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Old 01-05-2007, 01:24 AM
 
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Hi,

I am moving to Chicago next month. I will be working at Northbrook and I was thinking to find an apartment in Lincoln Square / Andersonville area so that I can also be close to the city.

Do you know how much time would it take me to drive from these neighborhoods to Northbrook?

I wouldn't mind taking the train (Metra I guess) but I am not sure if there are any stations in convenient locations near the area that I am looking to stay.

Does anyone have any other suggestions, regarding the neighberhoods, given that I want to stay in the city?
I can afford an 1bdr apartment in any of the northern neighborhoods but I am leaning towards Lincoln Square / Andersonville because they are closer to Northbrook.

Thanks
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Old 01-05-2007, 04:34 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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A commute to Northbrook from Andersonville or Lincoln Square would definitely suck a little.

I used to live in Andersonville. Just fighting street-level traffic to get to the expressways took 25 to 30 minutes. Knock that down to about 20 minutes from Lincoln Square. Then once you get to the expressways you can expect to crawl all the way to Northbrook if you take the Edens: add another 30 minutes, minimum. This assumes you'd be traveling during normal rush-hour times. Otherwise if you can commute during light-traffic times it would probably take less than half an hour. Metra is not a particularly convenient option to Northbrook from Andersonville or Lincoln Square. You'd have to go almost all the way downtown and then go back out.

Have you considered Jefferson Park? JP isn't particularly hip, but you'd cut your rush-hour commute time in half by being right next to the highway because you wouldn't have to fight all that street-level traffic. Plus the Blue Line would give you access to downtown and Bucktown/Wicker Park, and the Lawrence Avenue bus (which runs 24/7) would give you access to the Brown Line and, consequently, Lincoln Square, Lakeview, Ravenswood, Lincoln Park. In short you'd have easy access to the expressways and all the nightlife hotspots. I live on the Blue Line now in an outer Northwest neighborhood and, as much as I enjoyed living in Andersonville, I wouldn't give up living this close to the expressway again. For me it's worth the minor inconvenience of having to hop a bus/train to the nightlife spots. Not to mention my apartment is a whole lot bigger and a whole lot cheaper than what I had in Andersonville.

Last edited by Drover; 01-05-2007 at 04:50 AM..
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Old 01-05-2007, 04:19 PM
 
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Thanks for the quick reply!

I didn't know that the street-level traffic is so bad...

I did consider Jefferson Park, but from the research that I did online, it seems a little "boring". I might check some apartments there also.

What about commuting from Bucktown or the area around De Paul then, these neighborhoods must be very interesting and are next to 90/94?

Thanks
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Old 01-05-2007, 09:10 PM
 
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Actually if you live in the Lincoln Square neighborhood you might be able to hop on the Union Pacific North line (Metra) at the Ravenswood stop and take it directly north to a stop such as Glencoe, Braeside (which is at the corner of Lake-Cook Road & St. Johns) or downtown Highland Park. From either of these two locations you might be able to take a Pace bus to your job site in Northbrook. You might want to confirm this with RTA Chicago (www.rtachicago.com) which bundles together schedules from Metra, CTA & Pace to determine a strategic commute. I'd check those sites individually as well.

Metra = www.metrarail.com
CTA = www.transitchicago.com
Pace = www.pacebus.com

RTA Chicago again = www.rtachicago.com

Good luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsmith1821 View Post
Thanks for the quick reply!

I didn't know that the street-level traffic is so bad...

I did consider Jefferson Park, but from the research that I did online, it seems a little "boring". I might check some apartments there also.

What about commuting from Bucktown or the area around De Paul then, these neighborhoods must be very interesting and are next to 90/94?

Thanks
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Old 01-05-2007, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,704 posts, read 95,274,755 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsmith1821 View Post
Thanks for the quick reply!

I didn't know that the street-level traffic is so bad...

I did consider Jefferson Park, but from the research that I did online, it seems a little "boring". I might check some apartments there also.

What about commuting from Bucktown or the area around De Paul then, these neighborhoods must be very interesting and are next to 90/94?

Thanks
Again, Jefferson Park is kind of boring, but you can be at just about any nightlife hotspot in about 20 minutes via public transportation. If you just have to live right in the thick of the nightlife, then JeffPark isn't for you, and you'll have to tolerate a more aggravating commute. Bucktown is right next to the highway but the highway traffic crawls during rush hour. It would be no different time-wise than living in Andersonville. The DePaul area would be even worse -- there is virtually no part of the city that is more traffic-gridlocked than Lincoln Park.
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Old 01-06-2007, 12:45 AM
 
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Thanks, all the posts were very helpfull!!

I will therefore check the Jefferson Park area. Do you know if there are any streets that I should avoid? I saw some very cheap apts on craigslists (there was one was at Milwaukee, 2 blocks south of Montrose, for 675!), is there a catch?

Also, as per just_cruising847's suggestion I checked the Metra stations and I discovered that there is a bus that works for me - 626. Actually, there is an even better alternative. This bus leaves (northbound) from the Skokie station of the yellow CTA line and stops at Dundee and Skokie Blvd that I will actually be working (it takes 20 mins). Therefore, I can ride the the purple line from Lincoln Park to Howard (express in 14 mins...), from there the yellow (8 mins..) and then the bus (20 mins...) = 42 ~ 50. Do you know though, if the times provided on the train bus/schedules are accurate?

Thanks again!
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Old 01-06-2007, 01:01 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,704 posts, read 95,274,755 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsmith1821 View Post
Thanks, all the posts were very helpfull!!

