The Chainlink

I just came across this story on the Tribune. As much as I can't stand frivolous lawsuits of the I'm an idiot and I fell so now I need to blame someone else type, I actually kind of hope he wins. Only because the judge may force the city to make bridges safer. 

Realistically I don't think this suit stands a chance. 

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How can you tell when a politician (or other "public servant") is lying to you?

-His (or her) lips are moving.

Cameron Puetz said:

This is the problem. CDOT has been saying this for years, but bridge after bridge has been rehabed with no bike-friendly treatments. Each case has a different excuse (North: it was a state project, Division: it was a temporary fix, etc), but the end result is that despite years of lip service almost no bridges have been fixed.

Exactly.  And many trips require crossing both the river and an expressway.

Steven Vance said:

So many trips call for crossing the river. And if it's not the river, then it's crossing under the expressways. Or moving through a different treacherous situation. 

Tommy Boy said:

How about simply avoiding a route that endangers your health. In a grid style city there are 8 routes to get any where. Why take the one that endangers you and your fellow citizens health?  Simply call the city and have them repair it.  

There doesn't seem to be a generic term that I can find, but the very creatively named SlipNOT seems to be the dominate brand name. Based on your experience pushing bike issues in the past, is a letter writing campaign best directed at CDOT or the Alderman? Part of the frustration with mobilizing cyclists in that area to take care of their own backyard is that many of them (myself included) are transplants. Chicago doesn't work like any other city and knowing where to start is not obvious if you haven't worked in Chicago before.

h' said:

(Also-- I'm not clear on what you would like people to write to CDOT about in regard to the bridges-- is it specifically to request the plates? If so, what is the 'real' name of those type of plates or surface?)

Yes, I think people could write to CDOT to request more bridge plates.  They have used a different kind of material every time.  I would leave it up to the City structural engineers to decide which one is the best one in each situation.  

Thanks for this information; I'll be contacting him. Though I'm not in the 32nd Ward, I do live within a few blocks of one of the Division bridges and ride over both twice daily on my way to and from work on Halsted. The last couple of days I've ridden the sidewalks because it's been wet, which seems to make falling on one of those bridges almost assured. But even then, the sidewalks in that area are totally torn up, and the wood planks on the bridges are also not the most fun to ride on. Plus, I'd just rather not have to weave in and out of the often-heavy traffic along Division there to get on and off the sidewalks, and, although there are rarely any pedestrians around, I feel like a jerk if there are.

Kathy Schubert 'n Suzy Schnauzer said:

I have just written about the Division St. bridge to Alderman Scott Waguespack of the 32nd ward.  Both of the Division St. bridges are in the 32nd Ward.  I gave him a link to this discussion.

You can add to my comments by writing to or phoning 773 248 1330

Alderman Waguespack is a cyclist.  He is a good alderman.  He will listen.

I used to ride over the La Salle bridge at least 3 times a day delivering for Potbelly's, riding on 23c tires and never found it difficult to cross. 

In the wet is a completely different story, but the State St. bridge isn't too out of the way.

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