The Chainlink

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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While I live just a block away from Sheridan/Ardmore and the path, for North/South in Uptown and Edgewater I use Winthrop and Kenmore. Kenmore going north is much better than Winthrop going south, but both are far less stressful than tackling Broadway.
Yeah Leah thanks!! I'll move this over to our blog too.
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'll second that. It's one of my faves on the north side.

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
From the lake to Kedzie (3200W), Lunt (6900N) is a great way to get across Rogers Park and West Ridge. It has stoplights at the major intersections. Traffic is light to moderate. It take one little jog at Ridge, but it's otherwise straightforward. It's a nice lower traffic alternative to Pratt.

It's one-way westbound from Sheridan to Clark. Greenleaf works as an eastbound route from Clark to the lake.
From Wellington (3000N) to Bowmanville (5400N), Leavitt (2200W) is a pleasant northbound route. There are short sections that are two-way, but most of it is one-way northbound. It's very briefly interrupted on the north side of the 5-way intersection with Montrose and Lincoln, but going over the curb and walking through to the continuation solves that problem.

South of the Kennedy, Leavitt also works from Medill (2300N) to Harrison (600S). It's mostly one-way southbound until 600N, when it becomes two way.
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.
Berwyn (5300N) from the Berwyn Red line stop (1100 W) all the way to the river (almost 3000 W), where you can take the North Shore Chnanel trail either north to Lincoln or south to Lawrence. One way going West, with stop signs and traffic light at nearly all intersections (except Ashland and California(?)). When you hit the Metra rail line, take the little pedestiran tunnel underneath it.
I haven't found a really good route going East yet.

I'll also second both Leavitt and Wolcott as excellent North/South streets
Going to the lake from Lincoln Square, I like Leland (4700 N). Most of it is one way heading east, and there are stop signs or lights at all the major intersections. After Broadway, I usually jog back up to Lawrence at Kenmore.
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.
Yes, second the Leland comment.

I also like Glenwood (1400W) heading North from Ainslie (5000N) to around Lunt (7000N). Wilson is beautiful, I take it from the Lake (could take a alt side street like Leland until Clark) to Pulaski (4000W).

Another N/S Street on the North side is Ravenswood. I Believe you can take it from Diversey to Evanston(?).

I like this question :)), gonna rack my brain for more.


Julie M. said:
Going to the lake from Lincoln Square, I like Leland (4700 N). Most of it is one way heading east, and there are stop signs or lights at all the major intersections. After Broadway, I usually jog back up to Lawrence at Kenmore.
I once started a zine called 'The Quiet Ride Guide', aiming to record the quietest recommended routes throughout Chicago. My first issue was called: Superior is Superior. Most folks take Chicago Ave or Grand Ave bridge from the West Side to get over the Chicago River just east of Halsted. Rather than battling the taxis, buses, traffic, and pedestrians of Chicago Ave to the lake, esp. on a work day, just one block South is shiny Superior (700N) with fresh pavement, no traffic, rolling stop signs, the gallery district for eye candy, and takes you all the way across Michigan to the Inner Drive. Yay! Huron (600N) goes West for your rtn trip home.

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