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Snowpocalypse Roundup

Thursday, Feb 3, 2011

* This little-discussed factoid is getting lost in the mega-uproar about the thousand or so cars stranded on Lake Shore Drive Tuesday night

Though some people were stuck in their cars as late as 3:30 a.m., officials said most of those people were drivers reluctant to abandon their cars until firefighters ordered them to do so.

One can only wonder how many times those stubborn dolts were offered assistance before they had to be ordered out of their precious automobiles by cold, exhausted firefighters. That’s time which could’ve been far better spent helping others truly in need.

Only a fraction of the thousands of cars on LSD Tuesday night actually got stuck, and nobody was seriously hurt. Closing the Drive early would have undoubtedly caused nightmarish problems on arterial roads. We don’t know if the situation would’ve been worse, but those same cars would’ve been much more spread out than they were Tuesday, and, therefore, more difficult to reach

“The question was do we eliminate Lake Shore Drive as an option, which would’ve essentially diverted thousands of drivers onto other roads”, [Mayor Daley’s chief of staff Raymond Orozco] pointed out. He says that would’ve created even more traffic and dangerous travel conditions on other city streets.

* Apparently, the guy in charge Tuesday was not Mayor Daley but hizzoner’s chief of staff, who was quickly fed to the angry hordes yesterday

Aware of the complaints, Orozco took full responsibility for the timing of the Drive shutdown and apologized to the hundreds of motorists who were inconvenienced.

Still, Orozco said he made “the right decision” in waiting until nearly 8 p.m. to close the road. He said he weighed the effect of diverting traffic off Lake Shore Drive sooner and concluded the city would be safer without thousands of cars spilling onto local roads.

“In a storm of this magnitude there is no way to predict from minute to minute what problems may arise,” Orozco said. “But what we know at this time is no serious injuries or loss of life [happened] based upon the option that I chose during what was called a life-threatening storm.

“What we believe is we obtained the best possible outcome.”

But that won’t stop the political recriminations

“If reports that Mayor Daley was not involved in the actual decision making on the city’s response are true, that’s a disappointment, ”Carol Moseley Braun said through a spokeswoman.

A spokeswoman for Gery Chico said he believed there would be time later to play the role of “Monday morning quarterback.” Instead, Chico saluted the courage of city workers who responded to the weather emergency, especially police, paramedics and firefighters. Their unions, by coincidence, have all endorsed Chico. […]

Referring to the now internationally-notorious traffic mess along the lakefront, Emanuel said in a written statement: “We need to get to the bottom of what happened last night on Lake Shore Drive — with hundreds of passengers stranded for hours, it’s clear that there were mistakes made that we can never let happen again. And we need a comprehensive review to determine what went wrong and what went right throughout the city.”

Lake Shore Drive has been reopened, by the way

* The cost to the city’s budget is going to be astronomical. $100 million is the number being tossed around

The last time the city implemented Phase 4 of its snow plan — by calling out private contractors to assist with snow removal — it boosted the total storm tab to a whopping $77 million.

For that 1999 storm, Daley requested federal disaster assistance, as he did again this week. Back then, he was ultimately forced to raise an array of taxes, blaming at least some of it on the snow.

This time, the tab is likely to approach $100 million. The next mayor is already facing a structural deficit in the $1 billion range when pension obligations are factored in. Daley managed to hold the line on taxes in his final budget, only after draining all but $76 million from the 75-year, $1.15 billion lease that privatized Chicago parking meters.

And that’s just for Chicago. Lots of suburban and Downstate communities are gonna be in much worse fiscal shape by the time this thing is over.

* More stuff…

* Next problem: Where to put all that snow - Municipalities scramble to find acceptable dumping sites

* How about the side streets? City officials say “as soon as possible”

* Airports dig out; CPS to close 2nd day

* Snow prevents area’s mail delivery

* National Guard mobilized to help stranded motorists

* Counties declare state of emergency

* Video: Chopper footage of Lake Shore Drive

* Blizzard’s gone, bitter cold is in

* Plowing ahead: Road crews weary after massive storm effort

* Editor’s snow hero: CTA bus driver

* VIDEO: Mary Ann Ahern describes her experience of being on Lake Shore Drive when Mother Nature got angry.

