Eyes on the Street: Crew Responds To Bike Lane Sewer Collapse

Fixing two Logan Square sewer collapses
Progress as of Monday early afternoon.

A Chicago Department of Water Management crew was on Logan Boulevard today fixing a sewer collapse in the bike lane. We alerted the Chicago Department of Transportation and 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack last week about the hazard, just outside Xsport Fitness.

Streetsblog reader Patrick Lynch sent us some photos he took on Monday night. We forwarded them to CDOT staff on Tuesday morning, who acknowledged the issue a few hours later.

The sewer collapse one week ago. Photo: Patrick Lynch

It turns out, though, that Alderman Waguespack submitted the issue himself via SeeClickFix 11 days ago.

The way the city initially addressed the situation (since Waguespack’s initial reporting) was problematic. Instead of placing barricades ahead of the road hazard, a barricade was placed within it.

It was a situation like this that led to the paralyzing crash of Brian Baker, while he was bicycling on Wabansia Avenue in 2009. The city settled the case this year for $1.2 million. When bike lanes are affected by full-width road hazards, bicyclists require more advance warning than motorists do, because they need more time to merge out of the bike lane and into faster moving traffic.

Waguespack also reported a sewer collapse around the corner on Elston Avenue, in front of Panera. The crews today were adding more barricades to prevent people from riding or driving into this hole.

  • JacobEPeters

    That photo also captures one of the most egregious recurring illegal traffic situations I have yet to come across in this city. On dozens of occasions when I have been riding home from Lakeview this Sygma delivery truck is parked illegally in the bike lane facing in the opposite direction of road traffic. Does anyone know what business is responsible for this, and how it can be eliminated from occurring? because it is all kinds of dangerous for all people who happen to be on the street in the evening around dusk when this frequently occurs.

  • BlueFairlane

    Seems to me the only applicable business in that block that might use a Sygma truck would be the Panera. I wouldn’t think the health club would do enough business in food service stuff to justify that.

  • Mishellie

    Oh man… anyone with an ability to fix pavement should take a look a little west and across the street, where it looks like someone used a jackhammer and forgot to finish the project. And just on the other side of the bridge one whole lane is nearly unrideable.

  • Alderman Waguespack said he uses multiple avenues to report situations like this to CDOT. He also told me he’s reported the NB side of Logan Boulevard as needing new pavement.

  • Our tipster Patrick Lynch also pointed this out.

    I would contact Panera through whatever means you’re comfortable as well as bring it to Alderman Waguespack’s attention so he can pass it along to the local police commander.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    Well this issue for loading zones versus bike lanes will come up more often the more bike lanes you have. I rightly don’t know if there is a dedicated loading dock for this building. But if there isn’t, where is this truck supposed to unload, considered both Logan Blvd and Elston have bike lanes. A lot of people like to see older buildings repurposed for new uses, but if these older buildings don’t have docks, there’s often no other alternatives. If you make it so difficult for businesses to conductbusiness, you may create an environment where businesses won’t invest here.

  • BlueFairlane

    Well, I think he could start by not doing it pointed the wrong way, half blocking the opposing lane. I’m not even sure when he found this street clear enough to accomplish this without running over fifteen cars.

    To be honest, that picture really surprised me. I go past this point all the time, and I can’t figure out how a truck would get away with this more than once. This intersection is a clusterfrak and a half, with barely enough space for the lanes it has. That truck is half in the southbound lane, effectively blocking it whenever anybody’s in the northbound lane to continue straight through the intersection.

    I’ve walked behind this building, but I don’t remember whether there’s a dedicated dock. There is space for this guy to park, though. He just doesn’t want to do it.

  • StefanieA

    I reported that via SeeClickFix in mid-May, after it had been there for several weeks, with a photo. Glad to know that CDOT quickly responded to the Alderman (and, cynically, that regular citizens don’t really make a difference).

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    You mean its not a contra flow lane?

  • Wow – I don’t know what to say.

    You reported it on May 18, 2014. That’s 58 days ago. Something is quite wrong here.

  • It appears there’s a loading dock adjacent to Xsport, but I doubt there’s a corridor connection between this dock and Panera and it looks from Street View that the dock isn’t for Xsport. Plus, that’s a long way to move frozen soup.


    I suggest that to create a loading zone (and a parallel parking lane) that the SB left-turn lane into the Target parking lot be removed (and perhaps the entrance altogether).

    Target has two other entrances, one from Jones Street (which looks more like a big driveway to Target’s behind-the-store garage) and another from Elston.

  • Jim Angrabright

    If there’s no loading dock then the law allows delivery trucks to block streets.
    The loading dock to the west of this building is for the storage unit
    business. However, there is a tall garage door at the back of this
    building on Schubert – is this the building’s loading dock? Does the Sygma delivery person even know about this door? Or does he know about it but uses the street because it’s easier?
    If this isn’t the building’s dock then it’s the developer’s fault for not building one. He built an entire structure for Xsport and parking. Why not a loading dock? High volume fast food franchises require frequent deliveries. Or the issue could be zoning: was the developer even required to consider one? Or it could be NIMBY: did the residences on Schubert object to trucks rumbling down their street?

  • Jim Angrabright

    Plus there’s gravel spilling onto the street right next to the curb where bikers are forced to go because it’s a tight squeeze what with 4 lanes of traffic. And we all know that gravel acts like ball bearings under you tires.That entire section of Logan Blvd needs to be rethought from the Kennedy to Diversey and Damen.

    And while I’m in a complaining mood, what’s with Xsport bikers killing all the trees in front of Xsport and the storage units on Logan? Aren’t there bike racks in the parking garage? Evey time a dead tree is taken out and a new one planted people use it as a bike rack. It takes a year but it eventually kills them.

  • Mishellie

    I’m actually pretty sure there is no bike parking for xsport or Panera. When I go to Panera I lock on the target fence.

  • There are a couple of racks near the XSport garage. However, many people lock to trees closer the front door.

  • Mishellie

    Seriously? Wow. I’ve been looking for them because it didn’t make any sense that there weren’t, I figured it was either lock up by pei Wei or the target fence.



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