Installation of new ADA curb ramps has been poorly done in many locations. When the street is being repaved at the same time, it turns out well. When old asphalt is cut out to do the new curb installation, we usually end up with seeds of new potholes, because gaps are left. Many of these installations done in the last 2 years are already deteriorating. Could CDOT or its contractors do a better job of filling in the asphalt, then use flexible crack sealer to close the joint where old asphalt meets new? In some spots, some type of crack sealer has been used, but only in the crosswalk zone. Perhaps if the whole joint was sealed we wouldn't get potholes starting there so quickly.
Bike lanes on 99th St. would be an amazing improvement. They could potentially slow the speeding traffic a bit, and make it easier for people to ride for transportation through the neighborhood. Slowing down the speeders could also make it easier for pedestrians to cross.
Things that go bump: more than a few locations have persistent problems with potholes and have been patched beyond belief. I'd love to see these locations repaved: 97th St. from Hamilton to Leavitt, 96th St. from Damen to Bell (and the adjacent section of Damen), Leavitt from 99th to 103rd, Longwood from 103rd to 105th Pl., 102nd St. from Leavitt to Seeley, 101st near Hoyne, 100th from Leavitt to Longwood, and 94th from Claremont to Leavitt. I could go on, because there are plenty more. In these locations, the pavement is patches upon patches and is crumbling away to nothing in some spots. The section of 100th in the photo below looks better than average, because it was recently patched. Nearby sections have even more patches, which will probably be blooming with potholes by spring.
We've got a lot of streets in bad shape. Many of them are the quieter streets that are better for bike riding. People of all ages ride in the neighborhood, and we need to be able to get around safely. I understand the budget situation and recognize that it's unlikely to get all of them fixed in one year. I do hope that some of these problem spots can be ground down and repaved this year. We have too many places where going one street over doesn't help, because the next street is just as bad.
On that topic, I'd like to say THANK YOU for the prompt response in getting the holes filled on 100th opposite Hurley Park after I contacted the 19th ward office. This has been a longtime problem spot, where these holes were untouched for a few years and kept getting wider and deeper in spite of repeated 311 calls. It was great to see a change from this:
Better snow removal - In a recent snow storm, we ended up with many crosswalks along 95th St. blocked by a wall of snow, with no openings to allow pedestrians to cross the street. Some snow was left on the surface when sidewalks were cleared. It melted and refroze into a skim of ice, with no sand or salt to make the sidewalk safer. Many bus stops were blocked by snow. Trinity UCC Community Center failed to clear their sidewalk AGAIN, so the well-used bus stop in front of their building was surrounded by snow compacted into ice.
On the positive side, the sidewalk around the parking lot at the SW corner of 95th and Damen was cleared - first time I've ever seen that during my time in the neighborhood (summer 2006 to now). To whoever is responsible - THANK YOU! I'd also like to say thank you to whoever was responsible for cutting through the wall of snow in front of the Beverly library.
Clearing a path in front of businesses gets most of the job done, but that only goes so far if crosswalks and bus stops are blocked. Everyone needs to be able to get to and from their destinations safely, whatever their means of transportation.
Many yellow curb zones have seen their paint disappear in recent years. One of these is the zone by the fire hydrant in front of County Fair, where 108th Pl. meets Western. I often see people parking in front of this hydrant, and there is NO parking enforcement at all. People also park across the badly faded crosswalks at the same location. How about repainting the crosswalks and yellow curb zone and extending the zone past the crosswalks to discourage people from parking across them? There are other yellow curb zones around the ward missing their paint. It would be great to have that visual reminder restored.
I'll get off my soapbox for now, but I'll be back soon with more ideas. Wishing you safe travels through the neighborhood.