The Chainlink

New forum member here.  Moving to Evanston from Bucktown at the end of February, and will be commuting to the Millennium Park cycle center.  Can any Evanston commuters recommend best routes from the Foster/Sherman area to the loop?  Particularly looking for recommendations in the Evanston and Rogers Park areas.

Views: 3628

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

The big difference in routing is which side of Calvary Cemetery do you want to go around. If you don't mind riding that short stretch of Sheridan Road to the East of the cemetery (poor sight lines for fast-moving cars, not enough room for cars and bikes to share a lane), then Sheridan Road south to Rodgers Ave. to Greenview is a good bet.  Motorists on Sheridan are trying to get to/from Lake Shore Drive and don't have much patience for cyclists, so I head over a block or two to Greenview.  I think you can follow Greenview to Granville, but you have have to jog East a block or two somewhere, I forget.  Hang a left at Granville, then follow the signs to the Lakefront Path (Winthrop southbound, Kenmore northbound to/from Thorndale).

I prefer going around the west side of the cemetery on Chicago Ave.  I don't like Chicago Ave. through Evanston, so I usually use Hinman to South Blvd to Chicago.  During winter, you'll need good lights because Chicago is unlit going around the cemetery.  At Howard Street, Chicago Ave. turns into Clark.  To get to the LFP, its Clark to Granville to Winthrop, then follow the signs.  Or you can stay on Clark all the way down.

In Chicago, I mostly follow the recommended routes on the Chicago bike map, but like to use Greenleaf between Damen/Wolcott and Ashland to avoid the Sheridan curve around the cemetery.  I created a map a long time ago of my preferred routes between Evanston and Chicago.

http://g.co/maps/q3f37

I suggest trying a few different options and seeing what you like best.  Some ideas:

  • Maple is a nice route between Main and Church
  • Hinman is a great route between South Blvd and Sheridan Road
  • Chicago Avenue is okay, but I don't like the delays at the signals (yes, I stop at red lights).  It's faster when you get south of Main, but that's both good and bad.
  • Sherman is good, but is one-way southbound in downtown Evanston and has a jog in it at Dempster.
  • Custer is a very good route from Main to Howard.  Going south, it connects well to Damen in Rogers Park.

 I bike from Andersonville to Evanston (Noyes Cultural Arts Center between Maple & Sherman) almost everyday and usually take Clark til it turns into Chicago and then hop over to Maple or Sherman.

However there are parts of Chicago that I really don't like, especially at night.  There's a stretch right before Howard where there theoretically is a bike lane but has so many potholes and overgrown branches and is pretty dark it's almost unusable and I end up riding in the traffic lane anyway.  I've recently discovered Asbury (which turns into Western) and feels much safer, though is somewhat out of my way.  You'd be going down that side in the morning so at least it won't be dark.  

Lots of great suggestions here. When I commuted up to Northwestern I came to many of the same conclusions as others here: Asbury (Western) is out of the way, but worth it, stay west of the cemetery etc. 

One of the nice things about a commute is that you'll have plenty of opportunities to experiment.

Also, keep in mind that your morning commute does not need to follow the same route as your evening commute. Sometimes a stretch of road may be better to ride in one direction than another. Also, your mood and energy levels will probably be different, so stay open to the possibilities afforded by your choices.

It is none of our business of course, but why would you want to move to Evanston if you work in the loop? 

Thanks for all the great suggestions!  I'll definitely map them out and give them a whirl.  I'm a confident rider, but I don't take too many risks.  I already have a bar in my clavicle from a debris-related wreck, and have been hit head on (got out with just a broken toe!), so I'm not tempting fate.

@Tony, moving to Evanston bc of a growing family and the need for better schools than what I can afford to send my kids to in CPS.  Makes me sad, bc I'm a city guy, but any place that I can afford in Chicago proper just doesn't meet my expectations for public education (and I'm not lucky enough to be able to afford private).  I'm telling myself that Evanston is still basically part of Chicago, too. Self delusion is a powerful thing!

