Friday, February 4, 2011

UPDATED: Storm reminds city dwellers of alleys' importance

Click to pic page
Another article from the Tribune, this time focused on the alleys :P
Lake Shore Drive is open, as are other major thoroughfares, and city crews have started to clear side streets.

But snowplows won't be moving down alleys, arteries that are no less important to city dwellers. Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Thomas Byrne says plows might do more harm than good, pushing snow up against garage doors. Garbage trucks, however, will try force their way down alleys to make tracks for cars, he said.

(Earlier, Ray Orozco, mayoral chief of staff, said work on alleys won't begin until "after Streets and San gets a handle on side streets.")

So, the mountains of snow in alleys will be removed from alleys only where neighbors on their own have put snowblowers and shovels to work.
Read the whole thing!

UPDATE 3:29 PM I already quoted from this Sun-Times article in the post with Ald. Lyle's quotes. But here's more about our alleys
Byrne then stepped to the podium and said, “The snow plan in effect was that we could get in contact with our provider — as many as 200 tow trucks. We brought in 84 tow trucks the night of the incident on the Drive. And those tow trucks worked constantly [all day Wednesday and into early morning Thursday] so we could get the Drive open.” 

Why did it take so long if tow trucks were standing by? Byrne said, “Every one of the cars was buried” in snow. Daley added, “It was huge drifts there. All of the sudden, it accumulated very quickly.” 

As for the side streets, Byrne said he has 474 pieces of equipment devoted to that job, including more than 200 high lifts and backhoes. But, he refused to say when it would be done, when alleys would be reopened and when garbage collection would resume.
I think I understand some of this. The residents want you to clear the alleys but will be just as upset if you pile the snow against the garage doors. An odd catch-22, but it is what it is.

Looks like we'll be on our own with this issue for a little while longer. It was cool to see people get together to help clean out some of their streets the other day. And probably their alleys as well in some areas.

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