The Chainlink

I have a few I can name that I do my best to avoid ever riding on and last weekend, when I was outside of my normal riding area, I realized my knowledge is pretty limited so I thought I'd post this in hopes to start an ongoing thread of streets that are pretty miserable for riding a bike. 

To get it started...

  • Ashland Ave. - No bike lanes, speeding cars
  • Michigan Ave. - No bike lanes, speeding cars, tourists, gaggles of buses
  • Western Ave.  - Ashland but with cowboy hats ;-)

The other thread... What Are Your Favorite Chicago-Area Bike Lanes, Paths & Routes?

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Really, Devon west of the post office near Clark Street is a death wish. Heck, even with the dedicated bike lanes it's dangerous because people there just DO NOT DRIVE SAFELY. that I think about it, I think there is a town ordinance that says turn signals are not allowed in Rogers Park...

"I think there is a town ordinance that says turn signals are not allowed in Rogers Park..."

That explains so much!!!  Who knew?  :)

And i believe stops are optional on Sheridan rd Howard to Devon...

From what I can tell, stop signs must be optional to cyclists. I'm convinced I'm the only one who obeys them.

Most cyclists follow the often safer and generally accepted practice of the Idaho stop.

i was actually thinking of the red lights every block in that mile % half stretch...over the years i witnessed several pedestrians getting run down by red-running drivers, especially at the Loyola EL viaduct.

Good for you if you really stop at all stop signs. Do you always put a foot down?

I took Lawrence out to the North Branch trail for the first time on Saturday. Soooo much better than the cannonball run I used to make down Devon to get out there. 

I don't even bother biking on the street portion of Devon. For those rare segments I ever bike on Devon(i.e. going over the I-94 bridge), I bike on the sidewalk instead. Illegal yes, but you have to do what you have to so that you protect your life. The sidewalk traffic there(a la Peterson west of Ravenswood) is very light, so I don't feel too bad about doing that. And of course I give pedestrians priority and 'on the left' verbal warnings(while biking slowly by them), if I see any.

The ones with cars on them.

South Chicago Avenue.  It has a dedicated bike lane but you couldn't pay me enough money to ride on that street.  I feel scared even driving on it.  Drivers use the bike lane as a driving and passing lane (note: passing on the right, which is illegal but seems to be standard on the south side).  It's technically one lane each way, but just yesterday I saw three cars driving abreast in the northbound lane.  

Seems like a big conundrum to me - the south side needs more bikers out and about so that it's a commonplace thing and drivers get used to them.  But at the same time, the drivers are so dangerous that it makes bikers hesitant to cycle, even when there are bike lanes and bike routes.  

Similar to Vincennes, though it seems that drivers are generally behaving better since the bike lanes went in there.

Passing on the right, lane weaving and drivers going 40-50 mph can be problems on both South Chicago and Vincennes.

Do you feel like driver behavior has improved at all on South Chicago since bike lanes were added, or not so much?

I can't say, because I haven't lived on the south side very long - only since mid-March.  I live in South Shore and commute to Hyde Park (thus far only driving).  It's a short distance that makes me want to ride in the summer, except the traffic really scares me.  And even getting on to the Lakefront Path doesn't seem to have a route that feels safe (if you know of one, please share!).  Jeffrey Boulevard is another potentially hazardous route.  



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