* Hospitals low on blood: ‘We just need people to give if they can give’

* Riding along
with Illinois National Guard

* Tips from Ameren on electricity, gas and weather

* Brown: Still, I get tired of the scapegoating. Maybe this one time we could just figure out what went wrong and how to avoid the same problem in the future without insisting that somebody take the fall. This was clearly a unique weather situation.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 7:29 am:

    –“We need to get to the bottom of what happened last night on Lake Shore Drive — –

    I can help.

    As forecast in the most dire terms for days, it snowed a lot in a hurry. With 60 mph winds. On an arterial road next to an inland ocean (25 foot waves predicted) in a city of nearly 3 million. In the middle of rush hour on a workday.

    Yet despite all the warnings, many people weighed the risks (or not) and decided to take their chances. Many, many more chose differently.

    Orozco can’t win for losing here. If he (let’s get real; Daley) would have closed the drive earlier he would have been smoked for the huge problems that would have caused.

    Chico had the right response, whether he was endorsed by the unions or not. The first responders performed magnificently, as did the citizens who took precautions in the storm with the biggest forewarning in history. Daley should be out on TV saying the same thing.

    Given the all the circumstances of the storm, we could very easily be talking body counts today, not stranded cars.

    CMB and Emanuel can stick their disappointment and questions and take a lesson from Corey Booker and grab a shovel.

  2. - Don't Worry, Be Happy - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 7:31 am:

    Beware of the City’s spin on this - they are trying to blame everyone (including the motorists) other than themselves.

    There are a lot of reports of motorists who called 911 for help and were told to stay with their cars, that someone would be along to help them, and then nobody ever came.

    There was also a lot of complaints that people sat for hours without seeing a cop or firefighter. So I’m not sure that a lot of people refused rescue attempts because it appears that weren’t any rescue attempts.

  3. - And I Approved This Message - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 7:34 am:

    If this is costing $100 milliion how come our street hasn’t been plowed 42 hours after the storm started? Kudos to the newspaper delivery guy who managed to hike in here this morning with the papers.

  4. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 7:42 am:

    ===how come our street hasn’t been plowed 42 hours after the storm started? ===

    I wouldn’t wait too long. Best bet is to get the neighbors together and tackle the thing.

  5. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 7:54 am:

    The village came through to plow the alley this morning, but a bunch of us dug it out yesterday afternoon (five foot drifts) to get our cars out of the garages.

    Got lucky with two neighbors with new snowblowers. Nothing sends snow flying like two middle-aged suburban dads competing to see who can be more like Gen. Patton racing to relieve Bastogne.

  6. - Concerned Observer - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 8:26 am:

    Stayed in a hotel the last two days so I could be sure to get into work. That means I have 14 inches of snow in my driveway still to shovel when I get home.

    Yay, snow.

  7. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 9:03 am:

    Drove from Lake Forest to Joliet this AM. State Route 60 was still one lane. State Route 30 and 6 are still poorly plowed. The local Joliet and Lake Forest Roads were just fine. The tollway 294 and 355 were plowed just fine.

    What’s with the state routes? They are 4 lanes highways reduced to two lanes still with no evidence of drifting snow.

  8. - Helm - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 9:04 am:

    As someone who got on LSD on Tues @ 3:15 pm @ Michigan Ave., I agree with Wordslinger’s comments/observations. I, along with everyone else who decided to get on LSD, assumed the risk of doing so. At 3:15 pm traffic was still moving relatively well, all things considered.

    There is a thing called personal accountability/responsibility which many refuse to accept. We all owe a debt of gratitude to the emergency personnel who were out there working. Because of the efforts of emergency personnel, we are discussing stranded/inconvenienced commuters recovering their cars rather than body counts.

    Say whay you will about the Daley Machine. The citizens of Chicago were well served by having the years and years of experience of those dedicated public servants working over the past few days.

    It could have been much, much worse.

  9. - Helm - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 9:09 am:

    One more thing. I took LSD to work this morning. Was on there at about 7:30 am and it was smooth sailing. It’s pretty impressive how they got it up and running as quickly as they did.

