The Chainlink

Safety question: What do people think about biking Madison Avenue west in the day time?
I have to get from the Loop to Oak Park tomorrow after work.  I can wait til after rush hour and bring my bike on the train, or I could just bike it.  I've been wanting to try this route for a while, but I don't know many people who've done it.
What do you think?

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I avoid Madison.  I use Warren Blvd until you lose the Bike Lane, then N to Lake St, and finally to misc E/W streets in Oak Park itself.

Hope you found a good route, whatever you used...

oops.  BTW Rode Ogden to Berwyn/Riverside yesterday. Sometimes racing amongst the enemy drafting buses is fun ;)

Andy Moss said:

I ride Washington/Warren almost everyday.  It's wide with a bike lane from Laramie to Des Plaines eastbound.  Oddly, the westbound bike lane does not begin until after the viaduct west of Western.  Also it's generally well-paved.  There's a bit of glass, but they clean it more often in the warmer weather, and there's glass everywhere in Chicago.  Washington is a little narrow and sketchy for the 6 blocks or so between Laramie and Austin, but I have never had an issue.  Also, unlike Madison, there are no CTA buses on Washington.  I also use Augusta when time permits. 

Madison is simply too busy and also really bumpy.  Jackson has many more stop signs and traffic lights than Washington, and also is narrow until you get to California.  I know a few people who use Lake religiously because of its lack of side streets and residential lots.  Personally, I think it's dangerous.  Drivers go extremely fast, and it's not wide enough outside the El structure.  Also, it's really loud.

BTW, Oak Park is not SW!

Yes, 26th is super.

Anne Alt said:

I' ve ridden the 26th St. route on weekends.  I've found that traffic in the area around the intersection by Cicero/Ogden is often fairly light then, at least on 26th.  From the RR crossing just east of the intersection to 50th Ave. (in other words, around viaduct/turn combinations), taking the lane and even bearing a bit towards the left side of the right lane can be helpful to make you visible for a longer distance to overtaking traffic.  Traffic speed through the intersection can be an issue - good reason to aim for greater visibility.  Traffic volume and speed are a bigger issue on Ogden than 26th here.  I haven't been through there at rush hour, so I don't know how it would look then.

I have not ridden through this intersection on Ogden, so have no experience to share on passing through in that direction.

Eric Peterson said:

I've been biking in from the western suburbs through Riverside and agree that 26th is great - I've been cutting north to OP though. If I were to continue on 26th east the section crossing Cicero / BNSF  and connecting to Ogden looks a little dicey - what's it like riding that section?

Bike lanes on Ogden sure would be nice.

Yvonne Valencia said:

What part of the loop? Odgen is safer, and faster (diagonal street). From now N. Riverside I used to bike 26th to Cermak, Odgen, and then you can turn on whatever street you need.

HI everyone:


I like Augusta or Lake the best.  a nice route: take Fulton to the end at Garfield Park.  head to Lake or Augusta from there.  Washington/Madison---seem very dicey.  I have been scared riding there with my husband....would not do alone.  The good thing about Lake is you can hop the green line at any point if you feel unsafe.


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