City Desk    by Jeffrey T. Sherwin

Melrose Park Completes North Avenue Bike Path

It’s not often that I write about projects in other towns, but in this case, this is a recently completed project that Northlake residents can take advantage of.

The recently completed North Avenue bike path was built by the Village of Melrose park and starts on the east side of Mannheim Road on Armitage Avenue, where the bikeway is marked on the pavement. It proceeds to Hawthorne Street (the street where Menards is located) running on the west side to North Avenue where it turns east, running along the North side of North Avenue in its own designated path.

The path continues under the railroad tracks along the north side of North Avenue, crossing 25th Avenue and goes to 19th Avenue (Broadway) where it crosses North Avenue.

From that point, it runs along the south side of North Avenue on its own dedicated pathway, in front of Winston Plaza, proceeds eastward along North Avenue past 5th Avenue and then under another set of railroad tracks (in front of the former location of the Maywood Park race track).

The path crosses 1st Avenue, proceeding east on its own dedicated path past the site of the former Menard’s location, along the Forest Preserve across the Des Plaines River, terminating at the corner of Thatcher and North Avenue. At that point, you can gain access to the street system of River Forest and Oak Park and take advantage of the various restaurants and attractions in both of these communities. The Trailside Museum of Natural History, operated by the Forest Preserve District is located on the corner of Thatcher and Chicago Avenue.

To be sure, this is urban bicycling, so you have to be alert when crossing various intersections, but with most of the path being on its own dedicated right of way, it is much safer than riding on the street, sharing the road with vehicular traffic. It is really an adventure worth taking on one of these crisp autumn days.

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