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Best place to park and catch CTA?

Best place to park and catch CTA?

Old Jul 25, 16, 7:14 pm
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Best place to park and catch CTA?

I am flying to O'hare, driving to Hoffman Estates with a car rental and that is where my hotel would be. I want to go out to a few bars in Chicago on Sat night near Belmont station. I'm not that strong of a driver (aka I haven't done city driving yet)...

so can anyone suggest a safe parking lot/garage outside of Chicago where I can park and take public transit in at night? I basically want to come in at night, grab a few drinks, get to my car after the bar closes and drive back to Hoffman Estates.

Last edited by LearninghowtoMS; Jul 25, 16 at 7:42 pm
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Old Jul 25, 16, 7:42 pm
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Drinking then driving is never a good idea. Worse if in an unfamiliar area at night
Try Uber or taxi and/or public transport the complete way. May be Hoffman to/from ORD by taxi then train to downtown
You will need to consider your personal safety

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Hoff...41.8781136!3e3 (click the train symbol)

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Jul 25, 16 at 7:53 pm
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Old Jul 26, 16, 1:13 am
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While strongly supporting the above suggestion of taking Uber, I think your best bet for parking near CTA is Cumberland http://www.transitchicago.com/travel_information/station.aspx?StopId=48 station, as it has reasonably priced, covered parking and is located off of Kennedy expressway, which will take you straight to Hoffman Estates.
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Old Jul 26, 16, 11:00 am
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Do you mean near the Belmont Red Line station or Belmont Blue Line station? I suspect you mean Red Line (Wrigleyville or Boystown), but that is *not* the line that runs to ORD. Still doable via the Belmont bus to the Blue Line.
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Old Jul 26, 16, 11:25 am
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Originally Posted by LearninghowtoMS View Post
I am flying to O'hare, driving to Hoffman Estates with a car rental and that is where my hotel would be. I want to go out to a few bars in Chicago on Sat night near Belmont station. I'm not that strong of a driver (aka I haven't done city driving yet)...

so can anyone suggest a safe parking lot/garage outside of Chicago where I can park and take public transit in at night? I basically want to come in at night, grab a few drinks, get to my car after the bar closes and drive back to Hoffman Estates.
Just a word of advice: I would NOT recommend walking from the Clark/Halsted/Belmont bars to the Belmont red line station after the bars close. For a period last year (I think it was last year), that stretch of Belmont had the highest rate of violent crimes in the entire city...and it was largely criminals preying on late-night bar patrons. Even the CTA station can be dangerous. You'd be much smarter to get off at one of the adjacent stations and then Uber to where you want to go.
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Old Jul 27, 16, 12:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Drinking then driving is never a good idea. Worse if in an unfamiliar area at night
Try Uber or taxi and/or public transport the complete way. May be Hoffman to/from ORD by taxi then train to downtown
You will need to consider your personal safety

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Hoff...41.8781136!3e3 (click the train symbol)
Thanks for your concern. I'm won't be drinking much, just a beer or two over a period of a few hours. I just need to get out. So I would be sober by the time I get to my car

Originally Posted by legalalien View Post
While strongly supporting the above suggestion of taking Uber, I think your best bet for parking near CTA is Cumberland http://www.transitchicago.com/travel...aspx?StopId=48 station, as it has reasonably priced, covered parking and is located off of Kennedy expressway, which will take you straight to Hoffman Estates.
Thanks for this. I am unsure if it is easier to do that and take the blue line or park at Howard for the redline, since I am going to Boystown (Belmont red line looks like)... I think Brown is an option also but doesn't run as frequent looks like?

Originally Posted by glg View Post
Do you mean near the Belmont Red Line station or Belmont Blue Line station? I suspect you mean Red Line (Wrigleyville or Boystown), but that is *not* the line that runs to ORD. Still doable via the Belmont bus to the Blue Line.
I want the Belmont Red line station. I'm heading to Boystown alright! Do you suggest I park at the end of the Red line instead?

