The Chainlink

I was biking south on Damen going towards Grand, when from a distance I saw that looked like someone underneath their car - doing repairs...got a little closer...what is that?

Well, a very aged and not very mobile person (80+ years old woman) in a wheelchair trying to go northbound in the southbound lane.  No other person seemed to be with her.  

There are always obstacles along Damen (construction, dumpsters, etc), and sometimes Damen is just a little narrow.  So far, drivers have been quite courteous (amazing! do those hand signals everyone)but I hate to end my days trying to avoid this gal.

Any suggestions?

Nancy

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I've seen her on Damen south of Chicago Avenue before (west side of street. Salmoning.)

So, not avoiding obstacles on the sidewalk?

does she only have one leg?

i don't think she was avoiding construction, though the red ramps haven't worked out in many cases.  no flag - guess she does get around which is better than sitting in a nursing home.

i'm not certain - guess i'm watching the waste hauler to the left....

In many neighborhoods the street is the only option for all but the most spry of step at times like this.

Like many, I used to see people walk in the street when the sidewalk was unwalkable due to snow/ice, and think "I hope they don't get hurt...." unfortuately that hope was replaced by certainty that many actually do get hit by cars doing just that, during the time I worked at a major trauma center. I guarantee that places like Cook County and Mt. Sinai hospital have multiple patients in the ICU right now that were hit by cars in the past 3 days.

As to this woman in the wheelchair-- not quite understanding the problem.



h' 1.0 said:

In many neighborhoods the street is the only option for all but the most spry of step at times like this.

Like many, I used to see people walk in the street when the sidewalk was unwalkable due to snow/ice, and think "I hope they don't get hurt...." unfortuately that hope was replaced by certainty that many actually do get hit by cars doing just that, during the time I worked at a major trauma center. I guarantee that places like Cook County and Mt. Sinai hospital have multiple patients in the ICU right now that were hit by cars in the past 3 days.

As to this woman in the wheelchair-- not quite understanding the problem.

First, is seeing a very elderly, handicapped woman alone in a wheelchair with no one to assist her.  It would be very easy to go down the curb ramp and right in front of a car that thinks it doesn't have to stop at a stop sign.  

Second, sure, there are many people who use the bike lanes - also to avoid construction, I may swing into it with my dogs, just to get ahead of slower pedistrians, then back to the sidewalk.  It's not in this case so much a biking problem but does she have any help at all?  

The initial string of thought was more of a "heads up" if anyone sees her.

Nancy

Seniors have to use the lanes all the time, it's often the best chance they have of avoiding a devastating or fatal slip-and-fall. When we get conservative and exclusionary about the bike lanes, it slows the spirit of progress that bicyclists still depend on very much as a community. Complete streets for all.

Were the sidewalks not shoveled/salted? Also, frequently snow is pushed into the sidewalk ramps at intersections, making it difficult for people in wheelchairs to cross the street. Until the city does a better job of providing ADA access to sidewalks and crosswalks during snow, the street is really the only option for people in wheelchairs. I recommend carefully going around her.

I've been living rather small this week, partly due to losing a bunch of time (unsuccessfully) trying to get my pipes unfrozen.... but are there parts of the city where you can count on a sidewalk to be passable for more than a few lot-widths here and there this week?

Sure as hell not around here. Plus there are ice "walls" to climb over where every sidewalk ramp hits the street at the corners. And then every alley that has to be crossed has two deep valleys from the tire grooves....


 Adam Herstein (5.5 mi) said:

Were the sidewalks not shoveled/salted?

Some blocks in Beverly were actually pretty good this morning. Loop sidewalks are looking much better today. Quite a few businesses got people out overnight to scrape off the lumps of packed-down snow, so a lot of sidewalks here are fairly clean. Metra did the same with the platforms at LaSalle St. station last night - a million times better than yesterday. Of course, now it's snowing again.  *sigh*

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