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Safe Bike Route Suggestions from The Loop to Maywood (Oak Park)

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Safe Bike Route Suggestions from The Loop to Maywood (Oak Park)

Old 04-26-17, 07:47 AM
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Safe Bike Route Suggestions from The Loop to Maywood (Oak Park)

I just moved back to Chicago from Los Angeles and am living in The Loop (State and Roosevelt) but work in Maywood (a little south and west of Oak Park). I was commuting everyday in LA and was hoping to continue to commute 2-3 days a week since this trip is considerably longer than my last. I know things can get sketchy through the west side of Chicago, so I was hoping someone had experience traveling this route and had tips for the best streets to take. I'm not so much worried about not having bike lanes as I am about going through a rough part of town. I've heard mention of Lake st but want some more opinions on the matter.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
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Old 04-26-17, 07:54 AM
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I used to live in Oak Park, and to get to downtown Chicago, I would first head north (at least north of North Avenue, preferably further), then East, and then back south on or near the lakefront. Unfortunately, the direct shot is much less safe, both in terms of traffic and neighborhoods. Lake Street east of Austin Ave., at least when I lived there, was particularly bad.
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Old 04-26-17, 10:06 AM
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Have you asked Google Maps? I find it gives excellent bike routes, sometimes stuff I would not have thought of.
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Old 04-26-17, 10:15 AM
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I love a good map challenge, although not being from there I don't really know what the neighborhoods are like. I could probably map out and suggest a route that I personally would try, if you're interested.
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Old 04-26-17, 10:43 AM
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I just realized that this would be the route home from work for you, but this is how I might try it initially. I would probably adjust a few streets here or there, depending on traffic, what bike lanes are like, etc. I prefer to avoid 2-way cycle tracks entirely, especially in the contraflow direction, as those are simply too hazardous for my tastes.

Again I don't know what the neighborhoods are like, but from the various street views they didn't look too terrible. As a bonus it's slightly downhill pretty much the whole way going home, which might be nice at the end of the day.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/20628971
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Old 04-26-17, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94
I don't know what the neighborhoods are like, but from the various street views they didn't look too terrible.
I grew up in Chicago and still have family there. And while neighborhoods can change, there will always be questionable blocks. Since you can't vary the times of day you ride, you may want to vary your route slightly from day to day, so you are less likely to pique the curiosity of some criminal opportunists. Also it will provide variety and spice to your commute.

I prefer to avoid 2-way cycle tracks entirely, especially in the contraflow direction, as those are simply too hazardous for my tastes.
It is so different out here. The city of Colorado Springs put in a two way cycle path along a stretch of my commute. In two years, I have passed three cyclists going in the opposite direction. Instead of bikes, every month or so I have to dodge one or two cars that stop on the lanes, so they can conduct "business" with the local entrepreneurs on the grass at the park. (And I mean 'on the grass' both ways).
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Old 04-27-17, 04:43 PM
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Somewhere on the net I've seen maps of Chicago with an overlay for the amounts and types of crimes by location. You might want to look into that when planning your route as there are some rough neighborhoods in between your start and end points.
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Old 04-29-17, 08:04 AM
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Strava Heat Map may be worth a look (zoom in really close), combine with Google Street view. Add the other excellent suggestions above.



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Last edited by HvPnyrs; 04-29-17 at 08:16 AM. Reason: Formatting: Damn, over aggressive auto spell
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