Elevating Chicago

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You drink, you ride, you lose.

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shymen

I've lived all over the country and world, my background is in International Affairs, Political Science, and Economics, and I'm a Chicago boy born and bred.

I've previously written about how we need more regulation along the lakefront bike path because of all the avoidable crashes; it seems as if someone listened.  Since Memorial Day, the Chicago PD has heavily increased their numbers along the path, especially in between Fullerton Ave. and Ohio St.  Even though I don't know if people necessarily feel safer when more cops are present, I like the fact that the police department is trying new things to crack down on the problems we have on the path.

When friends come visit me in Chicago, one of the first questions I tend to get is, "Where are all the Cops?"  I usually respond with, "Where they need to be," and until recently, they didn't need to be on the lakefront path; however, I'm glad they are now.  First, they're there because North Ave Beach has supposedly become the meeting place for a lot of suburban and north side gangs (see Daley's comments here).  Not sure why they picked that spot, but apparently they did.  Lately, if you go by the beach, there are cops in regular uniforms, obvious undercover uniforms, and even some in jeans.

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Second, the cops are there to crack down on alcohol abuse.  This spring, the city gave many lakeside vendors liquor licenses for the first time, to make some money.  I hope the city is making bank off this because the drunker the path users are, the more accidents that are happening.  I've seen cops stop a cyclist who was clearly drunk to give him a citation.  In addition, I've seen cops taking beach goers' beer supply, and making sure that minors are not bringing alcohol, or provided alcohol, anywhere.  (Not sure how I feel about this, but we'll see if it works).  I like to drink, but if I have to sacrifice one beer at the beach so fewer accidents happen, I'm OK with it.

I don't think the Chicago PD needs to spend the money on the helicopters with the search lights that have been roaming the lakefront, but that's a different story.  When it comes down to it, I'm glad the Police have taken our safety into their hands.  I know that the police department has little money, and clearly there are much more dangerous sides of Chicago than the lakefront bike path, but it is still worthy of protection.

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