

Existing truck counts for commercial and industrial vehicles are not easy to attain. Some traffic sources, while thorough, miss collecting data on important neighborhood streets of concern. Other sources show approximations or may not separate trucks from the rest of the flow of traffic. For many, existing traffic studies may need to be requested. Yet these studies may only show traffic at certain peak hours instead of a full day.

This project is a step towards fulfilling the need for accessible, community-level truck traffic in Chicagoland. Our truck counts are designed to be accessible for policymakers, community leaders, and the public. These counts are not estimates, but real numbers.

We hope this new truck count portal contributes to the growing consensus that we must find solutions to toxic truck emissions, especially in communities facing many environmental and social injustices.

Camera Locations

There are 35 locations where trucks & buses were counted. Zoom in and click on the circles to learn more details about the site.

1,000 - 5,000 trucks & buses /day

Traffic Count Reports

Download truck count reports for each location here.

Summary and Detailed Reports expand all

Albany Park

Archer Heights

Belmont Cragin

Brighton Park


East Side


Fuller Park


Lincoln Park

Lower West Side

McKinley Park

New City


South Deering

South Lawndale

West Town

note: traffic counts were collected one day only between April 2023 - September 2023

Show data snapshot for:

How we got here

In 2012 there was a successful campaign to close down the Crawford Coal Power Plant, also called “cloud factory,” in Chicago’s South Lawndale neighborhood. This eventually led Little Village Environmental Justice Organization’s air quality organizing efforts to shift to diesel pollution and truck traffic around 2015. This endeavor was spearheaded by local parents from Zapata Academy, a pre-K - 8th grade Chicago Public School, which sits right next to Unilever, a multi-national company that makes many consumer goods like foods, beverages, cleaning agents, and personal care products. In 2016, Unilever announced plans to expand its Hellman’s mayonnaise factory and distribution center on a vacant site near W 28th St and S Kilbourn Ave. This expansion was set to bring an estimated 500 - 900 additional trucks/day through the neighborhood. Community leaders expressed concerns about this surge in trucks and associated health and safety risks for Little Village residents, especially for young students at Zapata Academy. The community deemed Unilever's proposal to address these concerns with buffers like trees as inadequate.

As concerns over health impacts surfaced, it became evident that addressing systemic issues was necessary, particularly in the face of other companies seeking expansion. This prompted a call for data on commercial and industrial truck traffic in the neighborhood. This call was intensified after the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development, under then-Mayor Emanuel, decided to halt its industrial modernization process to review the Little Village Industrial Corridor. Recognizing the lack of available diesel truck data from city agencies, community leaders partnered with LVEJO to gather truck counts at intersections known for trucking activity. An AP Statistics class from Infinity Math, Science and Tech High School collaborated with LVEJO to conduct truck counts outside their school campus at W 31st St and S Kostner Ave. After analyzing their data, they found that over a 5-hour and 42-minute period, 452 total trucks drove by, averaging 1 truck/minute. This effort by high school youth laid the groundwork for the creation of our Chicago Truck Count Data Portal.

Every student complains about getting to the high school on time because there are trucks up and down 31st Street and just the safety of it. Students also shared their experience with the air pollution and all the smells they get from just walking around the neighborhood. ... To some extent, [the AP Stats students] were just learning math and applying it to a project. But for them to hear that this was actually filling a need in a conversation about mobility justice... I remember they were like ‘Wow, did we just do this important work?’. I said, ‘Yeah, it’s important to look for data where there is data missing so that you can support your claim or fight for justice.’

Salvador Venegas, PhD, Teacher at Infinity Math Science & Technology High School

Salvador Venegas, PhD, Teacher at Infinity Math Science & Technology High School

Moving forward

To eliminate tailpipe pollution, trucks on the road must transition to electric models. The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition (ICJC) sub-campaign Neighbors for an Equitable Transition to Zero Emission (NET-Z) advocates for multiple state-wide truck electrification policies. The Advanced Clean Trucks or ACT rule would require truck manufacturers to sell an increasing percentage of electric trucks year after year. The Heavy-Duty Omnibus Low-Nitrous Oxide or HDO rule would reduce fossil fuel emissions from new diesel trucks via comprehensive emissions standards. Other policies like the Advanced Clean Fleets rule focus on the demand side of the market system, with rules like the ACT affecting the supply side. NET-Z also supports bills like HB5013, Healthy & Equity Insights, which would mandate the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct truck counts along with related course corrections.