Originally Posted by chgoeditor View Post
Just a word of advice: I would NOT recommend walking from the Clark/Halsted/Belmont bars to the Belmont red line station after the bars close. For a period last year (I think it was last year), that stretch of Belmont had the highest rate of violent crimes in the entire city...and it was largely criminals preying on late-night bar patrons. Even the CTA station can be dangerous. You'd be much smarter to get off at one of the adjacent stations and then Uber to where you want to go.
Would you recommend walking from Boystown to the Belmont red station? Since I'll be in Boystown! I will prob head home at around 1 AM early Sunday morning, since I Have a work meeting at 8 AM on Sunday

I can uber it from Boystown to another station, any suggestion on which station is economical and safe? I'm just a tiny girl so safety is an issue. I won't have much cash on me, but my phone.. and yeah I'm a girl so that is another concern.

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I think since I am doing Belmont red line, might be best for me to park at Howard after doing some searches. Is Safety an issue around the Howard station, I would walk from the CTA to my car parked at that station? I know Rosemont might be an option also.

Also alternatively, I can drive right into Boystown.. I am not that strong of a driver (I haven't driven in a city yet) so that makes me a bit nervous. And I don't think I can handle street parking in a city... (barely can do it in my small town). Also, the fact that I have a rental makes me nervous (don't want anyone dinging the car).

BUt I found a parking garage (Home Depot/Lincoln Park: https://spothero.com/chicago-parking...nd_time=0100AM).. an alternative plan instead of public transit is park there and walk up. I am meeting people near North Halsted Street and W Belmont Ave. So look slike a 15 mins walk based on Google Maps.. Unsure if this is a safe walk or not?

Last edited by iluv2fly; Jul 27, 16 at 6:42 pm Reason: merge
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Old Jul 27, 16, 2:02 pm
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Originally Posted by LearninghowtoMS View Post
Also alternatively, I can drive right into Boystown.. I am not that strong of a driver (I haven't driven in a city yet) so that makes me a bit nervous. And I don't think I can handle street parking in a city... (barely can do it in my small town). Also, the fact that I have a rental makes me nervous (don't want anyone dinging the car).

BUt I found a parking garage (Home Depot/Lincoln Park: https://spothero.com/chicago-parking...nd_time=0100AM).. an alternative plan instead of public transit is park there and walk up. I am meeting people near North Halsted Street and W Belmont Ave. So look slike a 15 mins walk based on Google Maps.. Unsure if this is a safe walk or not?
That walk should be fine, but of course anywhere in the city can be trouble, especially at night. Should be a bus for $2.50, but not my area of expertise. Or Uber.

Edit: Just noticed in an earlier post you are a smaller female. Take Uber.
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Old Jul 27, 16, 9:22 pm
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Originally Posted by LearninghowtoMS View Post
Would you recommend walking from Boystown to the Belmont red station? Since I'll be in Boystown! I will prob head home at around 1 AM early Sunday morning, since I Have a work meeting at 8 AM on Sunday

I can uber it from Boystown to another station, any suggestion on which station is economical and safe? I'm just a tiny girl so safety is an issue. I won't have much cash on me, but my phone.. and yeah I'm a girl so that is another concern.

------------------------------------
I think since I am doing Belmont red line, might be best for me to park at Howard after doing some searches. Is Safety an issue around the Howard station, I would walk from the CTA to my car parked at that station? I know Rosemont might be an option also.

Also alternatively, I can drive right into Boystown.. I am not that strong of a driver (I haven't driven in a city yet) so that makes me a bit nervous. And I don't think I can handle street parking in a city... (barely can do it in my small town). Also, the fact that I have a rental makes me nervous (don't want anyone dinging the car).