Dan,

My girlfriend lives in Andersonville and commutes to Evanston several days a week for school. She lives on Glenwood, and takes Glenwood up about as far as it can go, jogging a bit as needed until Juneway Terrace or Jonquil Terrace or whatever that street is called at the south end of the cemetary. Briefly on Chicago around the cemetary, then one block east. I rode it with her once and it was quite nice. South of Hollywood or Foster or so you can take the LFP. Unfortunately I don't remember all the street names, but that ought to be enough information to let you explore Google Maps. If she checks the forum and sees this thread, perhaps she'll chime in.

David

Welcome to Evanston.  It's a little quieter than Chicago, but I think you are going to like it.

 

I like Clark street a lot, and sometimes the Lake Shore Path.  Since I work off of Halsted, I usually go Clark to Halsted going south and the reverse home. 

It depends where you live in Evanston. If you are east you may consider the route discussed by the cemetary or Clark St. You can take Clark all the way, which I did when I lived in Evanston, or down to Devon. You go east on Devon  to Greenview or Glenwood. Then south to Granville and east on Granville to pick up the offical bike route that takes Winthrop south and Kenmore North when connecting to the Lakefront path via Ardmore. 

 

If you are farther west you can take either Dodge or Asbury which become California and Western respectively.  Go down either to Lunt and take Lunt east to Ridge.   Ridge is a bit dicey between Pratt and Devon and the sidewalk is an acceptable bailout especially on your way back north if its rush hour.  At Peterson you can jog to pick up Ravenswood.  Ravenswood becomes one way against you and you jog west to Wolcott and take that south all the way to a dead end where you go back east to pick up Ravenswood again.  You can ride this all the way to Addison where you are dumpted into Lincoln.  California is also fine for taking all the way south to Lincoln.  Western is ok in non rush hours only.  Lincoln is a good route in but you may prefer a lake option if you are going to Millenium.  If so...

 

...take either California or Western south to Granville and shoot east. You are on a signed bike path. You can take this all the way to Kenmore and the route above.

 

Check out the Evanston Bike Club site for lots of routes north and west for your weekend rides. www.evanstonbikeclub.org

 

Happy trails.

Evanston and Oak Park are arguably more urban than big swathes of the bungalow belt in the city proper, so I don't think you need to worry too much about your urban cred. 

And forgive the tangent, but for those of us who have not chosen to have kids and whine about paying for schools we don't use - look what happens when we let our local schools degenerate: we lose good people to the suburbs.


Dan MacAvoy said:

Thanks for all the great suggestions!  I'll definitely map them out and give them a whirl.  I'm a confident rider, but I don't take too many risks.  I already have a bar in my clavicle from a debris-related wreck, and have been hit head on (got out with just a broken toe!), so I'm not tempting fate.

@Tony, moving to Evanston bc of a growing family and the need for better schools than what I can afford to send my kids to in CPS.  Makes me sad, bc I'm a city guy, but any place that I can afford in Chicago proper just doesn't meet my expectations for public education (and I'm not lucky enough to be able to afford private).  I'm telling myself that Evanston is still basically part of Chicago, too. Self delusion is a powerful thing!

I like the direct route.  I take Clark all the way to Lincoln then jog over to Wells St straight to the Merchandise Mart.  Cake.  

Going back north is trickier since Wells is one-way south.  I prefer going LaSalle to Chicago then head west back to Wells.  From there it's just the reverse route.  

Good luck.  

I think there are many  routes to the loop  from Evanston? Can you be a little bit more  specific about where you are starting from and where exactly are you trying to go down town. If you are just going "downtown" the easiest is to just find your way to Admore and Sheridan  and hop on the Lake front Trail.

nitpick: Wells is only a one-way south of Erie (200 N). Chicago between La Salle and Wells is pretty unpleasant riding, and La Salle isn't that great either, so when going north I'd suggest getting over to Wells before Chicago Ave.

Marc-Paul Lee said:

I like the direct route.  I take Clark all the way to Lincoln then jog over to Wells St straight to the Merchandise Mart.  Cake.  

Going back north is trickier since Wells is one-way south.  I prefer going LaSalle to Chicago then head west back to Wells.  From there it's just the reverse route.  

Good luck.  

RSS

Groups

© 2008-2016   The Chainlink Community, L.L.C.   Powered by

Disclaimer  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service