Saturday, 5 August 2006
|0929 - Ping Chicagoans|
(Chicagoites? Chicagolanders? What's the proper term, anyway?)
I'm going to be in the Windy City the first part of next week. I fly into ORD Sunday afternoon, and out Wednesday evening. I'm staying near UIC (a few blocks from the Racine Street Blue Line stop, on South Ashland just south of I-290), and my client is on North Oakley just north of West Lake Street.
The big question: Should I get a car, or, like Manhattan, will it be more trouble than it's worth? If I don't get a car, how do I get there from here? I know the Blue Line goes to ORD, so getting to the hotel is no big deal, but how about getting around the area? Is it as possible to deal with as a pedestrian as Manhattan? How about transit: does it even go where I need to, how much of a hassle is it, etc?
Getting a car is no problem, but I'd like to make that decision today so I can get the reservation in if I'm going to do that.
current mood: busy
From my experience, parking anywhere downtown itself is way too expensive. Getting around downtown isn't usually as bad as actually navigating the freeways themselves.
Within metro downtown, there's the loop and several bus lines and commuter trains. See the CTA website
and you can see if there's any close stops and routes that go to and from where you need them.
Now, looking at the map (a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=N+Oakley+Ave+%26+W+Lake+St,+Chicago,+IL+60612&ie=UTF8&om=1&ll=41.875393,-87.662251&spn=0.037259,0.095959
">from google maps</a> it's out of walking range, but too close to really justify a car. You're outside the main loop, but judging by this CTA map
you could jump up the pink line one stop, transfer the green line out one stop, then walk back towards town to get to the client. But even that distance, a cab actually may be more worth it than the cost of rental and the like.
Back when I lived in the Chicago area, one of the first things I got was a book of walking tours of various parts of the city. Note: this was in 1979.
About at least one part of town, under "Parking" the author said, as best I can remember, "If somebody there that you know dies, he may leave you his parking space."
Based on that, and on my experiences back then as a non-driver, I'd say renting a car is almost certainly more of an impediment than an advantage.
Hi there...just a random visit and saw your post. I assume you are at the Marriott. I live down the street. I don't think you would really have too much of a problem parking at your client, however, depending how you may wish to spend any of your free time, a car might be a hassle. The Blue Line stop at Racine gets you to the Loop in less than ten minutes from which you can transfer for free to the Red Line.
I'd suggest a cab to and from your client. It will probably run 5-6 dollars and the hotel and your client can arrange to have one waiting. For sightseeing I'd stick to the el.
Bear in mind, UIC wiped out an old Italian neighborhood when the first Mayor Daley built it in the '60's, but you are staying near Taylor Street which remains a "Little Italy"... lots of good restaurants, and all easily walkable from your hotel.
Plus, the first stop east of Racine is UIC/Halsted which is Greektown, also another good spot to eat!
I've decided to skip the car. I'm planning to either take a cab or walk from hotel to client and back, and since it's 1.3 miles (according to Google Maps) and I try to walk a mile and a half every day, that's not an unreasonable distance. I'll probably get a cab from my client to the airport on Wednesday.
I do like Italian and Greek food, and can't get either in the town I live in now, so you can guess what I'll be doing for dinner.
I was concerned about the cost initially, but then I looked, and the hotel charges $26/day for parking...I won't have any trouble at all justifying a cab.
Thanks for the help.
Looks like you decided already, but with a combination of walking, the el and bus you can get anywhere in chicago without even a taxi.
I will not however say that learning the entire system is a very quick process though. I do not live in the city itself, but I visit it from time to time. The el is pretty easy to understand but the bus routes are something I never got the hang of, so I'd highly recommend grabbing some CTA maps when you see them around. http://www.transitchicago.com/
If you do need a taxi though.. they're everywhere.