This Chicago Block Hasn't Been Plowed All Winter

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 7, 2014 5:30PM

Chicago’s open data portal can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing for intrepid hackers, journalists and concerned citizens curious into how sweat and financial equity goes into The City That Works. And it can be a curse when those folks discover what’s being ignored like side streets that haven’t been plowed all winter.

Case in point: the 4600 block of North Kelso, a block where residents say it hasn’t even been sniffed by a snowplow all winter. NBC 5 took those complaints from residents on the block and reached out to Derek Eder of Open City, the group responsible for several apps based on the city’s Open Data portal including the ClearStreets snowplow tracker. Eder took the eight highest snowfall totals this winter and mapped them around 4600 North Kelso. The results appear to back residents’ claims that the street hasn’t been plowed at all. So does this video accompanying the story. (You know it's serious when they wrap up Dick Johnson and send him out there.)

A resident on an adjacent street, Steve Rada, said his block has not been plowed either and claimed the office of Ald. Marge Laurino (39th) said, “you need special equipment” (like a Green Lantern ring or a low-grade laser, we imagine) to clear those side streets. Laurino’s office has been curiously silent through all this.

If this is happening on a street on the Northwest Side there’s a very solid chance side streets elsewhere in Chicago are also being ignored. Sure, Streets and San stupidly wasted its road salt inventory trying to melt ice in subzero temperatures during January’s polar vortex but this round of snow is manageable.