    At the end of the day, the City basically had to shut down for 24 hours, which isn’t bad, especially when many of us are fortunate to have cell phones and internet access.

    Chicago is the best, likely in the world, at snow removal. Amazing how a losing mayoral election (Bilandic) can motivate snow removal.

  10. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 9:09 am:

    Leaving at 3:45 p.m., I deliberately skipped the Kennedy and LSD and opted to take Damen Avenue all the way home because I know the others were packed. Also, did people not hear the warnings about the risk of high winds and waves on LSD? I did.

  11. - enn - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 9:24 am:

    How long were CTA buses operating on LSD? I don’t think it’s unfair to blame the city for operating buses after it was safe to do so.

  12. - The Captain - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 9:28 am:

    A CTA accordian bus (the ones with two buses connected together) jacknifes and closes three of the four lanes of Lake Shore Drive during a 20 inch snowstorm on a road that only has an exit once every mile between the accident location (Belmont - 3200N) and downtown. In the ensuing chaos as frustrated drivers are trying to get out at one of the few exits on slippery roads more accidents occur further locking people in. As this happens plenty of snow starts to accumulate among the stagnant cars. Usually the flow of traffic will disburse some of the falling snow, but gridlock does nothing.

    Southbound LSD was fine and wide open, you know where a bus accident wasn’t blocking three lanes, so obviously the capital bill should address spending in the design flaws of only northbound LSD. Further, we should invest heavily in politial opportunism and magic beans to ensure this never, ever happens again.

  13. - Corduroy Bob - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 9:34 am:

    Glad Rahm was able to weigh in from his snow bunker. I like the leadership.

  14. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 9:51 am:

    Couldn’t disagree more on LSD. Orozco lied his butt off in that press conference yesterday. How do I know? Because when I was on the drive at 3pm, I personally witnessed three accidents including a car struck by a light pole that had fallen in the wind. Orozco said that into the evening there had been no incidents and the drive was moving, albeit slowly. He said once the accidents occurred they immediately made the decision to close the drive. If we know accidents had been happening since 3 and the drive was not closed until 730, how is that remotely accurate. He said there had been 250 firefighters on the drive helping commuters and yet of the three dozen or so people I know of who were stuck, not one saw a policeman or firefighter until after 10pm.

    Finally, for all those (including the City) saying it’s their own faults because they CHOSE to take the drive, sorry - you can’t have it both ways. The City says they needed to leave LSD open so people could get home but at the same time faults those who took the drive. That’s more than a bit logically inconsistent. Based on what I know about when people left and got stuck, they left the drive open HOURS after traffic had stopped moving. That means that hundreds of people at the back end got on Lake Shore Drive with ZERO chance of reaching their destination.

    Sorry, but the City screwed up on this one pure and simple. And now they’re covering up their poor contingency planning and bad decision making by having Mayor Daley hide behind his Chief of Staff. Pathetic.

  15. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 9:52 am:

    Here’s my take: because of the simultaneous construction on Wacker Drive/Congress Pkway/inability to get to Lower Wacker due to construction/pedestrian issues, closing LSD would have forced more traffic into the Central Business
    District and that would have been a disaster as well…things got very bad after a bus accident blocked the drive…why do folks drive to work when they can take mass/public transit when a blizzard is expected? Because people are married to their cars.

  16. - Elmhurst - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 9:59 am:

    No place to put the snow. Roads and streets everywhere are just narrower.

    If anyone wants to start a collection to sponsor a parade for plow drivers, emergency personnel, and hospital workers who worked through this thing, sign me up.

  17. - shore - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 10:13 am:

    I don’t have sympathy for the people on lake shore drive. what do you think happens in a blizzard?

    The kass column though was spot on, I know you’re probably not a facebook fan of his, but he brings edge and the insight from the south side guy was good for those of us who aren’t in that game.

  18. - Wensicia - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 10:23 am:

    I think both city officials and everyone who chose to wait before leaving the city until after the onset of the storm are to blame. This superstorm had been forecast for days, the weather service predicted BLIZZARD WARNING from 3:00PM Tuesday through 3:00PM Wednesday. The city should have warned everyone to be out of the city by the time it started or find a place to stay for the night. Anybody needing to commute in or out of the city should have made arrangements to follow this advice or taken off work Tuesday and stayed home.

