right arrow
Informational Message Stay on top of the information you need to navigate the admissions process amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We've got articles, videos and forum discussions that provide answers to all of your test prep, admissions and college search questions.   Visit our COVID-19 resource page.

Introducing Kai!
Your College Confidential guide bot.


Kai can provide tips and support as you research and apply to colleges, and explore majors and careers.





Chat with Kai
here, 24/7!


or Skip Forever

Finding the right college for your unique situation can be challenging. Hear from other students who shared their admissions story. Download our FREE Student Voices - vol. 1, Student Voices - vol. 2, and Student Voices - vol. 3 eBooks NOW!
PARENTS4PARENTS: AfroPuffMom is the mother of two boys, a college junior and a high school junior. She has extensive experience reviewing applications for high-achieving, first-generation students. ASK HER ANYTHING!
Make sure to check out our September Checklist for HS Seniors. Consult these quick resources to get you started on the process this month.

safest route into Hyde Park

caymusjordancaymusjordan 158 replies10 threads Junior Member
My daughter will be driving to Hyde Park from the east. Navigation has her staying on I-90 to Garfield and then driving east and through the park. I've heard that east of the park is not the best area.

Would it be better for her to take 41 Lake Shore Dr) off I-90 or exit at Stoney Island Ave. She doesn't care about the time difference.
18 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: safest route into Hyde Park

  • kaukaunakaukauna 1202 replies16 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2019
    I've driven Lake Shore Drive and / or Stony off of I-90 about 10 times, round trips each, in the last 6 years. Mostly Stony Island. About half the trips were family type trips, a few with my wife, and a couple by myself.

    All the times I've driven (never earlier than 10 am or later than 8 pm that I recall) I felt safe, had no problems, and the trip was quick from the exit, which as I wrote above was almost always the Stony Island exit. I never took the Garfield exit (is that 73rd street?). That seems a little out of the way. It will also take you through neighborhoods that I can't vouch for.

    The exit I'm talking about is the one which is marked for the University of Chicago as you are headed north. I believe that is Stony Island. It is a very short drive from the Stony Island exit to UChicago in Hyde Park. Stony Island itself is 4 lanes almost all the way from I-90 in to Hyde Park. It was always busy with pedestrian and vehicle traffic (at least before dark).

    Best of luck to your daughter. Is she starting as a student?
    edited June 2019
    · Reply · Share
  • mdpmdpmdpmdp 58 replies5 threads Junior Member
    edited June 2019
    I wouldn't consider either route unsafe during the day -- no more than driving to Midway Airport. But at night, I'd probably take Lakeshore Drive. Other than time (which is probably close to a wash generally), there's no reason NOT to take the LSD route if that's what you prefer.
    edited June 2019
    · Reply · Share
  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4184 replies92 threads Senior Member
    Garfield is 55th.
    Exiting LSD is much safer at night. Especially given this crazy weekend of gun violence Chicago.
    · Reply · Share
  • JHSJHS 18503 replies72 threads Senior Member
    It's not east of the park you are worried about, it's west of the park, the part you go through while driving east on Garfield towards the park. East of the park is where fun comes to die; if you're worried about that, I can't help you.

    That said -- the proposed journey through a less-than-spiffy urban environment is all of half a mile. It's really no big deal. The sketchiness of that area consists mainly of properties being boarded up and unoccupied, and there being relatively few people around. It's not like driving through some gang-controlled slum teeming with humanity in Port-au-Prince or Calcutta.

    But kaukauna and others are right -- there's probably no meaningful time difference between that route or the Lake Shore Drive route, unless your final destination is, say, the North Campus dorm (vice versa for South Campus/BJ or International House). And LSD will be a more pleasant trip.

    There's no advantage whatsoever to taking the Stony Island exit. She will drive three times as far through a neighborhood that is no less challenging, and it will be meaningfully slower than either of the other two exit options.
    · Reply · Share
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 7930 replies39 threads Senior Member
    During the day it doesn't matter. It all comes down to where you are starting from (where are you coming from?)

    I would take the most convient route. Also taking the "El" is not a big deal either.

    But I live in Lakeview by Wrigley and I tend to take LSD on a more regular basis if I am going there. But would hesitate to go another way if Google maps said one way was that much faster due to an accident or whatnot.

    I do like for my kids to find a route they are comfortable with and stick to it for most of the time. If their car breaks down etc then I have a clue where they are etc.
    · Reply · Share
  • 85bears4685bears46 768 replies44 threads Member
    I have driven off the Garfield exit off I-90 (or Day Ryan as we call it in Chicago) numerous times to U of Chicago Main Campus.

    In daylight hours it is a relatively safe route. In the morning you will see a lot of Lab School parents as well as UChicago Medicine people taking that route to Hyde Park. Realistically, there is a short distance (may be .6 mile) between the Garfield exit and Morgan Drive (road going through Washington Park) . Once you are on Morgan Drive, you are pretty safe.

    Garfield Blvd. is pretty wide with three lanes on each side. Tell your daughter to stay on either the left lane or the middle lane. Then she doesn't have to worry about any shady characters at street corner when she stops at the red light along Garfield.

    Garfield these days off I-90 is much better than 20 years ago. City of Chicago spent millions on renovating the El train stop there and so there are actually many University people getting off the green line stop at Garfield and taking the 55 bus back to Hyde Park.

