Pathetic State of Chicago Streets

You’ve dodged them a hundred times, the ubiquitous orange cones that now passes for street repair. Seems they’ve figured out the key to saving money on  street repairs. It’s a clever idea, which I bet after a flat tire, broken axle or some pavement related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, you’re wishing you’d thought of yourself.

Ravenswood craters

You know, Bosnia after 4 years of war has better roads than Chicago. I’m in Germany about twice a year and when I return heralding the superior state of roads in Western Europe invariably some  schlub who has never been outside the Continental US says something profound like, “Them Europ-eopeans pays a whole bunch more in taxes. I knows, I heard it on that FOX News!”

To which I reply, “Dearest Schlub, hell yeah they pay more in taxes, and not only do they expect and demand more for the money…they get it! Like freakin’ roads you can actually drive on! ”

The Actual Moon

Two months ago I drove all over Italy, including the back-est roads I could find. Guess what? Not a single pot or sink hole.

The neighbors and I have been fighting a frutrating battle with the local alderman to repave Ravenswood between Granville and Devon. Alderman Debra Silverstein’s office in the 50th Ward has all but turned a deaf ear to the owners and voters along  this stretch  of road. They don’t seem to care that we fight daily to keep jokers, hookers and all manner of goofballs out of the neighborhood because they see it  as the city maintains it: a back alley.

We’re even willing to channel our own resources to beautify the stretch along the metra tracks, clean up trash, plant flowers or put in a community garden. But the city seems intent on maintaining the street like an alley, to their own detriment. Cleaning up the street would significantly raise property values and generate more critically needed taxes. It would likewise attract business, and in turn more revenue for the city. So why won’t they martial the minimal resources to fix the damn  street? But see, I’m not as clever as all thems big pol-ee-ticians in city all, with all their high fallutin’ book learning.” But  I can string a few words together an I am a persistent and sarcastic SOB.

On a bike ride the other day, dodging potholes, bouncing over bladder-busting patchwork and those F&%$-ing orange cones, I realized I was looking at this all wrong. Rather than upgrade Ravenswood by say, paving it and putting in a curb, the city understands it would be easier to simply allow the rest of the citiy’s streets to degrade to the level of Ravenswood.

See, if Ravenswwod is at the bottom of what would be considered acceptable than we’d have a legitimate argument for having our tax-our dollars actually work for us. But, if the whole city is driving on a moon-like surface, like Ravenswood is now, then we simply have no argument. Let the streets go even further and Ravenswood becomes the best damned street in Chicago, and then what would I have to complain about?  Brilliant, Mayor Emanuel and Alderman Silverstein. Brilliant!

Deep in it

About 900poundgorilla

W.C. Turck is a Chicago playwright and the author of four widely acclaimed books.His latest is "The Last Man," a prophetic novel of a world ruled by a single corporation. His first novel, "Broken: One Soldier's Unexpected Journey Home," was reccommended by the National Association of Mental Health Institutes. His 2009 Memoir, "Everything for Love" chronicled the genocide in Bosnia and the siege of Sarajevo. His third book "Burn Down the Sky" is published exclusively on Amazon Kindle. It was in Sarajevo at the height of the siege where he met and married his wife, writer and Artist Ana Turck. FOX NEWS, ABC, CBS News, the Chicago Tribune and The Joliet Herald covered their reunion after the war. He helped organized relief into Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. Turck has been a guest on WMAQ-TV, WLS in Chicago, WCPT, WBBM radio, National Public Radio, Best Of the Left and the Thom Hartmann show. He has spoken frequently on Human Rights, Genocide and Nationalism. In 2011, his play in support of the Occupy Movement, "Occupy My Heart-a revolutionary Christmas Carol" recieved national media attention and filled theaters to capacity across Chicago. He remains an activist to the cause of human rights and international peace. View all posts by 900poundgorilla

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