The Chainlink

Hello everyone, I'm a new commuter and I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions to a safe route from Old Irving Park to Westchester? Its like a 15 mile commute one way and I'm having trouble figuring out a safe route to avoid the west side of Chicago. My destination would Roosevelt Rd and Mannheim.

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I've gone from Madison and Mannheim to Foster and Kedzie a few times, using residential streets in Oak Park, Naragansett to Wrightwood, Wrightwood to Long, Long to Lawrence, and Lawrence to Kedzie. Not sure how much that helps. I live in Oak Park, and take Madison to the train tracks west of Des Plaines, turn south before the cemetery, and then turn right to catch the bike/ped bridge over the Des Plaines river. I've commuted the IPP from there all year without any trouble except occasional broken glass.


I have limited experience riding out that way since I had not done so until recently, but if you want to avoid neighborhoods that make you feel edgy going down to Oak Park on Oak Park Avenue seems to be a good way to do it. Once you're in OP you can go west through Forest Park to Maywood and pick up the IPP for a bit before going south. I've taken Oak Park Avenue up to Belmont; you could go further north if convenient.

I live in Oak Park also and have explored ways to get to the city. I try to skirt north of the west side, so this is the route I would suggest.

Take Diversey West to Oak Park Ave, (is far enough north to avoid most of the "west side") 

Take Oak Park Ave South to get past north ave, (North ave is hard to cross on side streets)

Cut over to Forrest Ave, ride South to Jackson (less traffic than taking Oak Park south)

Turn south on Desplains take the next right on van buren (a bit tricky there, but its the only way to fit between the train tracks and blue line station)

Veer left into the long skinny parking lot of the cemetery and at the end of that is the trail over the river.

That turns into Maybrook Dr which is kind of a service drive

Cross first ave (I use the crosswalk) and you will find the trail head of the IPP (Illinois Prairie Path)

That will take you the rest of the way west, but I am not sure exactly what street to go south on.

Good Luck!


Head south on Bellwood Avenue, which is Westchester Boulevard south of 290. If you see a big guy on a brown Schwinn Suburban wearing a reflective vest, that will be me.

Thanks for sharing some handy routes people. I found Legacy Frameworks route to be pretty quick on my way back home from Westchester. This is what I used in the morning out to work,

I usually go from Franklin Pk to Clark & Foster.. Starting from about Mannehein and Belmont, I take Belmont east to Forest Preserve dr, Forest preserve dr to Montrose at Oak Park ave, from there I take Montrose to Clark st, then North to Foster. If you want to avoid the main streets, after you past Oak Park ave, you can take Sunnyside, Corneila, Roscoe, or Byron east to Cicero, got to get around the Xpressway.

   Since you are starting from Roosevelt and mannehein, you can go east to 25th, then 25th north to Grand or Belmont( Grand is better, because of the long forest Preserve woods on Belmont and Forest Preserve dr), on Grand till after Cumberland, if you want a quiet side street, George st just north of Diversey, will take you to Cicero rd. This will get you near old Irving.



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