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Old 11-04-09, 01:59 PM   #1
clanke01
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Chicago Lakefront at night

Hey all,

I recently just moved to Chicago -- in the Wrigleyville area. I was wondering, for those of you from Chicago, is the lakefront trail a safe place to be at night? I tend to bike and run the trail after work, but it is now dark before 5'oclock.

Thanks for the input!
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Old 11-04-09, 04:27 PM   #2
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You're fine, especially on the North Side. (Trusting you can navigate around packs of runners and nannies walking three abreast with their strollers.) I wouldn't venture south of Hyde Park after dark, but otherwise the entire path, both north and south, is a lovely place to be at all hours.
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Old 11-04-09, 04:44 PM   #3
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Hi

Welcome to Chicago,

The lakefront is no more dangerous than Wrigleyville actually I'd be more concerned about wandering through your neighborhood @ nite. Just like anything else common sense, stay on the paths, get to know your fellow bikers/joggers, at least by sight, use lights on your bike, keep the headsets off, so you can hear whats comming behind you. If you see a group of guys standing around doing nothing try to avoid them. I'm not sure, but I think the lakefront park closes @ 10 pm so I wouldn't be there after that.

Common sense, I'm sure you get the idea.

Rick
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Old 11-04-09, 04:49 PM   #4
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My understanding is that you are still allowed to use the path after the park's closed, so long as you are actively in transit. It's only if you stop and/or loiter that police may ask you to shoo.

I've commuted from downtown to Bryn Mawr close to midnight hundreds of times without incident.
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Old 11-04-09, 09:12 PM   #5
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Hey, welcome to Chi. A good light is necessary. Not a "be seen" light but one that will actually provide you some visibility. NiteRider makes some great lights--I have the mini newt and love it. Some areas can be pretty dark and the path lights are not always on or simply aren't around.

As far as safety...I wouldn't be concerned at all, even south of Hyde Park ( past the Museum of Sci & Industry.)

I don't ride it late at night--past 7-8pm--but being that it is not summer there won't be too many people out so you really shouldn't fear for your safety. But, hey...its a big city and there are nuts out there, so keep your eyes open.
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Old 11-05-09, 07:49 AM   #6
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Welcome to Chi. I live in Wriggleyville (actually the Southport Corridor), and I do most of my rec riding on the lakefront at night from Belmont down to the Field museum area & Grant park. Right now it's a great place after work (7pm ish) because of the absence may ped, joggers, skaters and casual bikers. In summer it's a lot more crowded but still areal pleasant ride. I echo the "get a light" response. While the path is pretty well lit there are darks spots (worst Diversey harbor bridge to Fullerton) with ninja bikers & joggers. Never had a problem riding at night though I'm generally not out on the lake past 10pm. Just use good "city sense". Just be prepared for the "Hawk". Wind can get pretty heavy some days. Have good rides.
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Old 11-05-09, 11:06 AM   #7
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You can take the path south all the way to the end safely. I've done it at all hours and never felt a hint of danger.

As many here will concur, the dangerous aspect of the lakefront is the other people using it. They tend to be erratic and much less predictable than cars.

Cyclists must take their fair share of the blame. If you're going to do any type of "training", do it on the South Side where the crowds aren't as heavy.
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Old 11-05-09, 02:10 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies.

It is nice to hear that the trail is relatively safe (as safe it can be for a city)
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Old 11-05-09, 04:00 PM   #9
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Always good to be aware of your surroundings period. I second the get a good light to see. There are still runners, dog walkers, and even other bikers out there that seem to just appear out of no where because they have darker clothes on (and no lights). I take the north end most of the time because that's how I get home, but my few jaunts to 95th have never been a problem, sometimes as late as 9pm. I've been riding the LFP for about 5 years and never had a problem FWIW. If you're running, do everyone a favor and use reflective bands or light colored clothes to make it easier to see you, and look behind you before crossing the path. And welcome to Chicago
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Old 11-05-09, 06:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvr View Post
Always good to be aware of your surroundings period. I second the get a good light to see. There are still runners, dog walkers, and even other bikers out there that seem to just appear out of no where because they have darker clothes on (and no lights). I take the north end most of the time because that's how I get home, but my few jaunts to 95th have never been a problem, sometimes as late as 9pm. I've been riding the LFP for about 5 years and never had a problem FWIW. If you're running, do everyone a favor and use reflective bands or light colored clothes to make it easier to see you, and look behind you before crossing the path. And welcome to Chicago
yes yes yes. It is scary how joggers just seem to materialize in some places...especially before dawn when they need to quickly return to their lairs.

even a small band does wonders.
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