The Chainlink

From the Active Trans blog:

Connecting Chicago to Lansing, Illinois, the Burnham Greenway Trail is a critical route for people walking and biking on the South Side of Chicago and surrounding suburbs in Illinois and Northwest Indiana.

But currently there is a 2-mile gap in the trail that forces trail users to navigate unsafe intersections and roadsClosing this gap will create a safe, 11-mile trail that connects to hundreds of miles of existing trails in the region.

Construction is ready to commence on this long-awaited project -- except for one hurdle. Unfortunately, the agency that runs the South Shore Line commuter train doesn't want the trail to cross its tracks. 

This is where you come in.  

Please sign our petition to the Northern Indiana Commuter Transport...

This trail can't be built without crossing the South Shore Line tracks near the Hegewisch neighborhood of Chicago and suburban Burnham. 

Installing the trail will greatly increase safety of this crossing for trail users and commuters. This crossing is also adjacent to the Hegewisch Commuter stop that is frequently accessed by people biking and walking.

It's a long awaited improvement -- let's make sure our leaders follow through!

 

Ted Villaire

Active Trans

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Pending the closing of this gap, what is the best route through here?

This is what we did this weekend; it feels like there is probably a better way:

1. Burnham Greenway down to Avenue O.

2. We actually walked our bikes through the overgown-mud-and-gravel path with the Burnham Greenway sign between Avenue O and 126th because we weren't sure if the path might pick back up.

3. At 126th we entered the William W. Powers Natural Area and took the park drive (I guess Wolf Lake Blvd) down to 130th

4. At 130th we followed a "To Burnham Greenway" sign (the only one we ever saw in the gap) onto Avenue N southbound. Avenue N was very nice and we stayed on it until it ended.

5. South on Avenue O/Burnham Blvd all the way to the ramp onto State, then State over to where the Greenway started again.

Other than cutting over onto Wolf Lake Blvd from the Greenway earlier, is there a better way to do this? Burnham Blvd over the river wasn't a ton of fun.

That's pretty much the same route I've followed on the few times I've gone in that direction.  It isn't bad, I've seen worse, but joining the two parts of the Burnham Greenway would be a very big improvement.

When you get to the end, around Rt. 6, where do you go then - west to Joliet or east to Indiana? As usual, the east/west routes leave a lot to be desired.

Thanks. I think next time knowing the route it will be easier. The IDOT bike maps we had didn't have the level of detail to give us much confidence in our navigation.

We didn't go as far as Rt. 6. We were camping at the new Shabbona Woods campground.

We are thinking of doing this route for a bike camping trip with the kids in a few weeks.  The 7yo can do the distance, but how dangerous are the roads where there is no path?  Or are there sidewalks he could take?

There is a sidewalk on Avenue O/Burnham Ave for the relevant part you absolutely must travel on it (Brainard Ave. to Sibley Ave)  but note this includes a long overpass bridge.  I recommend taking the sidewalk on Sibley to get back on the trail rather than taking the ramp to State. St.

East/West isn't bad if you're willing to ride a little farther south.

Here are two possibilities that start at Burnham Greenway and Rte 6.

If I was going west to Joliet, I'd connect with the Old Plank Road Trail through a combo of forest preserve trails and sedate streets. One possible route is this

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/8044779

(If you ride that way, let me know ... It passes 1 block from my home)

There is also a new (just completed last week) Cook County FPD trail from Glenwood thru Chicago Heights that ends about 1/2 mi from OPRT.

If I was headed south east or east (to Indiana or Michigan),  I'd connect to the Erie Lackawanna trail to Crown Point or use Erie Lackawanna / Oak Savannah / Prairie Dune Land  to go to the dunes and on into Michigan.

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/8045040

Somehow I missed this when it appeared back in May.

Thanks for giving it a bump. I was just on this bike trail and this extension would make it perfect. 

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