We are trolling for routes that riders -especially those who bike with kids and or stuff-find to be the most quiet and useful in Chicago for the new Good Routes page of our Chicargobike blog. We are hoping to build a kind of clearing house for asking about and sharing good routes. Your daily commute and usual haunts might be useful to another rider looking to be in an unfamiliar neighborhood or on an errand to a not so usual part of town! 

For instance the guys and I did a ride to pick up a guitar in Lincoln Square this September that took us from UIC to Old Town School to UIC that  I experimented with- I was on Hoyne south for much of the ride to try some new side streets and wondered if there were terrific side roads other riders might know on the way slower but quieter that the main streets.

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Great idea, Jennifer. I love to see this coming into fruition. My daily commute to Damen and Grand from Logan Square is to take California south but I always to Oakley home from Grand to Wabansia and then skirt over to Leavitt and then Milwaukee. Oakley has a light at Grand, Chicago, Augusta, Division (this one is a push button for some reason but I rarely have to hit it during working hours) and North and has very little traffic traversing it.
I must agree with you there. I find I find Wolcott safer than Damen

John Greenfield said:
One of my favorite stealth routes is Wolcott (1900 W.) from Winnemac (5030 N.)
to Diversey (2800 N.) If you're taking this northbound, at Grace (3800 N.) head two blocks east
to Hermitage (1700 W.) Although this route involves a few jogs and zig-zags, it's very pretty
and quiet and most of major intersections have stoplights or stop signs. I used to use this
route to commute from Bucktown to Andersonville.

John Greenfield
I took your advice yesterday and rode this from Menards to Mangi's. Nice route and worth the jog over from Ashland and back. Thanks!

John Greenfield said:
One of my favorite stealth routes is Wolcott (1900 W.) from Winnemac (5030 N.)
to Diversey (2800 N.)

John Greenfield


Erin said:
I commute from Oak Park to River North for work. The safest east-west route I've found so far is Wrightwood/Logan Blvd. (both 2600 North). My boyfriend and I take it west to Narragansett/Ridgeland, then south to OP.

The "boyfriend": We're trying Washington back to OP this winter since ped street traffic is less. Only challenge is figuring out where to meet up after work. I work on North/Kimball. So far, we found High Dive on Chicago/Damen. It's a friendly, cheap place to read my tomes. We're also thinking about Tumans farther west of High Five and Twisted Spoke .

I wish Morgan or Throop still had their bridges over the Chicago River. 

 

When going west, I like to use Hubbard instead of Grand or Chicago (Chicago really needs a protected bike lane - car traffic is low but awfully speedy). Crossing Ashland at Hubbard may take a few minutes, though.

Anne Alt said:

From Taylor St. (1000S) down to Cermak (2200S), Morgan (1000W) is a great alternative to the crazy congestion on Halsted St. It takes a little jog at 18th St. but has no other interruptions.

Yes, it would be nice if those bridges still existed.  Of all the bridges in that area, I use Loomis the most often.  Just watch out for broken glass and occasional shards of scrap metal.

Back to Hubbard.....if I'm going west of Ashland, I usually take Noble north to Erie, which is an easier stoplight-controlled point for crossing Ashland.


Steven Vance said:

I wish Morgan or Throop still had their bridges over the Chicago River. 

 

When going west, I like to use Hubbard instead of Grand or Chicago (Chicago really needs a protected bike lane - car traffic is low but awfully speedy). Crossing Ashland at Hubbard may take a few minutes, though.

Anne Alt said:

From Taylor St. (1000S) down to Cermak (2200S), Morgan (1000W) is a great alternative to the crazy congestion on Halsted St. It takes a little jog at 18th St. but has no other interruptions.
I live on Diversey near California and I am looking for a safe ride going east and back with my daughter in her trailer. To go to Belmont/Lake area I usually will take Sacramento up to Belmont, Belmont across Western and then up to School. I take School all the way east. Going back I take Roscoe. However, if I want to go somewhere closer to Diversey I am not sure what to take. For example, I want to ride to Diversey and Seminary on Friday mornings (during rush hour) - does anyone have any suggestions? Diversey seems too scary to me.

Damen to Wilson to Southport.

and in reverse.

That little section of Wilson is my fave.

Plus you get to see the bikes that the bridge trolls have stolen!

Wilson is a great alternative to Lawrence if travelling from Ravenswood to Pulaski, especially after dark. Much less (and slower) traffic and better scenery, like the old bungalows near both banks of the north branch.

agreed!  

Brian said:

Wilson is a great alternative to Lawrence if travelling from Ravenswood to Pulaski, especially after dark. Much less (and slower) traffic and better scenery, like the old bungalows near both banks of the north branch.

I live by Old Irving Park and I commute to my internship at River North. I find Elston Ave to be pretty safe due to its wide open bike lanes and there are not that many cars park going east from my place. My destination is Orleans and Huron so, I take Elston(SouthEast) to Division(east) and south on Orleans till I get to Huron. I feel that its a pretty safe route to down to river north in my opinion.

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