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Oak Park to the Loop

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Oak Park to the Loop

Old 05-09-15, 08:15 AM
  #1  
LopezT
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Oak Park to the Loop

Seeing that the last time this was talked about was back in 09, I wanted to bring some life back to this discussion.

Routes
What routes have worked for you?
What routes do you completely avoid?

I understand that safety is always an issue, however that doesn't concern me as much as a good paved road.

Thanks for viewing, looking forward to reading your posts.
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Old 05-09-15, 09:21 AM
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Goodness, there's a no-man's land between Austin Blvd and at least Ashland, and even after that it's still pretty rough clear to the Kennedy. Garfield Park was scary as hell back when I lived in Chi. THis was 30 years ago though.

I do not recall there being any good route from OP to the Loop. Roosevelt and Madison are no go options and all the smaller roads in between scared the hell out of me. Lake street was OK, if you don't mind the hookers.
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Old 05-09-15, 10:00 AM
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OP should clarify that this is in Chicago. Not everyone knows those streets.
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Old 05-09-15, 12:40 PM
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Lake street now has bike lanes from at least Central Park Ave. to the loop. Starting in June, the Bloomingdale trail will be open, which is an above grade rail trail that will go from Central Park Ave to almost Ashland, two blocks north of North Ave. If you are in the north part of Oak Park, that will probably wind up being your best bet starting in about a month. There are many options from the end of the trail to the loop. My favorite is cut across to the Lake Shore path on Armitage, then ride that down to the Loop. It would add some distance compared to other routes, but it's a great ride with no lights to worry about. It does get very crowded coming back in the evening on a nice day, though.
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Old 05-09-15, 01:49 PM
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A Chicago bus pulls up to the bus stop and its door opens. A man leans in and asks, "Does this bus go 'to da loop'?" The bus driver replies, "Nope, it goes 'A-oogah, oogah'!" then closes the door and drives off.
B'dum PAHHHHhhhhhhh! Thank you, I'll be here all week!
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Old 06-01-15, 04:00 PM
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I live in the city but do ride the west side a lot.

Washington/Warren - ok pavement and mostly bike-laned
Jackson - bike lane starts somewhere around Western head east
Augusta - crummy pavement but perfectly functional to Milwaukee Ave

Roosevelt is too traffic-y, Lake Street trains and pillars make me crazy. If you are on the far northern side of OP, then a previous poster's comment about the Bloomingdale Trail is well noted. Also from up there around North Ave you can take Bloomingdale in to the city, shoot a few blocks north on Laramie, then take Armitage or Grand in. Time of day is important too - I like Grand in non-peak times, but not when parking controls are in place at rush hour.

And in a momentary fit of pique related to a previous reply, there are plenty of men, women, children and others between Austin and Ashland. If you haven't been in Chicago in 30 years maybe you should keep your thoughts to yourself. Many of us are not as easily frightened as you seem to be.
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Old 06-02-15, 07:55 AM
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I drove Lake from the loop to Oak Park last night. They have modified the lane configuration. There is now a bike lane from Damen to at least Central. Most of the way it is separated from the rest of traffic by the train pillars and a parking row. There was a short stretch which was not protected. there was a traffic lane on each side of the train pillars, and the bike lane next to the curb. It looked like there was a lot of debris along the curb for much of the way. There was one cyclist who I saw from Western to about Central. It took exactly as long on his bike as it did in my car.
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Old 06-02-15, 09:22 AM
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Just got back from Chicago this past weekend. Rode quite a bit downtown, Bucktown, Lincoln Park, Irving Park, etc. The traffic there appears to be quite used to seeing bikes on the road. I had very few issues honestly, and the few close calls were actually when I was in the bike lane on Milwaukee and on Dearborn near Polk. The bike lanes are great there, especially the protected ones, however, riding on the street in traffic is extremely easy to do once you get used to it.
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Old 06-02-15, 09:35 AM
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The route I take is Jackson in Oak Park all the way to Central, then turn north until Madison. Madison has a wide bike lane with a margin all the way to Pulaski. I go a couple of more blocks and turn north on Hamlin, then take Washington through Garfield Park and follow Washington all the way in to the Loop.
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Old 06-02-15, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by ChicagoDan View Post
I drove Lake from the loop to Oak Park last night. They have modified the lane configuration. There is now a bike lane from Damen to at least Central. Most of the way it is separated from the rest of traffic by the train pillars and a parking row. There was a short stretch which was not protected. there was a traffic lane on each side of the train pillars, and the bike lane next to the curb. It looked like there was a lot of debris along the curb for much of the way. There was one cyclist who I saw from Western to about Central. It took exactly as long on his bike as it did in my car.
Not a fan of the bike lanes on Lake Street myself. I prefer Madison and Washington.
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Old 06-02-15, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by baron von trail View Post
Goodness, there's a no-man's land between Austin Blvd and at least Ashland, and even after that it's still pretty rough clear to the Kennedy. Garfield Park was scary as hell back when I lived in Chi. THis was 30 years ago though.

