The Chainlink

Hey guys, I have a friend that just moved into a place on the south side and is throwing a house warming party tonight. I plan on maaaybe riding down there but I'm unsure if this route is dangerous because I never bike that far south from my area. Otherwise I'll just take the 52 bus or train.

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I wonder if you have left yet for the party.  I think public transportation would be the best bet since it is unfamiliar territory and by the map looks to be all shared bike lanes.

Thanks for your concern. I actually got a ride now. Apparently the neighborhood around Lake street near Damen and Western is considered one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the United States!

Michelle Gregorek said:

I wonder if you have left yet for the party.  I think public transportation would be the best bet since it is unfamiliar territory and by the map looks to be all shared bike lanes.

This is the first I have seen this neighborhood web site Minh.  Very cool....well not very cool as far as this neighborhood, lol.

The route you posted is  not my route of choice except for the Oakley stretch, but I know my side streets pretty well, and I like the wide and unused sidewalk along Western between Ogden and 21st.  You would have had absolutely no problems with safety (except for the usual threat of cars) using the pictured route once you got out of Humboldt land.

For some reason the area you mentioned did come up on some sort of "most dangerous in the country" list about 2-3 years ago, but I'm still baffled by it.  I'm up and down Oakley between Roosevelt and Division =constantly= and never see anything threatening anymore.

Minh said:

Thanks for your concern. I actually got a ride now. Apparently the neighborhood around Lake street near Damen and Western is considered one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the United States!

Michelle Gregorek said:

I wonder if you have left yet for the party.  I think public transportation would be the best bet since it is unfamiliar territory and by the map looks to be all shared bike lanes.

That area doesn't really get bad till you are West of Western Ave.

http://www.trulia.com/crime/#!cook-il/14/41.87530,-87.67449/Chicago,IL,Loop/

Some places down and around there can get bad, but they are usually so small that you miss them riding by.

That most dangerous "award" might have been from when the Henry Horner housing project was still there.  It's been torn down and redeveloped for a few years now.

This may be what the OP was referencing:

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/10/04/25-most-dangerous-neighborho...

Supposedly from 2010. I don't have time to try to get into their methodology right now, but I've been riding between 24th Western and Humboldt/Loganland for 10 years and this is not a particularly dangerous area to cross on a bike.

I see you got a ride to the party last night, but if you're thinking about riding to your friend's house in the future, here are my suggestions:

I live at 51st and Western and I usually take Damen back and forth to Humbolt Park.  It looks like you'll be taking Archer eventually, so just take Grand all the way to Damen and follow Damen south to Archer.  There's a bike lane/shared lane most of the way, except a short bit from Lake St. to I-290, and I usually just take a lane here so people aren't trying to squeeze around me. 

To the people saying Damen around Lake is bad, I've never had any problems, at any time of day or night.  Sometimes there is some shady stuff going on but just keep your eyes open and be alert. 

If you want to skip some hairy (i.e. heavy/speeding traffic) sections, jump on the sidewalk on Damen south of Blue Island to go over the river/I-55 bridge.  There are curb cuts at the intersections for I-55, just pay attention for red-light runners turning onto the highway.  Also, Archer is a pretty busy street with no bike lanes, so what I usually do is cross Archer and cut through McKinley park to Western/31st.  If you keep going west on 31st you will hit Archer again after a short bit through some neighborhoods that are only a little sketchy.

Hope that helps you out some.  I've been doing that route for nearly a year now and it's pretty much the quickest, safest south side/humbolt route.  If you're feeling like a longer, safer ride through nicer neighborhoods I can give you some other recommendations, but they'll take you further east.

Thanks that's an interesting site. If one zooms out the loop is one big red splotch or according to the site a crime ridden hell hole, but from my experience it's somewhat "safe". Larceny and fraud (which could mean almost anything in the crime world) seems to be somewhat popular in the loop on CTA platforms.

Adam "Cezar" Jenkins said:

That area doesn't really get bad till you are West of Western Ave.

http://www.trulia.com/crime/#!cook-il/14/41.87530,-87.67449/Chicago,IL,Loop/

Some places down and around there can get bad, but they are usually so small that you miss them riding by.

Yes this site is strange and confusing. The article seem to be more about shock value to get site hits than putting out any useful data. There are no links to references on the stats except a vague reference to neighborhoodscout.com.

h' said:

This may be what the OP was referencing:

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/10/04/25-most-dangerous-neighborho...

Supposedly from 2010. I don't have time to try to get into their methodology right now, but I've been riding between 24th Western and Humboldt/Loganland for 10 years and this is not a particularly dangerous area to cross on a bike.

I'll probably be traveling that route maybe once every couple weeks, so thanks for the extremely detailed route info!

El Gecko said:

I see you got a ride to the party last night, but if you're thinking about riding to your friend's house in the future, here are my suggestions:

I live at 51st and Western and I usually take Damen back and forth to Humbolt Park.  It looks like you'll be taking Archer eventually, so just take Grand all the way to Damen and follow Damen south to Archer.  There's a bike lane/shared lane most of the way, except a short bit from Lake St. to I-290, and I usually just take a lane here so people aren't trying to squeeze around me. 

To the people saying Damen around Lake is bad, I've never had any problems, at any time of day or night.  Sometimes there is some shady stuff going on but just keep your eyes open and be alert. 

If you want to skip some hairy (i.e. heavy/speeding traffic) sections, jump on the sidewalk on Damen south of Blue Island to go over the river/I-55 bridge.  There are curb cuts at the intersections for I-55, just pay attention for red-light runners turning onto the highway.  Also, Archer is a pretty busy street with no bike lanes, so what I usually do is cross Archer and cut through McKinley park to Western/31st.  If you keep going west on 31st you will hit Archer again after a short bit through some neighborhoods that are only a little sketchy.

Hope that helps you out some.  I've been doing that route for nearly a year now and it's pretty much the quickest, safest south side/humbolt route.  If you're feeling like a longer, safer ride through nicer neighborhoods I can give you some other recommendations, but they'll take you further east.

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