    In my opinion, nobody took this storm seriously enough.

  19. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 10:25 am:

    As someone who moved to Chicago from Springfield just a few months ago, I’ve been pretty impressed with the city’s response. I got to work yesterday morning just fine, although I do take the blue line and don’t have to walk terribly far to get to it. Over all though, main streets have been pretty clear, and the side streets are getting plowed about as quickly as I thought they would.

    I’m also getting a kick out of reading comments about taking LSD on the way to work or seeing the waves on LSD…

  20. - amalia - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 10:55 am:

    The Kass column was very interesting. maybe the 19th ward clout of Orozco is not as strong as the 40th Ward clout of Byrne.

  21. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 10:58 am:

    One thing not mentioned in that piece was all that water coming in from the crashing waves would’ve probably washed a lot of that salt away. Just sayin…

  22. - sal-says - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 11:28 am:

    Agree that lots of folks with WAY LONG notice of the storm made the wrong choice and went to work. I’m guessing that not all of them had public safety jobs.

    Years ago, I just HAD to attend a meeting in Spfld. Left the Chi area about 5am because of the snow storm. Luckly, I got to Gardiner & was VERY fortunate to get off and in to the Hen House. Spent the day THERE; finally, I-55 got open about 5pm & drove back home. Guess that meeting wasn’t all THAT necessary.

    Folks gotta learn; sometimes the hard way; when the forecasters have been predicting something extrodinary for about a week, you oughtta listen?

  23. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 12:40 pm:

    –The kass column though was spot on–

    Ugh, Kass makes it sound like it’s so easy to keep the drive open. He does his anonymous “inside-dope” sources bit to make it sound like he’s out in the streets, finding out the “real” story.

    Buses spun out, blocking lanes. Reports said stalled cars were blocking exits. Then the cars piled up. It was an intractable disaster within minutes.

    It was a lot worse in ‘67 and ‘79, the bigger storms. Lake effect snow (a lot less than this) causes pileups and closures in Indiana and Michigan every winter.

    I suppose the folks there are incompetent, too. Maybe they should talk to Kass’ inside dopesters, who had it all figured out after the fact.

    Nature’s indifferent. It will mess you up in a hurry if you don’t look out for yourself.

  24. - Plutocrat03 - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 12:42 pm:

    Seems to me that the complainers just like to complain.

    Was it a bad storm, you bet. Could more have been done? Maybe. Could have been worse? Much worse.

    Quit whining or trying to gain politically from the storm. Grab a shovel or your snowblower and get out there and help your neighbor.

    This too shall pass.

  25. - Objective Dem - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 1:00 pm:

    I think Chicago Cynic is on the right track. I think LSD was effective shut down long before the City is claiming. The story I heard in the media is a bus spun out by Belmont and blocked 3 lanes around 7:30. But it is clear the problems started long before then.

    One story I heard was someone who left the loop at 4:00 and got stuck on LSD between Fullerton and Diversey. If LSD was completely shut down at about 8:00 that means they spent 4 hours traveling about 4 miles. Another person I know left work in Hyde Park at 3:00 and got stuck on LSD. If traffic was moving that slow they should have closed the drive sooner.

    Additionally, the City should have displayed some leadership and sent all non-essential employees home at 12:00 and asked other employers to start sending people home around noon. They should have told people to be off the roads before the storm hit. Instead, it seemed like companies shut down around 3:00 when the storm was predicted to start. The storm actually started around 2. This created a rush hour as the storm hit.

    One other criticism is the City employees a large number of traffic aides. I didn’t see one on my ride home. Traffic was at a gridlock at many intersections leaving the loop because cars were blocking the intersections. And if the traffic aides weren’t available, the police should have been be used.

    I drove home around 3 (I know I should have left sooner, but…)I didn’t see a single snow plow or salter on the way home. I also don’t think LSD used caravans of snow plows to move the snow all the way off the road instead of just into the next lane. (By the way it took me about 45 minutes instead of the normal 20 to get home.)

