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Emanuel Administration to Release Blizzard Contingency Plan

By Chuck Sudo in News on May 27, 2011 1:52PM

Mayor Emanuel's administration is set to release a report detailing when Lake Shore Drive should be shut down the next time this city gets a snowfall like the one that left cars and motorists stranded on the drive in February.

You'll remember that Emanuel took the Blizzaster as an opportunity to criticize the city's handling of clearing the streets and questioned why Lake Shore Drive wasn't shut down before the snowfall came with such force and quickness that snow plows couldn't clear the drive fast enough. Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Tom Byrne said the "after-action" report Emanuel demanded will lay out the steps the city will take to close the Drive.

“It’s all about getting people off the Drive, looking at times, situations and the technology that’s out there. We’ve got more cameras out there. It’s gonna be the movement of buses, movement of cars, when can we shut down sections or all of it. It’s all gonna be time-sensitive,” Byrne said.

“That section of the Drive got open in 36 hours, and we did a great job getting that done. We’re gonna build on successes that were out there and questions we think need to be answered. Hopefully, it’ll work smoothly. [But] all plans aren’t perfect.”

The images of cars stranded on Lake Shore Drive and drivers being rescued from the drive on snowmobile made national headlines and led former Mayor Daley to law low for a day, letting his department heads take the heat for why the Drive was snowed in.