Pedestrians Deserve Better Sidewalks

January 29, 2013 at 10:40 pm

A quick post proving the general lack of care/maintenance for pedestrian human facilities:


Water pooling up at the intersection of Wilson and Malden, Chicago, which is not unique to this intersection when it rains. Credit: Shaun Jacobsen.

That’s Wilson and Malden in the Uptown neighborhood in Chicago. I was on my way home from a Participatory Budgeting meeting in the 46th Ward. I’ve already reported this intersection on SeeClickFix because the crosswalk markings are almost completely worn out. With today’s abnormally warm weather and the forecast for the rest of the week dipping below freezing, this (and the rest of the sidewalks nearby, could turn into an impromptu ice skating rink.

Can I fairly call it “impromptu” when it’s designed to place people walking on the sidewalk in a class below the automobile? The roadways are slanted so water collects at the curbs. This is a good way to prevent flooding — as long as you’re only preventing it from affecting cars. If you’re a person walking (and let’s face it, even drivers inevitably become pedestrians at some point), you will become the victim of this sort of negligence. It’s even worse if you depend on a wheelchair or walker or just happen to dislike jumping across puddles to get home.

The City needs to be more attentive to these matters. Unfortunately, 311 is not that attentive to service calls about these things. Their negligence is an issue of quality-of-life.