Thursday, January 7, 2010

Will They Shovel in Hyde Park This Year?

posted by chicago pop

Hyde Park's "Walk of Shame", Winter 2009

Now that the season's first major snowfall is upon us, it seems appropriate to recall the heavy dose of public shaming we leveled at the Good Neighbors of the so-called "Golden Rectangle" for not being quite so neighborly when push came to shovel last winter.

At issue then were a few notorious stretches of icy sidewalk, many of them along 56th and adjacent streets, and surrounding the landmark I.M. Pei condo-bunkers (photo above).

On the scale of NIMBY-ness, nothing quite says F-You like an unshoveled sidewalk, aside from a Rottweiler chained to a pipe or perhaps the "Do Not Enter" barricade in the westbound lane at 57th and Stony Island.

Shaming/Approbating Flyer from Chicago's Active Transportation Alliance
courtesy of Hyde Park OWL

However, as we are fond of noting that some progress is possible Hyde Park, we're happy to report that some of the Good Neighbors are doing their best to live up to their name, going so far as to "out" the miscreant losers who fail to shovel before we at HPP can. And that's saying something.

Toward this end, our vast intelligence-gathering services have provided evidence that Hyde Park's great reservoir of activists may actually be assuming some responsibility for correcting the treacherous conditions allowed by some of their neighbors.

We'll see if they can overcome the deeply rooted F-You instinct that is materially conveyed along 56th Street every winter.

A few raw intel intercepts:

From Hyde Park OWL:
The Chamber of Commerce has already advertised the campaign to reward businesses that properly clear their sidewalks. A task force is being formed to deal more forcefully with these issues, and will be meeting on January 7 [censored] Meanwhile, she is asking everyone who notes a site that needs snow and ice removal attention to call 311. There is now a code that will direct all calls of this type to CDOT, Chicago Department of Transportation.

It was recommended that we find out who is the proper contact in each Aldermen's office (as well as the Ward Office) for the problem of snow and ice removal.
Hyde Park OWL is still hoping to have a program about Snow and Ice Removal at their January 9 meeting. (We meet from 1-3 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month -- except for this January and June--which is the second Saturday) We meet at the First Unitarian Church.

From the Good Neighbors group:
There was quite a bit of good conversation last year about snow removal and I am glad people are getting already preparing for the winter. As you remember we formed a committee on the subject consisting of me, Judith Kritzberg and James Withrow. We are back in action; Judith will soon send out a message that you can use as-is or edit in letting miscreant neighbors know their obligations (Judith will be discrete. "Miscreant" won't be a word she uses.) James is going to make a list of people who will do the work for a price, and I got the following for us from Sue Purrington, assistant to Alderman Hairston.

Miscreants, look out!


The Woodlawn Wonder said...

Do NOT get me started on Mt. Carmel and their lack of neighborhood good will when it comes to maintaining the 65th Street Parkway.

Richard Gill said...

C-Pop, don't you know anything? This is Hyde Park; shoveling sidewalks may lead to runaway property development.

Greg said...

I'll get my popcorn and wait for the NIMBY's to start narcing each other out to "The Man". Should be a good show.

chicago pop said...

The latest intercepts seem to indicate that the Campaign for Winter Public Sidewalk Safety seems to be working -- paths are reported clear in front of homes that have stubbornly not shoveled in years past.

We'll see what it looks like tomorrow...

Elizabeth Fama said...

Woodlawn Wonder, my "Mt. Carmel" is the Ray School, which owns snow blowers and an actual ride-on shovel-cat, and yet they don't do the public sidewalks on the entire east leg of their property. (This includes the sidewalk west of Bixler Playlot, a heavily foot-trafficked sidewalk.) Last year we tried hard to get Alderman Hairston to bug them, to no avail.

David Farley said...

Someone who lives in one of the townhouses on 56th St. once suggested to me that 56th street was really their "backyard" so why should they do anything to encourage pedestrians to stroll through their backyard?

Also, last year was the first time I saw someone trying "dibs" on a parking space on 56th St. with the lawn chairs and buckets. You don't see that much in HP.

Richard Gill said...

If 56th Street is their backyard, let's tax them for the land.

Greg said...

last year was the first time I saw someone trying "dibs" on a parking space on 56th St. with the lawn chairs and buckets.

If I was independently wealthy I'd drive around, throw that junk aside and park various rustbucket cars in the spots. That is one "tradition" that HP does not need and needs to end in the city as a whole.

rdb said...

Anyone know who has responsibility for shoveling the sidewalks that cross the parklike sections of Drexel Boulevard? Is it the Park District? The Ward's Streets and San? Because I've never seen them shoveled, and they are a bigger irritant than my neighbors, most of whom are quite neighborly and shovel.