The Chainlink

What Are Your Favorite Chicago-Area Bike Lanes, Paths & Routes?

Ok, now that we've been exploring the routes we avoid in the "Dreaded Bike-Unfriendly Streets", what are routes you prefer to take? Whether you are commuting, going for a weekend bike ride, or just heading to the grocery store, do you have some favorite bike routes?

The Mellow Chicago Bike Map Updated 6/20/18 - Collaboration of The Chainlink & Streetsblog

John gives a great recap of everything we've recommended in his article. Definitely worth a read!

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I forgot that in Hyde Park there's a bike lane (a PBL actually, I think) on Garfield now. I'm more thinking, east and west of the Red Line stop the biking infrastructure is not great. Multiple car lanes in both directions, etc. But my info is several years out of date and I may even be misremembering.

From the Green Line east to the lake it's fine or very good.  I can't comment about further west.

I think taking Pershing from California to the lake is easier than Garfield just because traffic through Washington Park itself can be hectic. But otherwise Garfield/55th is fine. 

Thirding Elston. It's been my biking bread-and-butter since I discovered it working the US Census in 1990 (there was a field office next to the Strack and Van Til, nee Cub Foods).

Lincoln is a favorite once you get north of Fullerton.

I love Desplaines to bypass downtown, Roosevelt is actually stellar in the morning heading east (not so in the afternoon rush).

Southport is pretty solid. Clybourn isn't bad. California from Belmont to Montrose is good. Belmont between Western and Sheffield is great. Wellington is a good westbound option to get from Broadway to Lincoln/Southport. Diversey west of California is great. Damen is surprisingly good, Ravenswood is top notch.

I like Elston as well for my commute to/from Morton Grove & the Medical District. No buses, too. I hate the pedestrian islands they've put in at Elston/Grace and at 4380 N. Elston (in front of the Muslim Community Center) - they create dangerous pinch points; take the lane!

I didn't realize those pedestrian plazas were added. I'll have to see what you mean, next time I go by those 2 places on Elston. By pedestrian plazas, do you mean curbouts that reduce the width of the street for cars and bikes, and make the crossing distance shorter for pedestrians? I don't like them either, for the reason it gives me less maneuvering room to bike on a street.

No, not curbouts - these are islands in the middle of the street so cars have to move to the right to get around them. I've almost been side-swiped several times and on Tuesday as I was taking the lane a very impatient cager sped around me by driving in the opposite lane and then had to slam on his breaks to avoid hitting a car crossing Elston on Grace; and of course, he then immediately got stuck in a long line of cars while I happily pedaled past him to his "F**K you!". I'll try remember to take a picture when I ride through those areas tonight.

This is an issue on Clark, too, just north of where Clark meets Racine, IMO.

Erie is a low-stress E-W route between Noble and Damen (maybe farther west too, not sure).

Hubbard is also a good E-W route between Ashland and Green.

Question re good routes south from Edgewater to Loop (at rush-hour times): Currently, I take Glenwood counter-flow across Ridge; then south on Clark to Southport; then Southport all the way down to Clybourn; then Clybourn to Orleans; then on in to the (west side of) Loop (around Willis Tower).

Does anyone (John Greenfield perhaps?) know of another / better route? Wolcott is a bit too far west for me.  I seem to recall I once tried Racine -- or Sheffield? -- but didn't find it too comfortable...  I prefer routes where there are not a lot of trucks at rush hour. (Halsted seems to have quite a lot in some stretches.)

Does anyone know how Glenwood --> Argyle --> Broadway --> Halsted would be?

This is my preferred route starting at Ridge and Glenwood, ending at Union Station.

Isn't Lincoln a lot of (potential) door-zone riding?  Plus, it's pretty truck heavy, no?


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