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So what's the safest way to get to Oak Lawn from the North Side.  I live up in Lincoln Square, but know there are some shady spots between here and there.  Any suggested routes?

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Western bus to 67th to California to 83rd...

Rough coordinates of your destination?

California to 71st

W. on 71st to Kedzie

S. on Kedzie to 83rd

w. on 83rd to Central Ave

S. on Central Ave to Oak Lawn

About the shadiest spot is going to be around Marquette park on 71st...

Thanks Guys!

More or less going near 105th and Cicero.
I took Kedzie all the way down once and a number of folks I knew said that might not have been the best choice. So I figured I would consult the experts. 

 M

Coming from west Lincoln Square I'd do roughly this since California doesn't go through the Metra barn and is not the best choice across east Garfield:

California/Elston/Sacramento/Palmer/Rockwell/Campbell/Maplewood/Hubbard/Oakley/Ogden/Washtenaw/25th/California

From east Lincoln Square I'd start with about 4 miles of Damen. 

Chuck a Muck said:

California to 71st

The problem with heading to the S.W. Side is the big rail yard. There are only so many streets that go over it. Kedzie is one of the less crazy streets that go over it...

Kedzie opens out to two four lanes with no extra room somewhere in the 8000s.  I'd rent a car before riding it again.

Here are 4 options from the Google Maps bike tab: http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Central+Ave+%26+87th+Pl,+Oak+Lawn...

If you have the time (and legs) to do 5 extra miles, I'd go for the Archer/Trail option.  Otherwise, the first one seems to have the least problems.  I like to take the bridge on Loomis between Archer and Cermak:  http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Central+Ave+%26+87th+Pl,+Oak+Lawn...

OOPs... I gave you the same link twice...Try this: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Central+Av...

I would stay off of 87th its a 6 lane freeway more or less. I hate that google always recommends it when you have 83rd which is a bike route... 

You're right, I should have looked more closely at the whole route.

I'd agree with that. Kedzie becomes a speedway before you reach 87th St.  California is much better, and it goes through as far as 103rd. I'd definitely agree with Chuck's comment about avoiding 87th. It's a worse speedway than far south Kedzie.  

The suggestion of taking California as far as 71st is a decent one. Although it adds some extra distance, Damen is one of the best north-south routes continuing south from there.  My suggestion is California south to 71st, then east on 71st to Damen. Got 2 suggestions from Damen.

1.  From Damen, go west on 83rd (a good bike route all the way out to Harlem). Continue on 83rd to Kostner, then go south. It has stoplights at all the major cross streets.  Getting through Hometown is a little tricky navigation-wise, but it's easy riding. I'd suggest marking this map section, printing it and taking it with you. Kostner takes a slight dogleg at 87th St., so you need to make a right, then an immediate left at the stoplight there. About 0.2 mi after 87th, make a left on Duffy. At SW Hwy, Duffy becomes 90th Pl. Make the 2nd right after SW Hwy onto Ryan. It curves around a bit and becomes Keeler by the time you reach the Christ Hospital complex at 93rd. At 93rd, turn right to go back to Kostner, so you have stoplights to cross 95th and 103rd. At 105th, head west towards Cicero.

2. Continue on Damen to 87th St.  Cross to the SW corner of the intersection and continue south on the Major Taylor Trail. When you come out of Dan Ryan Woods before the 91st St. Metra station, turn right and use the cut in the tall curb to go past the end of the cul de sac. Continue uphill on 91st to Longwood. Turn left on Longwood and continue to 94th. Turn right on 94th and continue uphill to Leavitt. Turn left on Leavitt and go south to 99th. Turn right on 99th and head west.  (FYI - 99th is a rideable route as far west as Central. It's almost all residential, with lots of stop signs and moderate traffic volume and speed.)  Stay on 99th to Kostner, then turn left and continue south to 105th.

Either of these routes with take you through mostly residential areas where the traffic doesn't get too crazy and you won't have to deal with lots of buses and trucks. I've used both many times and found them reasonable.

h' 1.0 said:

Kedzie opens out to two four lanes with no extra room somewhere in the 8000s.  I'd rent a car before riding it again.

H' 1.0 - Experienced the lunacy of Kedzie 1 to many times also. Treacherous.

Mike M! Thanks, my name is also Michael M by the by.  I also like that option 4 is take public trans (ha!).  Consensus seems to be to take 83rd instead of 87th....noted (thanks Chuck!) 

Anne Alt - Wow! Do you live near Oak Lawn you know the area well. Thanks!

I used a ton of exclamation points.

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