I will therefore check the Jefferson Park area. Do you know if there are any streets that I should avoid? I saw some very cheap apts on craigslists (there was one was at Milwaukee, 2 blocks south of Montrose, for 675!), is there a catch?

Also, as per just_cruising847's suggestion I checked the Metra stations and I discovered that there is a bus that works for me - 626. Actually, there is an even better alternative. This bus leaves (northbound) from the Skokie station of the yellow CTA line and stops at Dundee and Skokie Blvd that I will actually be working (it takes 20 mins). Therefore, I can ride the the purple line from Lincoln Park to Howard (express in 14 mins...), from there the yellow (8 mins..) and then the bus (20 mins...) = 42 ~ 50. Do you know though, if the times provided on the train bus/schedules are accurate?

Thanks again!
People complain about the tardiness of CTA trains all the time. I personally don't know what the fuss is about; during rush hour, if you miss a train, another one will usually roll by pretty shortly. That said, I'm not familiar with how often the Yellow Line runs and whether it sticks to its schedule. Even if it does, you should probably factor in another 15 to 30 minutes of just waiting around for your connections to arrive.
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Old 01-06-2007, 02:37 AM
 
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There are a few factors that could make your commute a bit complicated aboard the CTA. I'm sure that the route you found will get you to work, but I don't think that it will reach you there quite as fast as you desire. I've taken those CTA trains (both the Red & Purple Express) between downtown Chicago and the north side all the way up to Wilmette (Linden terminus on the Purple Line) and also all the way to Skokie (via Yellow Line transfer at Howard), and I can tell you that those CTA trains are VERY unpredictable. There is always some kind of track work going on, and that ride from Lincoln Park to Howard can balloon into a 30, 40, perhaps even 50 minute ride. The Yellow Line fortunately is quite fast as they claim (8 minutes might indeed be accurate), and its speeds at times resemble that of a Metra train. However, you also have to factor in the wait times at platforms when you transfer. For you this would be your initial boarding of the Purple Express + waiting for the Yellow Line at Howard, + waiting for the Pace bus at the Skokie Swift station. If you ride these routes a few times you'll probably find out firsthand what I'm talking about.

Metra trains are quite the opposite of CTA trains. I'd recommend CTA more for short-haul trips within the city or to nearby suburban locales like Evanston, Skokie or Oak Park if absolutely necessary. If you are living in the West Loop, I'd bypass CTA altogether and take the Metra trains to towns like Evanston in the north or Oak Park in the west (both towns are served by both Metra & CTA trains). Edgewater or Rogers Park to Skokie on the CTA is not bad at all since those neighborhoods are already way north (near the Howard transfer). For long haul commutes between further suburbs & the city (ie. anywhere in Chicago to Northbrook, etc.), I'd recommend Metra as much as possible. They're much faster, far more predictable (on-time), more comfortable, etc. Minimize your CTA train & bus usage, and maximize portions of your commute on the Metra. If you only have a short portion of the commute on slow transport options like CTA trains & Pace buses, you'll have a better chance of having a predictable, quicker commute. The main drawback is the smaller number of Metra stations within the city as well as less frequent trains.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsmith1821 View Post
Thanks, all the posts were very helpfull!!

I will therefore check the Jefferson Park area. Do you know if there are any streets that I should avoid? I saw some very cheap apts on craigslists (there was one was at Milwaukee, 2 blocks south of Montrose, for 675!), is there a catch?

Also, as per just_cruising847's suggestion I checked the Metra stations and I discovered that there is a bus that works for me - 626. Actually, there is an even better alternative. This bus leaves (northbound) from the Skokie station of the yellow CTA line and stops at Dundee and Skokie Blvd that I will actually be working (it takes 20 mins). Therefore, I can ride the the purple line from Lincoln Park to Howard (express in 14 mins...), from there the yellow (8 mins..) and then the bus (20 mins...) = 42 ~ 50. Do you know though, if the times provided on the train bus/schedules are accurate?

Thanks again!
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Old 01-07-2007, 10:29 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,704 posts, read 95,274,755 times
Reputation: 29787
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsmith1821 View Post
I will therefore check the Jefferson Park area. Do you know if there are any streets that I should avoid? I saw some very cheap apts on craigslists (there was one was at Milwaukee, 2 blocks south of Montrose, for 675!), is there a catch?
If there is a catch, it's probably the condition or the state of decor of the apartment itself. There aren't really any streets I would suggest avoiding for safety reasons, but you might want to avoid Milwaukee Avenue because 1. it's busy and noisy (it's a main thoroughfare lined with businesses) and 2. parking is tight and probably even metered because of the businesses. Montrose, Lawrence, Foster, Higgins, Central and Austin are also thoroughfares that tend to be lined with businesses. The general rule on the North side of the city is that any street whose block number is divisible by 400 is a thoroughfare. (Montrose is 4400 north, Lawrence is 4800 north, Foster is 5200 north, Central is 5600 west, Austin is 6000 west, et cetera.) Not always, but often. Same goes for any diagonal street. Sometimes there are stretches of residential areas on the thoroughfares but parking is usually tight and there are often restrictions (you can't park on certain sides during the morning rush hour and then you can't park on the other side during afternoon rush hour). So the short version of all this babbling is: if you can, pick a residential side street.
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Old 01-08-2007, 04:41 AM
 
4 posts, read 30,903 times
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Thanks for all the replies, I will arrange to see some appartments in the Jefferson Park / Portage Park area this weekend.
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