Monday's with Mike: Come on down!

May 23, 2016 • Posted in baseball, Mike Knezovich, Mondays with Mike, Uncategorized by

Beth and I bicycled to the White Sox game again yesterday, this time with our neighborhood friends Jim and Janet. The last time I posted about riding our tandem bicycle to a White Sox game, some people commented on how brave we were.

I’m not sure if they were referring to traffic or that somehow it’s unsafe down there on the South Side.

On count one, FYI: Bike lanes and a little forethought make the ride strikingly stress free and pleasant. Here in the South Loop, we can take the bike lanes—not protected but Wabash is pretty civilized—to 24th Street. We jog a block west to State, where we take it’s bike lanes to 26th street. At 26th  there are bike lanes all the way to Wells. Head south on Wells and you go through a very pleasant, quiet neighborhood and you find yourself at the park before you know it.

It was a beautiful day at the ballpark yesterday.

It was a beautiful day at the ballpark yesterday.

I think it would be pretty easy to take the lakefront path to 31st and cut over there, too. But if you’re coming from the west, you’ll have to figure out your own route.

On the second point, the neighborhood near U.S. Cellular was for years considered dangerous—in particular, the area east of the park, on the east side of the Dan Ryan Expressway. That’s where hi-rise public housing projects once stood within a short walk from the park.

A lot of black people lived in those projects (though in the early days the projects were pretty racially diverse). Eventually, these buildings became crime-ridden, dangerous places. And that was enough to scare a lot of people—especially white people—out of heading to the park. (Even though, statistically, on game nights and days, area around the park was very safe). And some people were simply scared of black people.

The projects were torn down several years ago, which was not an entirely good thing, especially if you lived there, and it was in my view handled pretty poorly in many ways. That’s an important story worth telling at another time. But I wouldn’t be surprised if some people still have the notion that it’s scary around there.

I’m hear to tell you: It never really was. So get on your bike and come on down!

Allan Hippensteel On May 23, 2016 at 8:20 pm

So are there places to lock your bike at the park?

Mike On May 23, 2016 at 8:27 pm

Al–yeah, we usually go to the southwest corner of the park, between gates 2 and 3. I’m told there are racks on 35th near Gate 5, too.

Linda Miller On May 24, 2016 at 9:12 am

It’s great to hear the bike lanes get you so far! Would love to try that sometime.

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