Saturday, January 18, 2014

First Bus Tracker, Then SnowPlow Tracker, Now ... Pothole Tracker!

Apparently Mayor Rahm was showing the CDOT workers on Marine Drive
how the app works (Photo Credit: Brooke Collins // City of Chicago)

Last week's Uptown potholes-no-more
If you've ridden in a car or bus the last couple weeks, you'll know it's pothole season.  Or, as we like to think of it, Black Friday for the tire stores and auto shops.  Something to do with the snow freezing, then thawing, then freezing again, and in the process turning our streets into the surface of the moon.

The city says it's patched more than 50,000 potholes in 2014, each one a request from a resident through the City website or a 311 call.  The city's come up with an app that shows the past seven days of pothole repairs.

If you go to, you can hover over each blue dot to get information showing the service request number, the date of the completed work and the total number of potholes repaired on each block.

If you have a particular nemesis amongst the potholes -- and Lord knows there are plenty to choose from -- report it to 311 and see how much time it takes to be filled.  With the temps set to drop below zero again next week, what else do you have going?


  1. Mass props to the City of Chicago's tech division! It's so neat to see a local government making use of technology to make things more convenient for their citizens.

  2. Can we have a "banger" tracker.

    Report them for annoying Americanlt while he's walking Mister Poochy by a liquor store.

  3. Can we please have some apps for things that make it hard for pedestrians like unshoveled sidewalks?

  4. What would make this especially useful is if based on our GPS signal we could just punch a button to report a pothole... who has time while they're driving to look up, figure out an address and make a call to 311... certainly the pedestrians aren't going to do it. We notice potholes while we're driving and need a quick and easy way to report them. Sheridan b/w Montrose and Addison just needs to be entirely resurfaced... you need a 4-wheel drive practically to navigate it. Make it happen Rahm!

  5. Some people just don't take pride in their neighborhood anymore. It's dangerous walking the snow filled sidewalks. I've noticed some "urban pioneers" refuse to shovel in front of their condos also.

    1. Some people never have taken pride in their neighborhood to begin with, and have never been stakeholders in their view--they're simply here in Uptown because they could get subsidized housing that is convenient to social services, public transportation, and drug dealers. When was the last time you saw Section 8 tenants shoveling snow off the sidewalks in front of the buildings they live in?

    2. Come on, let's not make snow shoveling an us-versus-them thing. The scattered site housing a few doors down from me is responsible for their own shoveling, and they are as good at it as everyone else on the block. I am handicapped and one of the young men who lives there helps me with our shoveling if he happens to be out at the same time I am. Won't take money for it, either. I appreciate his help and try to be a good neighbor to him as well.

    3. It seems to me that the worst offenders for not shoveling are SOME residents of center entrance condo six flats. Particularly the residents of the newer buildings. That doesn't mean most of those buildings aren't shoveled, just that a disproportionate share aren't. Perhaps vacant lots are worse. Few of those seem to have their sidewalks shoveled, However, there are relatively few vacant lots around.

      My general experience walking around the n side is that the more expensive the neighborhood the less likely snow is to be shoveled and the more expensive the residence the less likely it is to be shoveled.

      The lack of snow shoveling almost seems to spread like a virus or social disease. You will be walking and then come upon a group of disparate buildings where the sidewalks are unshoveled. I'd guess group dynamics come into play. "Mom, my neighbor didn't shovel so why should I." Plus the residents in some buildings seldom go out there front doors as they frequently drive everywhere.

      Generally the larger buildings are shoveled because they have paid staff to do it and the scattered site housing seems to depend on the management company. In fairness I have seen some folks in section 8 housing shoveling and picking up garbage in front of their buildings.

      The city should really be issuing warning ticket and then fining buildings that don't shovel. Now on the rare occasion when there may be a disabled/elderly too poor to pay a company to shovel their sidewalks elderly homeowners allowances should be made. There aren't that many people around here like that and in those cases some neighbors should shovel that property. Shoveling an extra Twenty five feet of sidewalk is not likely to kill anyone.

      Can't we just all get along?

  6. ComEd didn't shovel on Montrose just west of Target. I let them know but to no avail.

  7. Very stupid use of technology - after all the gps locates, 311 reports, and various timewasters, I sincerely hope the Streets and San crews fill potholes the same way they always have - fill a truck with cold-mix, and drive to an area, and fill every damned pothole they find, and don't leave until the truck is empty/shift is over.