    Bottomline is I think there is a lot more to the story than is being told.

  26. - Objective Dem - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 1:04 pm:


    This is not just about whining. Crisis management is one of the most important functions of the City and government. In my mind, they failed. The issue now is to understand what went wrong in order to learn and be prepared for the next crisis (snow, storm, or whatever.)

  27. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 1:31 pm:

    - In my mind, they failed. -

    Are you kidding? Roads are back open, no major automobile accidents, and two days later everyone is back to work. Your mind has a pretty high bar for success.

  28. - Plutocrat03 - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 1:42 pm:

    Unrealistic expectations is one of the major factors driving the growing overreach of government. It was not possible to keep all the streets free and clear during a storm of this magnitude.

    When the weather forecasters have been warning of a ’smowmegeddon’ for days, it is at least as much the fault of the commuters as any public agency.

    The problem on LSD could have occurred on any major artery with similar consequences. A bus blocked most of the outbound lanes. Who could have reliably predicted that? It is not the job the the government to keep 100% of the roads all the time.

    If you try to make the case of 100% success, they will preemptively shut down roadways at the slightest hint of bad weather in the future.

  29. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 1:57 pm:

    When I was a kid in 1967 living on Foster Avenue in Chicago, a bus spun out and blocked the street a half block from where we lived. There was no traffic for 4 days until they finally dug out that bus and pulled it out, along with a bunch of cars trapped both going East and West.

    I heard reports of the bus blocking LSD as early as 4:00 p.m. They then waited another four hours to close LSD? LSD is notoriously difficult to salt and plow during storms and the city usually over salts it to the point where they have to wrap up the trees and vegetation to protect it.

    I took a METRA Northbound train home at 3:30 p.m. on the day of the storm. We were packed like sardines and the train arrived 40 minutes late to the station, waiting for the train ahead to unload passengers. I’ll give the conductors credit, they got everyone off, even if it took extra time.

  30. - HappyToaster - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 2:02 pm:

    If you weren’t on the road by 2pm, a miserable 2-3 hour drive was inevitable and you were rolling dice on this sort of a nightmare. Given the severity of the storm, a disaster backup was bound to happen on one of the express\tollways. That it was on the one with the most cluelessly entitled users? LOL

  31. - Way Northsider - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 2:16 pm:

    I was curious this morning about how the folks who abandoned cars on LSD were going to find their cars and found this:
    I also saw people on TV this morning ranting about finding their cars while they walked around in the snow. Why don’t people sit tight and do some research before they rush out? I am highly impressed not only with the list but with the offer of gas. In view of the incredibly high winds and the snow, I think the city did a fine job. If people want budget cuts they have to realize that situations like this will take longer to resolve and cost more - the people and the equipment have to come from somewhere if they are not on the payroll!

  32. - zatoichi - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 2:21 pm:

    These people live in Chicago and it is winter. They know the streets and knew this storm was coming. But, weather predictions are so inaccurate why believe them or they never heard them? Guess leaving early, staying home, taking an alternative route, getting a hotel, staying overnight at work, or using mass transit are simply not acceptable options. No, going home on LSD is the only way to go and it is the city’s fault if I am not rescued in 30 minutes. Choices were made by many people that day. The people on LSD got stuck. Under the conditions that existed this was a surprise? If the roads had been closed at noon, people would have been complaining on how unfair that action was. There was no winning in this situation.

  33. - Honest Abe - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 2:30 pm:

    The mistakes were made by the motorists who gambled by taking Lake Shore Drive rather than enduring slow traffic on streets that were moving elsewhere.

    This road is notorious for hazardous conditions in bad weather, the weather forecasters warned about the possibility of heavy snow accumulations and high waves from the lake breaking on pavement, but plenty of people decided to take their chances on being the lucky ones to make it home before the road closed.

    I cannot fault the city for what happened on LSD.

  34. - Objective Dem - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 2:38 pm:

    I’m very realistic about what government can do and do not expect the City to keep roads open all the time, or save people from their blunders. But what happened on LSD was a costly failure. We are lucky no one ended up leaving their car and falling in the lake or a lagoon. (I saw one car stranded on the edge of a harbor retaining wall, that looked incredibly lucky not to have gone into the lake.)

