best route from the Loop to Forest Park Blue Line in Chicago?
A couple of my flat-mates and I are thinking of going to the 4th annual Lope to Lombard to Loll among the Lilacs (did I get that right?) tomorrow, which has a start location of the Forest Park Blue Line station. We're thinking of following the Lakefront Trail up north to the Loop and then turning west and basically following the Blue line out to Forest Park. (This gives us the option of catching the El if we're running late, so we don't miss the start of the ride proper.)
Google Maps recommends a series of more bike-friendly roads (Randolph, Fulton, Washington Blvd, Monroe) but I'm more worried about missing a turn than riding in traffic. I'm tempted to just turn off the trail at the aquarium and follow Roosevelt all the way out. Could anyone familiar with these roads weigh in? How bike-unfriendly is Roosevelt really? Are there lots of traffic lights and aggressive motorists?
I used to live in Oak Park several years back, just east of Forest Park... Personally, I wouldn't ride Roosevelt. It tends to stay pretty crowded in my experience, and in general the drivers around the city are pretty aggressive, as I'm sure you know. Unfortunately pretty much any street you encounter that goes from the 'burbs to the city is going to have a ton of streetlights. You may want to check out Lake street. I don't think it would be much better streetlight-wise, but I'd bet that at least you wouldn't have to fight as much traffic. And I think it pretty much follows the blue line.
That being said, since it's a Sunday, all bets are off traffic-wise. Personally I'd probably take the train out to the start. It sounds like you'll have a decent ride ahead of you anyways. If you're not satisfied with the ride out to Lombard, just keep following the Prairie Path. Keep the rubber side down!
Ah, I see. Well, then we'll probably just get on the Blue Line at Clark/Lake and save ourselves the hassle. Ten miles of stop lights and traffic doesn't sound very appealing. Thanks for the information!