Did You Know?

Bus riders account for more than 20 percent of people using Lake Shore Drive every day while taking up a fraction of the space that cars do.

Joliet resident clearing paths for pedestrians

Great story in the Joliet Herald News yesterday about Ike Ivanich, who recently saw one too many mothers pushing a stroller on Larkin Avenue because the sidewalks were unshoveled. So Ike took it up with city hall, and the mayor this week issued a press release asking residents and businesses to clear their walks. We've got some materials to help Joliet folks spread that message right here.

I learned something interesting: according to the city's attorney, there's a disincentive to shoveling written into Illinois' tort law that makes the person who shoveled liable for injuries should a pedestrian slip and fall. Ignore the sidewalk, and the law considers it a natural accumulation of snow and ice,” and no one's at fault.

That sucks. A progressive fix would probably be a legislative one. But there's also stealth and subterfuge. Chicago Bike Winter  makes balaclavas and face masks by the bushel and distributes them for free. I'm thinking ninja-like black fleece masks that allow sidewalk shovelers to appear silently, strike (at ice and snow) swiftly, and dissolve into the night like shadows, mysterious and unidentifiable. The Snowy Sidewalk Strikeforce—SSS, like the sound of a shovel across the snow.

Unpassable sidewalks and regressive tort law, your end is nigh, and you'll never see us coming.