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All Risk, No Reward: Route 66 Through Chicago
February 22, 2019
9:04 pm
frank
usa
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For the past three years, I've advised against traveling Chicago's grim four-mile (6.5 km) Ogden Avenue segment of Route 66. The recommendation was first made during a 2016 gun violence epidemic that frequently claimed RANDOM and INNOCENT victims.
The advice was based on FBI and Chicago Police data and a Chicago Tribune crime map. The zone bordering Ogden Avenue had the city's second-highest violent crime rate. While much of the gunfire was unpredictable, it tended to peak in summer, especially nights and weekends.
In 2017 and 2018 gun violence eased somewhat, but this remains a high crime area in a high crime city...even by American standards.
While the risk for 2019 is impossible to quantify, the reward is not. Ogden Avenue is desolate and lacking in Route 66 attractions. There's only a glorified gas station, known as the Castle Car Wash. (I have images on my site.)
Chicago's downtown Loop is well worth seeing, and relatively safe.
Then I'd recommend this simple detour: South on Lake Shore Drive to I-55 South (Stevenson Expressway). At Exit 286: North on Cicero Avenue, and West on Ogden.
You rejoin Rt 66, Ogden Avenue, in the safe suburb of Cicero IL.

February 19, 2020
9:42 pm
frank
usa
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To update the year-old posting above: Google "Chicago shootings" if you want the latest on the problem. So far in 2020 gun violence is up. The other information posted remains valid, along with the recommended detour.

February 20, 2020
11:58 pm
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Steve Bellamy
Cardiff, Wales, UK
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Thanks for this Frank

Set up the Driving Route 66 website in 2010 following the best road trip experience in 2007.

February 9, 2021
1:15 am
frank
usa
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Unfortutnately 2020 turned out to be a horribly violent year in Chicago with shootings, victims and homicides up some 50%. The recommendation above from 2019 still stands, perhaps now with exclamation points!

February 10, 2021
8:47 pm
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Steve Bellamy
Cardiff, Wales, UK
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This is hideous - a really sad state of affairs Frown

Set up the Driving Route 66 website in 2010 following the best road trip experience in 2007.

March 20, 2021
6:21 am
Weiveismart
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The other information posted remains valid, along with the recommended detour.

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