The ACT ensures that more medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission trucks show up on the roads running next to and through environmental justice communities and that means less damage done to the lungs of people by harmful diesel exhaust. With big vehicles running on electricity that is increasingly generated by zero-emission renewable wind and solar power, harmful pollution isn’t simply shifted to another community but is truly eliminated.

Brian Urbaszewski, Respiratory Health Association

Brian Urbaszewski of Respiratory Health Association

Want to take action for Illinois? Fill out this form here to send a pre-written email advocating for these clean truck rules to your State Senator(s), State Representative, and State Governor.

Apart from trucks, all freight movements– trains, ships, and aircraft– need to become electric and source their electricity from clean and renewable energy.

Yet a transition to electrification alone is not enough.

A Just Transition is a non-negotiable framework to integrate into an electric truck future. In a Just Transition, equitable processes would ensure no one gets left behind in the shift to a clean fuel economy. This means prioritizing workforce training and good working conditions for truck drivers, mechanics, and all other workers affected by this shift. Environmental justice advocates also call for a systemic shift in ending worker and resource exploitation worldwide which would otherwise still exist in a clean fuel economy without a Just Transition. Critically, more funding for public transit and city re-designs favoring people over vehicles helps address the root issue.


We hope that this project inspires further truck count locations and permanent truck traffic data collection in Chicagoland.

Better truck traffic data can better verify existing traffic estimates and studies, inform permitting processes and other policies, add to the understanding of cumulative impacts especially in environmental justice communities, and advise a Just Transition to truck electrification.

For inquiries on this project or to share how you're using this data, contact:

Paulina Vaca

an environmental justice project by LVEJO, FTG, CNT

Project team:

Carolina Macias (she/they/ella/elle)
Mobility Justice Research Organizer, LVEJO.

Role: Community engagement, public health perspective, data analysis, and copywriter/editor.

Carolina was born and raised in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood and is an alum of LVEJO’s youth program. At LVEJO, Carolina advances research, policy advocacy, and organizing efforts focused on promoting mobility justice, public health, and environmental health at both local and state levels.

Cindy Fish ( (she/her)
President/Principal, Fish Transportation Group, Inc.

Role: Truck count consultant, camera installer, and expert thought partner.

Leading FTG’s transportation planning projects, Cindy has a vast portfolio of projects balancing mobility solutions for all modes and travelers of all ages and abilities. Her work is focused on enhancing safety and accessibility based in a complete streets and safe systems approach that considers shared mobility uses, curb use management, best practices, and innovative approaches.

José Acosta-Córdova ( (he/him/el)
Transportation Justice Program Manager, LVEJO

Role: EJ & freight expert, data analysis, and lead researcher.

José leads the Transportation & Mobility Justice program at LVEJO, which works on issues related to freight, EJ, and mobility justice at the local, state, and national levels. He is also the co-chair of the Transportation Equity Network (TEN) in Chicago. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Geography & GIS at the University of Illinois, and his dissertation is focused on the negative impacts of freight on EJ communities in Chicago, how freight has transformed since the deindustrialization period, as well as the role of low-wage labor in the growth of the warehousing boom in the Chicago metropolitan area. He was raised by social justice activists, and has been around the EJ movement since he was 3 years old.

Paulina Vaca ( (she/her)
Project Associate, Urban Resilience, CNT

Role: Lead coordinator, internal project manager, and copywriter/editor.

Paulina is a young urban sustainability professional, intersectional environmentalist, and qualitative researcher. Her research includes a 2023 publication in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, the world's only peer-reviewed transdisciplinary journal on food systems.

Jon Kuta ( (he/him)
Senior Web Developer, Urban Analytics, CNT

Role: Web design and development.

Jon leads the planning, design and development of websites and interactive tools that advance a variety of initiatives of CNT and its partners. With an eye for design, Jon specializes in visualizing complex data and translating CNT's highly technical research into approachable and beautifully designed websites.