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Old Jan 24, 11, 10:38 am   #1
 
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Evanston-Chicago commute

Thinking of taking a job in Chicago (downtown - Northwestern Hospital), but may have to live in Evanston. How's the commute? Work hours would be around 7:30 am to 5 pm. Thanks.
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Old Jan 24, 11, 11:09 am   #2
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Thinking of taking a job in Chicago (downtown - Northwestern Hospital), but may have to live in Evanston. How's the commute? Work hours would be around 7:30 am to 5 pm. Thanks.
If you're close to the purple line, your best bet would be the purple express to Belmont, transfer to the red line, take red to Chicago. Couple block walk from Chicago/State to NMH.

I'd guess you're looking at 35-45 minutes, depending on where you start in Evanston.

Out of curiousity, why "have to live in Evanston"? Potential free housing?
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Old Jan 24, 11, 11:26 am   #3
 
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Thanks. No, no specific reason for Evanston. My wife will likely be working in Northbrook. Evanston just looked halfway. Any livable community will do.
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Old Jan 24, 11, 12:01 pm   #4
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Thanks. No, no specific reason for Evanston. My wife will likely be working in Northbrook.
OK, seems very reasonable, just be aware that getting to/from ORD or MDW is a very very difficult proposition. I used to live one suburb north of Evanston, and many of my friends/colleagues from that suburb would refer to Evanston as the place from which one could GET TO NOWHERE.

Good luck in your quest!!
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Old Jan 24, 11, 12:11 pm   #5
 
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Thanks. No, no specific reason for Evanston. My wife will likely be working in Northbrook. Evanston just looked halfway. Any livable community will do.
As for livability, you and your wife will need to sort out how urban/suburban an environment you prefer.

About "halfway", that would still be a significant commute for both persons. OTOH, if you lived in Northbrook, then you'd be left with just one commute. No matter where you live, roads at 5PM will be busy.
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Old Jan 24, 11, 1:39 pm   #6
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Either way, you both are looking at 35-50 minute commutes.

Taking the EL is your best bet; there's a Metra, but that goes to the Loop so is of little to no use for NWH.

Also, the advice of others is true -- Evanston is a great little suburb right on the lake, but it's horribly inaccessible to freeways. The only good thing is since you take sidestreets to ORD, the journey time is almost always the same; I used to allow 35 minutes (in the car). If you lived in Chicago, the ride could be 15 minutes (no traffic) or 1 hour and 15 minutes.
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Old Jan 24, 11, 1:58 pm   #7
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I lived in Evanston for 3 years in grad school. It is a nice suburb that, if you live near one of the three downtowns (particularly the two closer to Chicago), can feel nicely urban but is still definitely a suburb. But if you get too far from the lake, it turns into the hood fairly quickly.

There are good restaurants, funky independent businesses, and a decidedly hippie college town vibe at times. You will see many Subaru and Volvo wagons with alternative school bumper stickers. Think of Lindsay Lohan's parents in Mean Girls and you've about got it. Actually, Mean Girls was filmed in Evanston.

In terms of getting places, everything everyone says is true. I think Evanston intentionally leaves side streets in disrepair and mostly unplowed, and sets traffic lights to keep you from getting anywhere, to discourage traffic through Evanston.

It's not terribly hard to get to O'hare, but it will take the same 35 minutes that it would take from downtown in light to moderate traffic. You have to take a main street (like Dempster) west to 94, get off on Cicero and switch to 90 to Ohare. I tried all the routes and that was the fastest and most consistent.

Your wife's commute would involve 35 minutes or so to get to 94 and up into Northbrook, or to take Sheridan Rd/Green Bay Rd if 94 traffic is bad (which it frequently is).
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Old Jan 24, 11, 2:08 pm   #8
 
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Thanks everyone. We're looking for a more suburb feel, but since I'd be working downtown, I don't want a really long commute. Would living somewhere near 94, like Lincolnwood or Skokie be better?
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Old Jan 24, 11, 2:57 pm   #9
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Thanks everyone. We're looking for a more suburb feel, but since I'd be working downtown, I don't want a really long commute. Would living somewhere near 94, like Lincolnwood or Skokie be better?
IMO, yes. Western Evanston is NOT likely a place you'd want to live. There is some light industry, some housing, and some not so desirable areas.

Lincolnwood has some areas that have a bit of an Evanstonian "feel" to them, however, as it is near the city proper. Skokie is similar. Since you want to be closer to CTA transpo for NWM, I'd think you might actually consider Skokie. There is a CTA line directly into Skokie proper. The "SkokieSwift".

Good luck!
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Old Jan 24, 11, 3:16 pm   #10
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Thanks. No, no specific reason for Evanston. My wife will likely be working in Northbrook. Evanston just looked halfway. Any livable community will do.
It depends on your definition of livable, of course

You're coming from Madison? If so, Evanston is a good bet. It's a good mix of urban and suburban. You can actually walk places.

The problem with Lincolnwood is that it's not close to the CTA. Unless you're a doc who will get comped parking, you don't want to be driving to NMH every day (monthly parking is something like $200). Skokie has the yellow line, but most of the housing right by the station is pretty awful (just ugly old 50s buildings that don't tend to be in very good shape).

As others have stated, Evanston isn't close to the expressways, so it can be tough to get around.
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Old Jan 24, 11, 3:21 pm   #11
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You have to take a main street (like Dempster) west to 94, get off on Cicero and switch to 90 to Ohare. I tried all the routes and that was the fastest and most consistent.
I'm sorry to get off topic here, but you're off your rocker on this. The edens can be so awful between dempster and cicero that while this will work when it's quiet, when there's traffic, just that section can take 25 minutes, and then you're dumping onto the kennedy at foster.

South side of evanston, the best bet is devon/nagle. from the north side, golf/potter/dempster/tri-state usually beats out going all the way down to devon. While you may have lived in evanston and gone to ord a bunch of times, I made this trip daily for years going out to schaumburg (never again!)
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Old Jan 24, 11, 3:23 pm   #12
 
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Thanks everyone. We're looking for a more suburb feel, but since I'd be working downtown, I don't want a really long commute. Would living somewhere near 94, like Lincolnwood or Skokie be better?
I like Lincolnwood and think it's a great, quiet place to live, but it wouldn't help your commute to NMH. I would look into Skokie or Morton Grove; you can get to NMH easily using the EL Yellow and Red lines and your wife can go up to Northbrook by 94 or Metra's Milwaukee District-North line.
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Old Jan 24, 11, 3:44 pm   #13
 
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I do get free parking at NMH, so driving wouldn't be too much of an issue (if it saves me time over the El or metra - not to mention that in the winter time I wouldn't want to be walking the 5-6 blocks from the train stop to NMH).

Last edited by mlbcard; Jan 24, 11 at 4:00 pm.
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Old Jan 24, 11, 3:58 pm   #14
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I do get free parking at NMH, so driving wouldn't be too much of an issue (if it saves me time over the El or CTA - not to mention that in the winter time I wouldn't want to be walking the 5-6 blocks from the train stop to NMH).
Depends on your hours then. If you're doing off hours shifts, then driving will be faster than the red line, but if your work hours line up with the rush hours, the traffic can easily make the L faster.
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Old Jan 24, 11, 5:26 pm   #15
 
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NMH runs a shuttle between Ogilvie/Union stations:

http://www.northwestern.edu/uservice...instation.html

If you can find a place close to a Metra stop this might be a better solution, since the Metra will likely be considerably faster than the CTA. I would kill myself before committing to driving between the North Shore and the North Michigan area on a daily basis.
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