Friday, December 26, 2008

Ice Ice Baby

The City of Chicago has sent out an emergency text message: "Roads are icy and slick. Use caution when driving. Use public transportation if possible." We can tell you by personal experience that walking on the sidewalks to get to public transportation is no picnic, either. Be very careful, folks!

The Tribune adds: Some of the worst icy driving conditions in years hit the Chicago area early this morning, causing accidents too numerous to count. "If we had the manpower, we'd close down every expressway in the area," said a harried Illinois State Police dispatcher this morning.


  1. This is the understatment of the year. I talked to the baristas at Starbucks(since they were on the roads eaaaarrrrly) and they said that there have already been at least two CTA bus accidents in Uptown.

    Fortunately, the weather is warming, so if you're heading out later today you should be fine.

  2. I'm really upset at all these buildings in Uptown, mostly six-flats with no management company that never shovel in front of their buildings. I believe it is the law to keep sidewalks shoveled and free of ice. Today was outrageously icy all over the place. I would like to ask people to make sure your sidewalks are free of snow and ice…you know who you are!

  3. If you have a "neighbor" that doesn't do their part, call 311 to report them. I have made countless number of calls (only saw them ticket the people once though). Also, feel free to follow up each call with one to Helen's office. Not that they will do anything, but if they continue to get calls from residents about people not clearing their sidewalks maybe they will take a little more interest. But 311 is the route to go.

  4. Actually, most of the 6-flats on my stretch on Malden, have been shoveled. The Section 8 on the block rarely is. Go figure.

  5. Let's not only blame the apartment buildings and section 8s, the condo building on the southeast corner of Leland and Magnolia is a serious offender.

  6. Petunia7276, that is what is done here--blame the "section 8" buildings and highrises and Shiller for all. Even the most innocuous post here can easily devolve into a "let's blame the Section 8ers, and oh yeah Shiller too" commenting party. Anyway, I see plenty of two and three-flats and townhomes up and down Gunnison that have had ice piled up in front of the areas outside their gates, which ice I have gingerly had to walk over on my way home from work in the dark. So now I know I should be calling 311 on my Gunnison block neighbors.

  7. NeighborLady.
    All I can say, is that in the 17 years or so on Malden, the 'Section 8' is the routine offender, in terms of failure to address snow and ice (and not to mention summertime trash on the parkway)

    I'm guessing there's a bit of resentment resting firmly on your shoulder, regarding condos versus subsidized

  8. SM, you'd be wrong. Nothing against condo owners at all. You popped up specifically to point out the "Section 8" transgression when this post had nothing to do with any particular type of homeowner/dweller. I am just saying that regardless of income level, a dweller of any housing might possibly get a little sloppy when it comes to ice removal, such as my 2 and 3-flat and townhome neighbors on Gunnison. My Gunnison neighbors also sometimes forget about the leash laws, but I don't think they're bad people at all. Anyone can get sloppy sometimes.

  9. There are plenty o' buildings guilty of not adequately shoveling their snow. My experience is that generally the six flats do a decent job as there are usually a few industrious owners who get out and do it. However, there are some six flats that never seem to shovel their sidewalks.

    Now if I were aldercreature I would warn the offending buildings and then get the authority to write tickets myself. I have no use for those who don't shovel their walks. Naturally, there might be a few exceptions for elderly or disabled folks who live in the relatively few SFH or 2-4 flats that exist in the ward.

    As for larger apartment buildings or condo associations shovel your damn snow within a reasonable time. Not shoveling just makes it difficult or impossible for the elderly or sick to get to the store or go about their needed routines. In my pirate religious code it is a sin to not do your part to make the neighborhood livable and walkable. It is literally the least one can do.

    I do mucho walking and even with my catlike reflexes I sometimes have a difficult time walking on some of the sidewalks here. It's generally the same offenders year after year. They can't bother with their snow and then it turns to ice because their sense of self importance is greater than their sense of responsibility.

    As an evil owner I get out and shovel my snow and I expect my neighbors and fellow owners to do the same. Most of them do. Those who don't...........move to Lincoln Park where snow shoveling largely seems to go undone.

    My amusing impression citywide, I used to do a great deal of traveling in the city due to a former job, is that sidewalks largely remain uncleared in both poorer and wealthier hoods. It is the middle class hoods or working class hoods where you generally see better snow removal on sidewalks.

    Go to parts of the city with large immigrant homeowner populations and watch how free of snow the walks are.

    Go to Lincoln Park or some poorer hoods and make sure you have spikes on your shoes to make navigating the walks easier.


  10. Before we go blaming everyone, I would like to point out that most of the ice from yesterday was really nobodys fault.

    First, nobody knew it was coming. It snuck up on the City and certainly myself.

    Second, most of the ice on the sidewalks came from bits of snow that had melted during the day, then frozen solid at night while combined with the ice rain we got during the overnight.

    Most people awoke completely surprised that everything had been iced over. Whether you live in a 6 flat or section 8, this ice storm caught you off guard.

    Althought ironically, at 6 am yesterday only two building on my way to the el had been both de-iced and salted. One was the firehouse, and the second was the Wilson Mens Club Hotel.

  11. Eagle...

    Yes MOST of the ice wasn't anyone's fault, but if you notice on the sidewalk, the areas where snow was never removed ended up melting then freezing into thick ice then melted again making it extremely slippery...the areas where the snow was removed was pretty clear as soon as the temp hit above 32. I tried walking down Magnolia and almost took a dive a couple times on the areas where nobody EVER shovels.

    In my opinion this isn't a condo owner vs. renter issue this is about doing what should be done when it comes to snow and both have failed in their duty.

  12. Yesterday wasn't a good example because of the nature of the storm, but as was said you could tell by walking which buildings NEVER shovel.

  13. If there is a building on your route that is negligent on its shoveling, try leaving a notice for them informing them of their responsibility. It may be that you tried to walk by before they shoveled. I have put the criteria below and you will see that there is a kind of "grace period."

    If the building is a chronic offender and there is a management company in charge of the building, call the management company. If the building is small and owner-occupied or self-managed, it may take getting your block club involved to find out why this building can't get their walkway shoveled in a timely manner.

    Here are the guidelines.

    Snow that accumulates before 4:00 p.m. must be removed within three hours after the snow has fallen. Snow that accumulates after 4:00 p.m. or during the night shall be removed before 10:00 a.m.

    Hope this helps.

  14. Thank you to everyone who did shovel their sidewalks during this holiday. Many people were out of town visiting family and I'm sure those who stayed here were much safer as a result of everyone's efforts.

    Also, thank you to Heartland Alliance for making sure your properties have been shoveled and plowed this winter. Your efforts to be a good neighbor to the community this year are appreciated.

  15. I totally agree with you Petunia 7276.
    We've been living in the area since the summer of 2001 and not ONCE have I seen that section of Leland & Magnolia ever shoveled!
    It's a large stretch of sidewalk, but I don't think anyone in that condo knows that they HAVE to take care of it. I don't think it would take that much money to invest in a snow blower, with six units to all pitch in.