    I agree that commuters are partially to blame. But keep in mind the average person can’t go home until the boss says its okay. And the boss is taking their lead from places like the City/County/State. They should have started sending people home at noon.

    If this was a case of a bus accident causing the problems, I would agree with you. But the story isn’t adding up. My sense is there were a lot of other problems and they should have closed LSD down earlier. If necessary you tell people to park in a garage and get a hotel room. It happens all the time with interstate highways.

    LSD is not simply a major artery. It is a limited access highway along a lake that is known for flooding over in severe weather particularly when you have winds like this storm. They should have been keeping a close watch on it and moved quickly.

    One of the nice things about arterial streets is if there is an accident closing one, there are multiple options. On LSD there are exits about every mile. Additionally, if people get trapped and cars get stuck on arterial streets, they can walk about 50 feet and be inside a building. On LSD, people are often long distances from the nearest building.

    The notion that I am suggesting the City should keep roads open 100% of the time or the complete opposite, that they they preemptively shut down roadways at the slightest hint of bad weather is complete nonsense.

  35. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 2:54 pm:

    –Additionally, the City should have displayed some leadership and sent all non-essential employees home at 12:00 and asked other employers to start sending people home around noon.–

    C’mon man. We live here. You have to take some personal responsibility in these situations.

    If the city sent “non-essential” employees home at noon, people would be screaming feather-bedding.

    You know what a drastic step it is to ask businesses to send workers home? That’s a big hit, you’re taking bread off their tables — what if you’re wrong? Also, it’s America — freedom and responsibility.

    My building, like much of the central loop, got shut down in the Underground Loop Flood. The weather was fine, no problems getting around, but the unplanned mass exodus out of the Loop was still like everyone rushing for the last helicopter off the embassy roof in Saigon. Real nasty stuff at the trains (I stayed in the Northwestern Station bar until it wound down — probably longer, if memory serves).

    Nice letter in the print Sun-Times from a motorist rescued by firefighters on LSD. No whining about how she “wasn’t told” or how long it took. Just grateful.

  36. - Ghost of John Brown - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 3:07 pm:

    I really enjoyed hearing Orozco on the tube talking about Lake Shore Drive. He kept saying over and over - “It was my decision, I take responsibility”. I love it when someone mans up and just takes responsbility. It was probably one of those “damned if you do, damned if you don’t situations”. The outcome wasn’t the best, but he had sound reason to do what he did at the time.

  37. - Objective Dem - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 3:09 pm:

    I’m sorry but I don’t think many people would accuse the City of “feather bedding” by sending people home a few hours early based on reports of a major blizzard.

    The fact that they didn’t send people home before the storm hit gave the impression it wasn’t necessary to leave for home until the storm hit.

    In regards to business, many people can easily work from home. Additionally, I think most businesses can handle letting employees go home a half day early once every twelve years(based on 99 storm) or so. By sending people home early it allows the streets to be cleaned quicker and the full commercial enterprise system to get back to normal quicker.

  38. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 3:47 pm:

    === “it’s clear that there were mistakes made” ===

    That’s a cleverly-constructed way of avoiding saying WHO MADE THE MISTAKES.

    ===how come our street hasn’t been plowed 42 hours after the storm started? ===

    Because there are 3,000 miles of side streets in Chicago, and side streets surrounding nursing homes, hospitals, schools and child care centers are given priority.

    @wordslinger -

    The Original Sin in this whole debacle was Mayor Daley’s decision to blow off weather forecasts, rebuff any suggestions that businesses should close, and pretty much tell folks to go about business as usual. That statement is what created the Catch-22 for the city.

    Here’s what he could have said instead:

    “We are preparing for a major blizzard, and weather forecasters are predicting severe snow storms that could create life-threatening driving conditions.

    I can’t tell Chicago’s businesses to close or close early on Tuesday. But if it were me I wouldn’t drive to work on Tuesday, I’d take the el or the Metra. And if I did have to drive in from the suburbs or the collar counties, I’d be on the road home by 2 or 3 p.m. at the latest. And if I couldn’t be on the road by then, I’d leave my car in the parking garage and book a hotel room.