BUt I found a parking garage (Home Depot/Lincoln Park: https://spothero.com/chicago-parking...nd_time=0100AM).. an alternative plan instead of public transit is park there and walk up. I am meeting people near North Halsted Street and W Belmont Ave. So look slike a 15 mins walk based on Google Maps.. Unsure if this is a safe walk or not?
Originally Posted by toomanybooks View Post
That walk should be fine, but of course anywhere in the city can be trouble, especially at night. Should be a bus for $2.50, but not my area of expertise. Or Uber.

Edit: Just noticed in an earlier post you are a smaller female. Take Uber.
Well, here's a video from last fall taken just outside that Home Depot. I'm 5'4" HWP female and I would never walk alone around Halsted and Belmont at 1 am (or 10 pm or anytime after dark), let alone walk all the way to the Home Depot parking lot. I used to live a mile from the very blocks you're referring to, and now I live 2 miles from there. I know this neighborhood like the back of my hand, and have lived here for 25 years, so trust me when I tell you that I know what I'm talking about.

You've said you live in a small town, so let me be blunt: You are asking for trouble if you chose to walk in the neighborhood late at night. You're asking for trouble if you choose to wait at a bus stop. Plenty of people in groups of 2, 3, 4, 5 people still managed to get mugged on a weekly basis. A guy got murdered for his cell phone last year. Skim through the reports on Crime in Wrigleyville and Boystown. Read the second paragraph of this article and know that it's referring to the very street you're considering walking down to get to the Belmont L Station and Home Depot.

Going to the Boystown bars is fine, but you absolutely must cab/Uber there and back. Don't be pennywise and pound foolish, just absorb the cost and realize it's the price to pay for going out in the city.
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Old Jul 28, 16, 9:39 am
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Originally Posted by chgoeditor View Post
Well, here's a video from last fall taken just outside that Home Depot. I'm 5'4" HWP female and I would never walk alone around Halsted and Belmont at 1 am (or 10 pm or anytime after dark), let alone walk all the way to the Home Depot parking lot. I used to live a mile from the very blocks you're referring to, and now I live 2 miles from there. I know this neighborhood like the back of my hand, and have lived here for 25 years, so trust me when I tell you that I know what I'm talking about.

You've said you live in a small town, so let me be blunt: You are asking for trouble if you chose to walk in the neighborhood late at night. You're asking for trouble if you choose to wait at a bus stop. Plenty of people in groups of 2, 3, 4, 5 people still managed to get mugged on a weekly basis. A guy got murdered for his cell phone last year. Skim through the reports on Crime in Wrigleyville and Boystown. Read the second paragraph of this article and know that it's referring to the very street you're considering walking down to get to the Belmont L Station and Home Depot.

Going to the Boystown bars is fine, but you absolutely must cab/Uber there and back. Don't be pennywise and pound foolish, just absorb the cost and realize it's the price to pay for going out in the city.
Thanks. After hearing from everything, think it would be best to park at Home Depot Lot and Uber it back and forth. Does the Home Depot lot have an attendant usually?
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Old Jul 28, 16, 9:59 am
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Originally Posted by LearninghowtoMS View Post
Thanks. After hearing from everything, think it would be best to park at Home Depot Lot and Uber it back and forth. Does the Home Depot lot have an attendant usually?
I'm probably there once a month and I've seen an attendant 2 or 3 times over the years, but I'm only there during the day. I'm not sure about evenings.

You're making the right choice. I don't want to be alarmist, but the neighborhood has gotten progressively more dangerous, particularly at night along the Halsted strip.
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Old Jul 29, 16, 8:22 am
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Originally Posted by chgoeditor View Post
I'm probably there once a month and I've seen an attendant 2 or 3 times over the years, but I'm only there during the day. I'm not sure about evenings.
Really? I'm not there quite as frequently (I usually get frustrated at that store because it won't have what I needed and I end up having to go to Elston), but I have never once seen an attendant there. The notes on spothero about validated parking for HD/Guitar Center are odd because I've never once seen the gates in use, they've always been up.

