At a distance, this view looks so beautiful. When you get closer, you see the results of years of neglect and unanswered 311 calls.
Over the last few years, most storms with high winds have brought down dead or weak branches or entire trees along this section of the Major Taylor Trail. Each time, one or more people has called 311, trying to get the city to remove the fallen branches. We've rarely gotten a response. At least the smaller branches were easier to move.
The largest one, shown below next to my bike, blocked the trail and extended quite a distance across the grass. A few 311 calls were made about this one. On one call, I spent over 5 minutes trying to persuade the 311 operator that, yes, this is city property - CDOT property, not Metra, not park district, not forest preserve. I spent more time describing the location in detail. That effort was wasted.
A friend who lives next to this section of the trail ended up doing as he has in the past when trees have fallen and the city failed to hear them. He brought out his chainsaw and cut the tree into pieces so that he could drag the behemoth off the trail and make it passable again.
Why should this location be a black hole for city services? I understand that this is a ward boundary between the 19th and 21st wards. Should that deny us any hope for ever getting decent service at this location?
As you can see from the photos, there are many years worth of fallen trees and branches here. Several of the standing trees are dead or diseased. Some of them are quite large - large enough to kill someone if they're unfortunate enough to be nearby when these finally fall. In yesterday's high winds, I was listening carefully while taking these pictures, just in case it might be the day for the next one to fall.
This section of the trail is used regularly by people walking to and from the Jewel, people running for exercise, people riding their bikes or walking their dogs. Can we get some help, please, before someone is injured or killed by a large falling branch - or an entire tree?