    No one’s boss wants them to risk their life just to squeeze in a couple more hours of work.”

  39. - Objective Dem - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 3:47 pm:

    I have one other question for the people who are putting all the blame on the people driving on LSD. If it was so dangerous and people should have known better, why was the CTA running buses on LSD?

    I appreciate all the City did to address the storm, but I don’t think people should assume the City did everything correctly.

  40. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 4:06 pm:

    - but I don’t think people should assume the City did everything correctly. -

    Strawman alert. You’re saying it was a failure, disagreeing with that doesn’t mean we all think the city was perfect.

  41. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 4:07 pm:

    STL is correct. Leave that sort of argument out of here, please. It’s rather juvenile.

  42. - amalia - Thursday, Feb 3, 11 @ 4:48 pm:

    YDD is correct, talking to the people in a personal way always helps. would have helped during the waits for the people in the cars on LSD. a little Matt Smith from S and S, and Brian Steele from Transportation on the radio would go a long way to calm. they are good spokesguys for those departments.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* Passenger who was dragged off jetliner settles with United
* Illinois prison agency rescinds nurse layoff to keep talking
* Second man charged in shooting of judge near Chicago home
* Illinois Senate endorses presidential tax disclosure plan
* Rauner-Madigan budget meeting prompts encouraging statements
* Body of missing Joliet toddler found in mother's home
* Central Illinois schools work to repair elevated lead levels
* Illinois comptroller using tax-season revenue to pay bills
* The Latest: Coroner says autopsy of dead girl inconclusive

* Holocaust survivors' daughter tells parents' story at memorial service
* Rauner will rescind prison nurse layoff notices
* House OKs bill to make Lincoln library, museum separate agency
* Rauner, Madigan meet to discuss budget
* State rep: Rauner will rescind prison nurse layoff notices
* Settlement reached in United passenger-dragging case
* Cash flow from tax filings allows payment of some overdue health care bills
* House approves bill prohibiting employers from asking about previous pay
* Kicked out before kindergarten? Officials concerned about preschool expulsions
* Search continues in Joliet Township for missing toddler

* Why Illinois dentists want this law enacted
* Will House GOP get to yes on revived Obamacare repeal?
* Wintrust wins customer-satisfaction crown for first time
* United Airlines settles with victim of dragging incident

* Feds seek records from company co-owned by Clerk Dorothy Brown
* Burbank Park Dist. sued over hiring of convicted pedophile in ’84
* Sneed: Jacksons could wrap up divorce case soon
* 70-year-old man with dementia missing from Austin
* Rauner, Madigan hopeful after meeting — should rest of state be?
* Suit: Man ‘found in ditch’ after transport company ‘abandons’ him
* Man dies while pinned under pickup truck in Round Lake Beach
* Stunner: Bears trade 4 picks, take QB Mitchell Trubisky
* Cleveland Browns select Myles Garrett with top pick in NFL draft
* Bill to shore up Chicago municipal workers’ pensions passes House

* New drug to treat Batten disease OK'd but won't help Gray girls
* Attorney General seeks information on fatal crash involving Naperville cop
* Wisconsin Republicans push college free speech bill that would punish hecklers
* Wheaton Warrenville South graduate Corey Davis picked 5th in NFL draft by Titans
* Arkansas awaits word from Supreme Court on execution of 4th inmate
* City fires head of security at O'Hare, Midway for not disclosing why he lost Tollway job: sources
* Cunningham to tighten Waukegan spending rules
* Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky
* Shooting suspect charged in slaying of judge, wounding of judge's girlfriend
* Protesters attack Macedonian lawmakers over leadership vote, dozens injured

» State GOP Lawmakers Claim Rauner Won't Layoff Nurses
» Second Man Charged In Judge’s Shooting Death
» Equal Pay Act Goes To Senate
» Illinois House Democrats Vote to Strengthen Chicago Teachers Union
» Legislators End Hastert's $28k Pension — Is That Legal?
» What An Attempted Rape On Chicago’s West Side Says About Trust Between The Community And Police
» Illinois Board Terminates Hastert's State Lawmaker Pension
» New Chicago Graduation Mandate Earns Mixed Reviews
» Death Of Giant Rabbit Adds To United Airlines Woes
» House Democrats Pass Abortion Legislation