My recommendation would be to park at Rosemont or Cumberland Blue Line as you originally planned, this will cut your city driving down. Both stops are easily accessible from the highway. Rosemont has a lot, Cumberland has a garage. Take the Blue Line to Belmont. When you get to the Belmont stop, you can either Uber or take the bus to Boystown. If it's not too late when you're inbound, the bus will be fine (and cheap, the transfer from the L will be 25 cents). At the end of the night, Uber back to the Belmont Blue Line.

Howard has a garage attached to the station, so safety isn't a big issue. However, it's far from the expressway, it's a slog to get there from Schaumburg (I used to live in Evanston just north of there and worked in Schaumburg and it was just ... ugh).

If you're not used to city driving, I wouldn't recommend driving to Boystown or Home Depot, the parking is a nightmare. That Home Depot garage I'm just not sure on, as I said in my other post, I've never seen it attended. It's like they originally intended to charge for it with free parking for customers, but they gave up on it. The arms are always up. So, I'd question if the spothero listing is dated and was never removed. ie, you may be risking your car getting towed if you park there.

Last edited by iluv2fly; Jul 30, 16 at 10:01 am Reason: merge
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Old Jul 29, 16, 11:00 am
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Originally Posted by glg View Post
Really? I'm not there quite as frequently (I usually get frustrated at that store because it won't have what I needed and I end up having to go to Elston), but I have never once seen an attendant there. The notes on spothero about validated parking for HD/Guitar Center are odd because I've never once seen the gates in use, they've always been up.
Literally 2-3 times since it opened, what?, 4 or 5 years ago, including once in the 4 months since we bought the new place (during which time we've probably been there once a week, on average). I really have no idea how or why they decide to staff it on the extraordinarily rare times it is staffed. It's very odd. Either staff it, or don't staff it.

(BTW, I agree with your frustration with that store! Even the stupid parking lot makes me want to tear my hair out. However, it has gotten a deeper selection of stuff since they significantly expanded the second floor, but fix the darn escalator already! I know there's the internal elevator, but it feels ridiculous to use that if you don't have a cart.)
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Old Aug 2, 16, 6:41 pm
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My two cents:

I lived three blocks away from the Belmont Red Line stop for four years, and spent a lot of late nights across the street at Big City. I never felt as unsafe as has been described. If anything, I have a lot more anxiety riding the Blue Line outside of hours that people would normally be traveling to ORD.

Yes, I read the CWB blog/twitter and have followed the small uptick in crime over the last few years, but Boystown is not Englewood; an extra mugging here and there is nothing when you consider the thousands of people going out in the area on a Saturday night. Granted, I am 6'3", but a quick survey of my female friends indicates no heightened anxiety when visiting the area.

I think I've had to validate at that Halsted HD twice, and both times were during peak weekend shopping hours. I've not seen the gate down when visiting in the evening.

LearninghowtoMS, have you joined Uber or Lyft yet? Chicago has the cheapest rates of any city in the country, and you can often get $5 or $10 off your first few rides with a promo code when you join.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 9:08 am
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Originally Posted by linglingfool View Post
Granted, I am 6'3", but a quick survey of my female friends indicates no heightened anxiety when visiting the area.
I think a lot of people don't feel anxiety because they are unaware of the increase in crime in the area.

Sure, the guy who was shot in the neck at 9 pm Monday four blocks from the Belmont El stop gets reported on the major networks, but the majority don't. I did a quick search for the word Lakeview on NBC Chicago's site and the number of crime-related stories are few and far between -- and most have to do with non-violent crimes, though there was this guy who got stabbed at the Belmont El stop a few months ago.

If the media doesn't report on the problem, the news is less likely to filter out to potential victims.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 1:16 pm
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Originally Posted by chgoeditor View Post
Skim through the reports on Crime in Wrigleyville and Boystown.
Looking at that site, it looks like robberies this year are up from 2015, but in line with 2014 and down quite a bit from 2013 (looking at the period through the middle of July of each year).
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