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 - Collaboration of The Chainlink & Streetsblog
John gives a great recap of everything we've recommended in his article. Definitely worth a read!
I like Wolcott (1930 West) between Diversey and the Berteau Greenway, with a jog necessary on Lincoln and Byron, as an alternative to Damen. Also works as a southbound route from Andersonville to Bucktown. The new Glenwood Greenway is also sure to become a favorite:
I don't mind biking on Wolcott, but I really wish there was a traffic light at Foster and Wolcott. Hence why I usually bike on Wolcott, from Winnemac to south of there(at Berteau). Wolcott is also a good bike route to use, south of Grace and Lincoln.
Not to forget there also unfortunately isn't a traffic light, at Irving Park and Wolcott. So at both Foster and Irving Park, I almost always use Ravenswood instead. When I go south, I usually go on Ravenswood past Foster to Winnemac, turn west there till I get to Wolcott, turn left and go south on that to Berteau, go east to Ravenswood(the part east of the Metra tracks), then go south on Ravenswood to Byron(1 street south of Irving, 3900 north), Byron east to Paulina, then Paulina south to Lincoln. Going north I just go on Lincoln till I hit Ravenswood at the Addison/Ravenswood/Lincoln intersection, then go all the way north on Ravenswood.
I know I technically could go against the flow of traffic southbound even without the 'greenway' designation and green striped painting on Ravenswood(since it doesn't have that at all), but I try not to do that to as much extent as possible when biking. Plus the 1 block stretch of Ravenswood south of Winnemac is somewhat of a PITA to bike, since it's narrow.
Biking by the chocolate factory on Kinzie is one of my favorite things, ever.
I'm definitely adding this on my to-do list!
I've recently discovered that Kimball is quite nice for it's whole length between Lincoln and North Ave despite looking like one of the "not bike friendly" streets on google maps. The speed limit is 20 or 25 and there's lots of stop signs at T intersections and one ways that slow motor traffic but make it pretty easy to keep rolling on a bicycle. Like most north-south arterials it goes to shit when you get close to the Kennedy but mostly it's very nice and a good alternative to Kedzie/Central Park.
I hadn't tried Central Park yet, but is it really that bad? That's too bad, I was thinking about trying Central Park to see how it is for biking. It looks like it'd be a doable street to bike in some areas, like say south of Belmont.
Kimball was fine, when I've tried that street in the past. Other than dodging around the Kimball bus, it wasn't bad. The various stop signs and the fact the speed limit isn't too fast, do help though.
Central Park is fine. Milwaukee is my direct route home to Avondale, but I will often take the 606 to its end and then Central Park north to Belmont. It is significantly calmer than Milwaukee, particularly on a Friday afternoon when people drive with extra crazy.
North of Addison, Central Park (S) and Drake (N) are my standard routes to get to Wilson to go east to pick up the NSCT. They are pleasant, easy residential streets. The overpass at Addison is unpleasant, but I deal with it by using the left lane and getting into the left turn lane to turn onto I-90/94 west, turning instead onto the opposite sidewalk with the left turn arrow.
Ravenswood. Love me some Ravenswood.
Racine's alright when you want to avoid Halsted or the much-dreaded Ashland.
I tried the new Glenwood Greenway for the 1st time last night. Other than having too many speed bumps it's pretty cool.
+1's to Kimball and the Berteau Greenway as well.