* Guest Column: Illinois’ school accountability plan needs work
* Thumbs Up: To the hero who saved Chatham man's life
* George Will: Will France elect a Gallic Barack Obama?
* Eugene Robinson on Trump tax plan: Plant beans and wait
* Holocaust survivors' daughter tells parents' story at memorial service
* Rauner will rescind prison nurse layoff notices
* House OKs bill to make Lincoln library, museum separate agency
* Rauner, Madigan meet to discuss budget
* State rep: Rauner will rescind prison nurse layoff notices
* Settlement reached in United passenger-dragging case

* Madison County police news
* Color change: Hydrant flushing may throw off Wood River residents
* Riverbend-area church news
* Michael Dean pleads guilty to Calhoun charges, will serve 1.5 years
* ‘Cutting edge and all-inclusive’: officials break ground in Gordon Moore Park
* Millstadt Farmers Inn to reopen
* Millstadt Farmer's Inn to reopen
* An historic Millstadt building will soon be home to a brand new restaurant
* Underwood: 'He makes his teammates better'
* NASA, other eclipse partners to visit SIU Carbondale in May

* Softball: Hampshire upends Dundee-Crown
* Titans draft former Wheaton-Warrneville South WR Davis
* Bears pay huge price to trade up for QB Trubisky
* Nine charged in Crystal Lake attempted robbery
* No bail for suspect accused of strangling Schaumburg woman

* Oswego's Congressman Reacts to Missile Str...
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* Rep. Randy Hultgren fields questions at Le...
* Rep. Randy Hultgren on Trump's Foreign and...
* League of Women Voters event in St. Charle...
* Randy Hultgren to participate in League of...
* Batavia's Congressman Reacts to Missile St...
* GOP congressman appears to distance himsel...
* GOP Bill Would Curb Shareholder Activism -...
* Batavia's Congressman Holding Service Acad...

* 'Brave' Syrian women answer call to make t......
* Senators Durbin, Duckworth Introduce Legis......

* Senators Durbin, Duckworth Introduce Legis......

* “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
* C2E2, an Earth Day celebration at Garfield Park Conservatory, and more things to do in Chicago this weekend
* Chicago rapper Valee ends his catchy songs so early you’ll want to imagine where they might’ve led
* Angry Leftists to protest Northwest Chicago GOP fundraiser Friday night
* Rauner and Madigan meet to discuss state budget
* EXTRA: Is United Airlines the Wizard of Oz in telling us to 'Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain?'
* Di Leo: Even with an Angelic Subject like "Made in America," the Devil is in the Details
* SEIU nursing home workers in Illinois threaten strike
* 1970: 95/Dan Ryan CTA terminal

* Governor Connects with Students Across Illinois on Facebook Live
* Statement from Rauner Administration on Meeting with Speaker Madigan
* Rauner Administration Seeks to Rid State Government of Illegal Hires Made Under Previous Administration
* Genetic testing confirms Illinois’ new state-record crappie was a hybrid
* New Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army invested - Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Erica Jeffries Named Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army

* Galaxy S8+ with 6GB RAM also selling in Hong Kong from May 25
* Chairman of Foxconn and Trump reportedly meeting
* Not a shocker: Google Pixel software support up through 2019
* Consumer hardware break means software shines for Microsoft 3Q17 earnings
* Alphabet’s efforts beyond search are ballooning into their own huge businesses
* Google search on iOS will now help you find TV shows, movies and music on streaming services
* Facebook sidesteps Snapchat by launching Messenger Lite in 132 more countries

* Melky gets bowled over while catching line drive
* Inbox: Will prospects join White Sox rotation?
* Dunning dominates again
* Backed by bats, Quintana deals a sweep
* Avi setting sail for White Sox
* Backed by bats, Quintana deals a sweep
* Abreu exits with right hip flexor strain

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