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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Exactly right. Cyclists just trying to continue going north are essentially blindsided by jackass drivers who wait until the last minute to start their move over to the right turn "lane." We need something more along the lines of "Bernie's Wall," possibly with archers... 

I agree.

I can honestly say that in a lifetime of riding bikes on Chicago streets this is the *only* place I have repeatedly watched my life flash before my eyes. Mark my words, this is going to be a very expensive lesson the City finally learns after someone sues the living bejeebuz out of them after they get hit here.

I'm lucky to live off of LSD north so I can use the Lakepath to go N-S, but when I must use a something else I avoid Cicero, Western, and Ashland whenever I can. Any cyclist that can avoid a major truck route should take the three minutes to shoot a half mile east or west, or at least shoot over to a sidestreet if you know the lay of the land well enough. And to pick a road that is listed as an Illinois highway, like Harrison/Congress or North when you have a choice is asking for it. Yeah we have a right to ride wherever, but choose your route with a bit of caution and you won't need EMS to yank parts of you out of a wheelwell somewhere. Plus, I don't need an excuse to ride a few extra blocks anyways.

Right now my worst road is Lower LSD at Grand, because tourists suck and because a half finished flyover ramp is tantalizing, but useful only to Evil Kneval (I'm showing my age).

"...And to pick a road that is listed as an Illinois highway...'

I'm curious, why do you recommend that?

I think he was saying that cyclists should avoid those signed Illinois state highways(i.e. North Ave, Irving Park Rd), and bike on an alternative paralleling street that's a block or 2 away. Which is what I tend to greatly do, if possible.

The problem becomes where it isn't possible, which is many places where you need to cross the Chicago River
He's recommending avoiding Illinois highways. I can certainly agree. In my community, Dunning, most of the major streets are Illinois highways: Irving, Harlem, Forest Preserve Dr. (I think). None of them have bike lanes and they're best avoided.

North Avenue except from Ashland to Western.

Division Street except from Ashland to Western.

Broadway from Diversey to Devon except for the Wilson bike lane.

LaSalle north of Kinzie.


Wells in Old Town.

Cortland and Southport corridors that are now full of parked vehicles, empty beer bottles and a training ground for the next Fast and Furious movie.

The 606 on a warm sunny weekend day filled with packs of Fixie riders, Moms pushing strollers 3 and 4 wide and Lycra dudes training for a 10K... ON YOUR LEFT!!!!

And any street with Uber drivers staring at their phones and looking for the guy in the White shirt waving his phone.

Curious why you mention Larrabee Street. I haven't had any problems biking on that street, but to each their own. The road diet for Broadway south of Foster made that a lot easier to bike on, that's for sure. I haven't had a lot of probs biking that street south of Foster, but to each their own. The part north of Foster on Broadway is still tricky to bike on, since it's 4 lanes(and of course, I tend to avoid 4 lane streets unless I can't help it, or rarely during low traffic or late at night periods). You always could use Winthrop going south, and Kenmore going north as an alternate route to Broadway. Both Kenmore and Winthrop, are north/south streets that run east of the 'L tracks.

Hadn't had a lot of probs on Southport, but dodging around unloading double parked trucks on that street was always annoying. Ditto with the times I've noticed it on Cortland, as well. I totally agree with you on LaSalle, North, and about Uber/Lyft drivers. Hadn't biked a lot on Division yet, but it does seem to often have a similar problem to Southport of having to go around double parked truck drivers unloading stuff.

The area around old Finkell steel is either gridlocked or a 55 mph zone. The Southport corridor by the Brown line is full if soccer moms that can't parallel park.

I'm surprised noone mentioned the part of Addison, between Western and Sacramento. I always found that part to be annoying, and dangerous to bike on. To the point where I'll often illegally bike on the sidewalk if I have to, so that I can get around traffic. Also the part from Kimball west to Avondale where go over the Kennedy(I-90/94), is annoying as well.



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