Today’s Headlines for Tuesday, September 20

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  • Anne A

    I’m trying to encourage folks in my ward (19th) to report sidewalk issues using Chi Safe Path. I’d like to get more complete data out there to show how bad the sidewalk conditions in our ward really are.

    With the continuation of gas main replacement that started in our ward a couple of years ago, the misguided mandate to replace perfectly functional, intact curb ramps with “ADA compliant” ramps rolls on. They’re leaving adjacent cratered sidewalks in their current treacherous condition while wasting resources replacing something that is NOT broken.

    I was informed recently that they’ll do the corner in front of our house soon, as well as the other corners at our intersection. All of those corners have perfectly functional curb ramps and all but one of those squares of concrete is 100% intact, with no cracks. Replacing all of that while leaving badly cratered sidewalks does NOTHING to solve the issue of accessibility.

  • I popped it open to put in stuff in my neighborhood I already know about, and discovered that they don’t think Chicago has any streets on the north side that start with “sp”; their auto-suggest won’t find them, and even if I type out the whole address with ZIP code, it doesn’t take it.

    You also can’t upload a photo that isn’t geotagged (entering the address manually) to show the scope of the problem.

  • JeffParkNIMBY

    The black helicopters are circling the DNA article. The new North Branch bike trail *has already* caused a spike in crime!

  • what_eva

    The ramps may be functional, but they may not be ADA compliant. After ADA was passed in 1990, the city ignored it and kept installing non-ADA-compliant curb ramps. The city was sued in 2005 and settled in 2007. Result of the settlement is that the city spent a bunch of money fixing ramps in high traffic areas and agreed to fix any curb when the adjacent street is resurfaced.

    I don’t think I agree the mandate is misguided. What was misguided was the city installing non-compliant ramps for 17 years after ADA became law.

    Now, are those ramps basically useless when the adjacent sidewalks are in terrible shape? Yep. But that’s not covered by the settlement. The city has to fix the ramps, they don’t have to fix the sidewalks.


  • Anne A

    The end result of this mandate has been many street crossings where poor quality materials and/or materials not suited to our climate have been installed and failed prematurely, so that they are cratered after less than 10 years (often less than 5 years). This makes the crossings unsafe for some users.

    We have many crossings where the slope of the curb ramp meets the slope of the street in such a way as to create a moat 2-4 feet wide when there is significant rain or snow melt, or a 2-4 foot wide skating rink when it freezes. Is any portion of this due to ADA specs that don’t mesh well with local street construction? And how much is due poor quality work by contractors? How does THIS benefit accessibility?

    I’ve spent enough time on crutches or using a cane due to injuries or surgery to have too much experience with this problem. Slogging along with wet feet because you could not avoid a moat and stay upright, or taking a fall because you tried to avoid an ice moat is no picnic. I’ve seen plenty of other people struggling with this, too.

    So-called “compliant” ramps that create new unsafe conditions are the very definition of a misguided mandate, IMO. Your mileage may vary…