I do not recall there being any good route from OP to the Loop. Roosevelt and Madison are no go options and all the smaller roads in between scared the hell out of me. Lake street was OK, if you don't mind the hookers.
Your information is outdated. I ride through Garfield Park on Jackson regularly. There is nothing to be afraid of there. Also Madison has a wide, buffered bike lane on both sides of the street between Pulaski and Central. Side streets are fine too. The kind of people who will tell you it's scary to ride on the west side are people who never actually ride on the west side.
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Old 06-02-15, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclosaurus View Post
The route I take is Jackson in Oak Park all the way to Central, then turn north until Madison. Madison has a wide bike lane with a margin all the way to Pulaski. I go a couple of more blocks and turn north on Hamlin, then take Washington through Garfield Park and follow Washington all the way in to the Loop.
You ride right past the house I grew up in. My family is still in Oak Park, but I'm out in the NW 'burbs now.
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Old 06-02-15, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclosaurus View Post
Your information is outdated.
indeed. what i found funniest about baron von trail's woefully outdated impressions of the city is that he described the area between ashland and the kennedy as "still pretty rough" LOL! east of ashland has been gentrified into a yuppie playground over the past couple decades.

or perhaps he was being tongue-in-cheek?
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Old 06-02-15, 11:09 AM
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I can't add anything, but am subscribing to this thread because I lived in Austin for the first few months of my life. My dad grew up in Austin when it was working class Irish neighborhood. Of course all my cousins have moved north to places like Northbrook and Winnetka. That seems to be the pattern.
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Old 06-08-15, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by ChicagoDan View Post
Starting in June, the Bloomingdale trail will be open, which is an above grade rail trail that will go from Central Park Ave to almost Ashland, two blocks north of North Ave.
Originally Posted by threecarjam View Post
If you haven't been in Chicago in 30 years maybe you should keep your thoughts to yourself. Many of us are not as easily frightened as you seem to be.
Yeah, there's nothing to worry about riding in the city is there?Chicago cops report officer-involved shooting by new 606 trails | WGN-TV Was this part of the opening celebration for the new trail?
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Old 06-08-15, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
Yeah, there's nothing to worry about riding in the city is there?Chicago cops report officer-involved shooting by new 606 trails | WGN-TV Was this part of the opening celebration for the new trail?
There are plenty of things to worry about riding in the city. Most of them involve other vehicles or pedestrians.

To recap the article, the police shot at someone they said had an unspecified weapon, and it happened near the trail. That doesn't effect my opinion one way or the other.
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Old 06-08-15, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by ChicagoDan View Post
To recap the article, the police shot at someone they said had an unspecified weapon, and it happened near the trail.
That's true, but if it happened close enough for the stray shot to hit you, you're still wounded.
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Old 06-08-15, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
That's true, but if it happened close enough for the stray shot to hit you, you're still wounded.
Now you got me curious. The chances of getting struck by a stray bullet in the US are almost identical to the chance of being struck by lightning.

I am going to go back to planning my route from Schaumburg to the loop for tomorrow now. Anyone with advice on a good route to get around O'hare?
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Old 06-08-15, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ChicagoDan View Post
Now you got me curious. The chances of getting struck by a stray bullet in the US are almost identical to the chance of being struck by lightning.

I am going to go back to planning my route from Schaumburg to the loop for tomorrow now. Anyone with advice on a good route to get around O'hare?
If you're planning on riding under the tollway at Golf Road you're going to have to make a huge detour unless you want to ride on Golf Road.
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