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No Alley Plowing Planned for Chicago

By Soyoung Kwak in Miscellaneous on Feb 5, 2011 4:00PM

A six-foot high wall of snow cuts off the ability to access the alley behind Chuck's apartment building as of 8 a.m. Friday morning. (Chuck Sudo/Chicagoist)
Did you know there was a crippling blizzard in Chicago a few days ago? Although it appears that most roads are pretty clear and the CTA is running close to normal, a lot of the Chicago side streets have been waiting patiently to be cleared by the city.

As the city works hard day in and day out to clear the many side streets, the city has no plans to clear any of the alleyways. Yes, that's right: thousands of frozen alley rats will be stuck in their seven-foot tall igloo-castles until they melt away slowly by the sun:

"We do not plow alleys. Plowing alleys ... can force snow against garage doors and cause more problems than it solves," Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Tom Byrne said Friday morning. "We are attempting to track our alleys with garbage trucks so that the vehicles can get into the tracks that they have to drive out."

Not to be bitter, but this is in contradiction to what mayoral chief of staff Raymond Orozco said at an earlier point about clearing the alleys after clearing the side streets.

All the miscommunication aside, thinking about those poor rats is tugging at our heartstrings. Will you be clearing your own alleyways, or will you wait for warmer weather to melt it all away?