Not good news:
The trail can be lonely and hard to exit from at night.
If I suggest that someone not walk around solo late at night while drunk texting on their phone in order to avoid making themselves a more attractive target for a robbery in a major City, is that impermissible "victim blaming" as well? In my mind, it's never a victim's fault when someone else victimizes them, but that doesn't mean we can't discuss whether people should take steps to make themselves safer when they move about a City that has a known, verifiable high-crime level in areas. I ride in the City at all hours of night, through many neighborhoods that people consider "bad," but that doesn't mean I consider every route "safe."
Right now, with four confirmed robberies having occurred involving cyclists on the trail, and the design (narrow, easily-blocked width, with limited access points) being a huge factor in how those robberies occur, I think it's completely fair to ask people to weigh the relative safety of traveling on it late night solo.
That's just me, though.
I think there are a few issues here being discussed and I don't think anyone is blaming victims.
How do we keep ourselves safe now? Avoiding the 606 especially when alone may be the only option given the recent muggings occurring on the trail.
How do we fix this route for the future? All parties need to agree to a 24/7 trail and patrol it to make it more safe. That said, given the length and the layout, anyone using the trail during late night hours needs to be careful when riding on it. I'm not convinced even with regular patrols it will be 100% safe.
It is a 24/7 trail: http://www.scribd.com/doc/300209877/CPD-Code-Chpt-7-3
B.2.a. persons and vehicles may pass through such parks without stopping on the more direct walk or driveway leading from their point of entrance to the exit nearest to their point of destination
That means you can ride through legally; just don't linger or "run laps".
Yes please! Here's to hoping Active Trans launches this soon. With upcoming warmer months, there will be more people wanting to use the 606 at all hours. Not really a park.
New article on Streetsblog Chicago, "Active Trans May Launch a Petition Drive to Keep The 606 Open 24/7"