All Cracked Up

By Ivry H.

One day earlier this month (June 11), four South Side Chicago residents were driving on 63rd Street in Englewood when they narrowly missed a pothole that was big enough to swallow someone’s arm.

Fortunately, they avoided hitting the pothole and damaging their Jeep Cherokee. But not everyone is so lucky.

In Englewood, the state of the streets and sidewalks is horrible because the city needs to improve the streets and sidewalks. This is something that impacts everyone who lives in or visits Englewood – or visit many other parts of the city.

Christopher C., who lives in Englewood, complained about the cracks and potholes in his ‘hood.

“They are messed up, even though they are little cracks people still get hurt,” Christopher said.

IMG_20150617_120842People can get hurt riding a bike on an unsafe sidewalk and hitting a big crack or fall in a pothole.

“A pothole is dangerous for cars cause if the wheel pops off from the hole, someone inside the car can get hurt.”

What will happen if this problem is not corrected? More accidents with happen, more people will start falling and the streets/sidewalks will be worse then they are.

What are possible solutions to the problem? The main possible solution is to fix the streets and keep track of the streets when they are done fixing them. If the alderman gives construction crews orders to fix the streets and sidewalks, they should do it because the alderman said so.

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Alderman Raymond Lopez visiting Tilden High School

15th Ward Alderman Raymond Lopez represents West Englewood, Back of the Yards, Gage Park  and Brighton Park. There are 55,000-some people in his ward.

He said the majority of the way streets get fixed is at the alderman’s direction. Each alderman gets about $1.32 million a year for capital improvements like streets, sidewalks, gutters, sewers, etc.

The cost to fix five blocks of a residential street: $37,500 for first five (for resurfacing), then it jumps to $42,500 after that or even up to $70,000.

Alderman Lopez said, “You see how fast that money goes, and we didn’t even get to the big stuff.”

Lopez stated how money was a big problem because the city does not  have enough to help pay for all  the streets and sidewalks to be fixed.

At least this year there were not as many potholes like last year.

In the first 13 weeks of the year, the Chicago Transportation Department received more than 19,600 new reports of potholes in city streets, according to the Chicago Tribune. That’s a lot less than the  30,000 reports filed in the same period in 2014.

All the potholes cost taxpayers a lot of money

Chris Coffey of NBC Chicago reported last year that, “The city spent $6 million  between 2008 and 2013 in sidewalks-related settlements and judgments.”

This is important because the city spent $6 million on sidewalks from Chicago residents taxpayers when that money could have gone to schools for books or to poor animals.

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