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I live on the far north side and I have friends on the far south side and in the south suburbs. I've thought about riding down there some weekend to hang out but I don't really know how bike-friendly a lot of the streets down that way are. I'd be going from Foster & Western-ish to either 115th & Western-ish (straight shot down Western? Don't know if that's a good idea or not) or 147th & Pulaski-ish. Does anybody have any preferred streets or paths for riding down that way?

Thanks!

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Really... I am under the impression it's never a good idea to take Western or Ashland for too long (that's what Damen is for)... it's just a lot of stress and potential death.

You should stop off at Soul Veg in route
This is a bit leisurely as it's a route I'm drafting for an upcoming ride, but it gets you down there. The only spots to watch are south of 55th to about 87th.

http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Ride-to-Rainbow-Cone-2008
"the hipster highway" aka damen is probably the best way - depending on where you are going...Pulaski is not bad, but can get a little rough in some areas-

http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=2141035

A little longer but a lot more scenic and safe: take the lakefront path all the way south, then onto some low traffic well signed streets until you get in the general area of 115th Street. Lake Calumet is kindofa obstacle. It looks like 103rd or 130th are about your only alternatives to crossing over to Western

It's a nice ride, though.
DEADhex said:
Where does the Lake Front Path end?

6700 S.

H3: you can get to 147th/Pulaski if you get over to Major Tayor, take it all the way south, then head east to Indiana Avenue, south, and then I'd recommend taking 144th into Dolton.

I grew up in 'da 60419!
You have to be nuts to ride on Western, Pulaski, Cicero or Harlem below even 35th.
There is NO reason to put a bike lane on Western; it is an arterial street that should only have cars, buses and trucks. Somewhere, a line needs to be drawn where bike lanes are put. It makes more sense to divert heavy car traffic onto streets like Western, and then slow traffic on Damen to a more manageable speed (by putting bump-outs in, adding more stop signs, traffic lights, and other proven technology).

I'm all for bike friendly routes, but I'd rather not mix faster moving traffic with slow moving multimodal traffic. That's a recipe for disaster.
See the book "Suburban Nation" for more information on such devices.

As for commentary on the neighborhood, everyone makes a choice on where they want to live. I knew that by living in Oak Park for years I'd have Austin as insulation from the rest of the city, but it was something I learned to deal with.
elle said:You must have slipped this last part in while I was away. I have a differing opinion on "everyone makes a choice on where they want to live" and wouldn't recomend you walk into a homeless shelter to report that ideal, or, who knows, maybe you can change a few lives if you do. I don't know anything at all about the Oak Park barrier but understand that it's not a bad ride to get from Berwyn to downtown and have a friend who does that one for work.
Berwyn != Oak Park.

Enough said.
It's no wonder people lurk when 12 year olds are allowed to post.
Just for fun, I put together the safest and most direct route that I could come up with to go "from the north side to the south side".

Here it is

I hope that answers your question in full detail. Secondly, please look up the term "bump out", not "speed bump". They're also referred to as intersection extensions (or neck downs) to make a 44-foot crossing shorter for pedestrians (thereby making it more manageable to cross). Quite often they're successfully used as traffic calming measures, although sometimes they're disastrous when mixing intermodal traffic (see Clark Street from Lawrence, north, on a weekend).

[edit: good explanation here]
For those recommending Damen.....bad idea.....at least on the south side of the city. First, Damen is cut off at Pershing Rd (which is 3900 S.), and doesn't start up again until 47th St. From there, it runs through some really rough neighborhoods up to about 71st St.. I work in the 47th Street area, so I'm on Damen everyday. There is a definite gang presence there, and I've seen my share of stuff going down. I would not ride there.
Blast from the past! When I posted this thread, I lived way north but now I live way south, near 147th and Pulaski and my far south side friends, and tomorrow morning I am riding downtown. I've worked out what I think is a pretty good route, cutting through Robbins, crossing the Cal Sag at Francisco, taking side streets up to 115th and Western--this much of the ride I've done previously and it's alright, not ideal but nothing down here is. Wondering about the rest of my planned route downtown. 115th over to Longwood, Longwood up to 103rd, 103rd over to Vincennes, Vincennes up to 69th, 69th to MLK, and then MLK up to Cermak after which I am again in familiar territory. It's about 22-23 miles total and I figure if I leave around 7am I should be able to easily get to my destination in the loop by 9am. Any thoughts?

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