    I have taken the Stony Island at 79th Street exit off I-90 a few times due to horrendous traffic on Dan Ryan in the morning. I drove Stony Island straight up north to campus. That is the South Shore and Jackson Park neighborhood. In day time it is fine. In fact this is the route my kid's school bus usually takes when they get back from school trips.

    All things considered, however, I think the Garfield exit off I-90 is more direct if your DD is coming from the east.

    I don't know how you can take LSD/41 coming from the east. If you are getting off Stony Island at 79th Street exit, it will be a really big detour to go back out to LSD. Of course your DD can drive I-90/94 all the way up north and connect to I-55 and then take LSD south. That will be absolutely the safest route, But it will of course take a much longer drive (and during rush hour, a whole lot longer).
    · Reply · Share
  • sgopal2sgopal2 3981 replies52 threads Senior Member
    Along the Garfield intersection with I-90 I've seen men who stand there during red lights. The last time I was there, one of them came up to the drivers side window and started pounding a plastic drum. They do this to attract tips. If you ignore them and avoid eye contact you'll be fine. I've never driven there at night, so don't know what its like.

    But the drive from Lake Shore Drive is more scenic and would be a better option.
    · Reply · Share
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 7930 replies39 threads Senior Member
    We have come up for the Court theater and Jazz concerts and never had an issue either way but I do tend to take Lakeshore Drive more .. Mostly out of habit.
    · Reply · Share
  • HydeSnarkHydeSnark 932 replies14 threads Member
    edited June 2019
    ...you're in a car, it literally doesn't matter. I've taken the 55 bus dozens of times at night and never even seen any shenanigans.
    edited June 2019
    · Reply · Share
  • 85bears4685bears46 768 replies44 threads Member
    OP stated that OP's DD would be driving to Hyde Park from the East (I presume from the Indiana side). The famously scenic LSD section you guys are talking about from Lincoln Park to Hyde Park doesn't exactly apply to her case. If she is exiting I-90 and taking US 41 north from South Chicago and crossing the Calumet River, that is not exactly the most scenic or safest route.

    If I am driving late at night and I have to get back to Hyde Park from south or east, then I may even take the long route of going north on Dan Ryan and then connect to Stevenson at around Chinatown and take the South Lake Shore Drive exit to LSD and get back to Hyde Park. It is absolutely the safest route. And late at night there won't be much traffic on highway and LSD.
    · Reply · Share
  • marlowe1marlowe1 1004 replies27 threads Senior Member
    "I've taken the bus dozens of times and never seen any shenanigans." --Best to check that it doesn't contain a tall smiley exuberant fellow who could be James Nondorf.
    · Reply · Share
  • HydeSnarkHydeSnark 932 replies14 threads Member
    Nondorf doesn't leave Rosenwald, as far as I can tell.

    If you're driving around bad neighborhoods on the South Side at night you're unlikely to see anyone, let alone crime. I know some people are scared of shadows, but the difference between a safe and a "dangerous" neighborhoods is minuscule if you're thinking about it on such small areas and over so small times.

    Heck, you're probably more likely to get carjacked driving around Lincoln Park or River North or w/e at night 'cause that's where the nice cars are.
    · Reply · Share
  • JHSJHS 18503 replies72 threads Senior Member
    This really is a crazy conversation. Driving six or seven blocks on Garfield is not life-threatening. Day or night, it will be a lot simpler than trying to follow Route 41 up from practically the Indiana state line, and negotiating the whole area around Jackson Park and the Museum of Science and Industry. If I'm driving into Chicago for the first time, that's a heck of a lot scarier than exiting I-90, turning right, driving more or less in a straight line on the same road for half a mile and there you are on the University of Chicago campus.

    Forget the obsession with minor differences in neighborhood attractiveness and safety. The route that is simplest and requires the least thought and attention will be the most stress-free and present the least chance of an accident, which is a lot more likely than a carjacking or assault.
    · Reply · Share
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7867 replies28 threads Senior Member
    The plastic bin drummers at Garfield exit of the Ryan aren't to be feared. They play a good beat. But the group I saw were actually supposed to be in school so do NOT give them money.

    Doesn't anyone use the Skyway anymore? I thought that was the quickest way to/from IN and HP.

    · Reply · Share
  • caymusjordancaymusjordan 158 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Thank you for the helpful responses. She took Stoney Island and said it was quick and didn’t feel uncomfortable in the least - much better than my experience using navigation last fall after move-in!
    · Reply · Share
  • 85bears4685bears46 768 replies44 threads Member
    @JBStillFlying Skyway cost $5.30 per passage.

    https://www.chicagoskyway.org/toll-information/#toll-rates

    I would rather take the Bishop Ford Freeway than pay that expensive toll to cross the Steel Bridge with an ugly view of the Calumet River.

    @caymusjordan; glad that everything works out for your DD.
    · Reply · Share
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7867 replies28 threads Senior Member
    ^ Perhaps it depends on travel times. :) When we were grad students we avoided the Skyway - actually, all the toll roads to the PA Turnpike and then as much of that as was possible - like the plague. But making the mistake of traveling through Chicago out to the East Coast a few years ago, and being WAY behind schedule due to traffic, we were more than happy to take the Skyway to make some of that up. Even though it was likely going into someone's pocket :) I end up flying over the Calumet River when landing at Midway, regardless of whether I'm coming from East or West so I guess I'm used to it.
    .
    · Reply · Share
  • HydeSnarkHydeSnark 932 replies14 threads Member
    edited June 2019
    I like that view of the river :(
    edited June 2019
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity