The Chainlink

I posted this on Craigslist as well, and was directed here.

I've recently started cycling to work, I live in the loop and work in Melrose Park. Yesterday was the first day attempting the ride. I took the Green line to Harlem and then biked the rest of the way to work from there.

On the way home, I was feeling more ballsy so I decided to bike the entire way. I wound up riding on Chicago Ave until it hit Grand and taking that home. Passing through the west side of the city was pretty intimidating though. The combination of haggard roads, riddled with pot holes that could consume my whole bike, run down houses, and people staring at me like they hadn't seen a white guy in years, all made for a pretty traumatic experience.

Can anyone suggest a path through the west side that isn't quite as run down and intimidating? I'm not trying to come off as racist, I'm just curious as to what other options are out there without having to experiment and put myself in danger.

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North ave. is a bad choice. Its too bumpy the curbs are high (in case you need to hop over in an emergency) NO bike lane until you go through Wicker park then past Western the speeds are too high.

Division seems better to me but I'm only coming form The Humboldt park area.

People stare, cars and potholes are a bigger concern, IMO.
Last time I went to Oak Park around 5pm I used Lake. That was a pretty quiet ride in terms of traffic.

I've also used Augusta, which was okay but I preferred it as an early morning route with little traffic. Washington has bike lanes for a lot of the ride, but again, more traffic. My other recent route was Diversey, which is close to where I live, and that worked out pretty well.
ha ha, that is funny.

T.C. O'Rourke said:
I'd like to point out that some sections of your "black Chicago" map are relatively safe and middle class neighborhoods.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chatham,_Chicago, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Shore,_Chicago

There is a strong correlation between race, poverty and crime. But your equating black with dangerous is invalid. And offensive.



envane x said:
yes.

heather stratton said:
Was it really necessary to include a map of "black Chicago?"

envane x said:
How out of the way are you willing to travel to avoid ghetto? North of North ave in generally OK.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Black_chicago1.gif
Do you really laugh when you hear a crime has been committed against a person living in Lincoln Park? Who would laugh at any crime victim?

As for the original question, I personally prefer side streets. I used Bloomingdale and Wabansia Avenues to get to/from the Illinois Prairie Path, getting to/from the loop via Milwaukee Ave. Don't use Bloomingdale east of Humboldt as it is brick.


envane x said:
Crime statistics from http://chicago.everyblock.com/
Population statistics from wikipedia.

Robberies (the crime of most concern when wandering through unknown parts) per neighbourhood from 6/2007 to now:

Lincoln Park (pop. 64,320): 97 (1.5 per 1000 residents)
North Center (pop. 31,895): 47 (1.5 per 1000 residents)
Portage Park (pop. 65,340): 203 (3.1 per 1000 residents)
Chatham (pop. 37,275): 773 (20.7 per 1000 residents)
South Shore (pop. 61,556): 1396 (22.7 per 1000 residents)
Austin (pop. 117,527): 2071 (17.6 per 1000 residents)

If anyone wants to calculate the robbery rates for the rest of 77 community areas and prove me wrong, go nuts. Until I see a good neighbourhood by neighbourhood crime statistic map I'll continue to use race as a proxy for crime, which, judging by these preliminary statistics, seems to work out well.

T.C. O'Rourke said:
I'd like to point out that some sections of your "black Chicago" map are relatively safe and middle class neighborhoods.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chatham,_Chicago, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Shore,_Chicago

There is a strong correlation between race, poverty and crime. But your equating black with dangerous is invalid. And offensive
Augusta Blvd. is a good route through most of the West Side from Oak Park to Milwaukee Ave. Check out the Active Transportation Map for good alternatives as well.

Louis K said:
Do you really laugh when you hear a crime has been committed against a person living in Lincoln Park? Who would laugh at any crime victim?

As for the original question, I personally prefer side streets. I used Bloomingdale and Wabansia Avenues to get to/from the Illinois Prairie Path, getting to/from the loop via Milwaukee Ave. Don't use Bloomingdale east of Humboldt as it is brick.


envane x said:
Crime statistics from http://chicago.everyblock.com/
Population statistics from wikipedia.

Robberies (the crime of most concern when wandering through unknown parts) per neighbourhood from 6/2007 to now:

Lincoln Park (pop. 64,320): 97 (1.5 per 1000 residents)
North Center (pop. 31,895): 47 (1.5 per 1000 residents)
Portage Park (pop. 65,340): 203 (3.1 per 1000 residents)
Chatham (pop. 37,275): 773 (20.7 per 1000 residents)
South Shore (pop. 61,556): 1396 (22.7 per 1000 residents)
Austin (pop. 117,527): 2071 (17.6 per 1000 residents)

If anyone wants to calculate the robbery rates for the rest of 77 community areas and prove me wrong, go nuts. Until I see a good neighbourhood by neighbourhood crime statistic map I'll continue to use race as a proxy for crime, which, judging by these preliminary statistics, seems to work out well.

T.C. O'Rourke said:
I'd like to point out that some sections of your "black Chicago" map are relatively safe and middle class neighborhoods.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chatham,_Chicago, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Shore,_Chicago

There is a strong correlation between race, poverty and crime. But your equating black with dangerous is invalid. And offensive

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