The Chainlink

Hi! I'm looking for commuting advice up in the Glenview area. I've commuted via cycle in the city for the better part of the last decade, including the last four winters so I'm quite familiar with city routes. I recently accepted a new job in Skokie/Glenview off Old Orchard Road just west of the Edens. The new job is exciting, but driving to work everyday is not.

I live in the West Town area so commuting the entire way via bike is unlikely. The MD-N Metra line up to either Golf Road or Glenview seems like a good option. After driving down Golf Road I've ruled it out as a possible East-West route from the station. It seems like the best bet would be as follows:

1. MD-N to Glenview Metra Depot (1116 Depot St, Glenview, IL)

2. Make way to Glenview Road and head east.

3. Harms Road south to Old Orchard

4. Old Orchard west to to Lockwood Ave.

Does this seem like a feasible route? It appears I can jump on the North Branch Trail for some of this route, but from my searches around here the NBT is apparently not maintained (much) during the winter.

Really hoping it's possible to keep biking for at least SOME of my new commute. I'd appreciate any advice pertaining to this route, cycling in the burbs, or perhaps another route I have overlooked. Thanks!

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I'm not as familiar with cycling in this area. Have you checked out your options on Google Maps with the bike option?

I grew up in Glenview/Golf and biked often when I lived there and when I ride up from the city to visit family.

Your route looks good! There are not many commuting bicyclists on Glenview Rd., so drivers tend to get nervous and give you a lot of space. During rush hour, I sometimes tend to take the neighborhood side streets. Instead of going east on Glenview the whole way, I turn S onto Raleigh Rd, take that to Central (there is a bridge/pedestrian path linking Central) and take that to Cornet to get back to Glenview Rd. Plus, it's fun to look at the houses. Once you are at Harms, you can ride the path to Old Orchard. It tends to get very dark in this area when the sun goes down so be sure to have good lights. When snowy, I tend to ride Harms Rd instead of the trail. Harms Rd is usually lighter traffic. Old Orchard Rd can get pretty crowded, but it's a wide road.

If you ever get off the MDN at Golf, there is a pedestrian bridge at Longvalley Rd I like to use to get over to Glenview Rd (Overlook --> Crabtree --> Longvalley/Woodland --> Coronet --> Glenview Rd). As you noted, I would never, ever ride down Golf Rd. Eep!

Spring through Fall, the NBT is great to ride!! Winter can get a little dicey, but definitely worth checking out (whether via bike, foot or XC ski).

Good luck!

Wow, great post. This is exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for that is hard to glean from using google maps. Seems very doable. Thank you!

Off hand it doesn't seem like much of a difference between using the UP-N and getting off at Evanston Central Street.  And if you use the UP-N then you can use the Clybourn Station which seems easier than using Union Station.

Oo, yea! Also, I think UPN is much more bike friendly than MDN. ++ Central is also much more bike friendly compared to Glenview Rd

I hadn't considered the UPN as I am on the far west side of West Town. Much closer to the MDW and I would not be boarding at Union. What makes the UPN more bike friendly than the MDW?

Thanks for the alternative route suggestion.

UPN holds more bikes and from personal experience has been a little more lenient if I bring  a bike during later rush hour times. But either way, both hold bikes during off times :) Just be sure to bring a bungee or a piece of rope/line to tie it down. 

Makes sense. I am concerned with not being allowed on with my bike, but hoping the fact I will be reverse commuting will mean the trains are less crowded and more accommodating.

For what it's worth, it's about 15 miles from West Town to Old Orchard and Lockwood. That's certainly a rideable distance if not going to work then maybe coming home, especially if you don't want to deal with public transportation. It might not even take that much longer than Metra/bike combo. 

Here's a route from the bottom of the North Channel Trail to roughly your destination. This would probably need a bit of fine tuning though. I'm guessing 5 miles from West Town to the start point on this route.

That trail looks great. Thank you. I'd like to attempt the full trip at some point. Door to door I am about 16 miles away--6 miles from the start of the North Channel Trail. According to gmaps, the trip is 1 hour and 35 minutes although I generally find their estimates a little high.

Good luck and BE CAREFUL. These communities are decidedly unaccommodating to cyclists and pedestrians. Avoid Harms, it is full of gravel and holes, both ass- and pot-. Old Glenview to the frontage road  East of Edens, will bring you across the street from OO Mall on N side.

That has not been my experience. Glenview road east from Waukegan to Harms I find people give me room. And Harms road is not bad either. Compared to the western suburbs around it's very peaceful up there. Last time I rode up there was at 6pm a couple weeks ago, cold, a biit rainy, drivers were pretty nice.



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