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A Few words on Krywin v. CTA

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Ted Rosenbaum

Former athlete, full-time engineer. I'd tell you more but I'd have to kill you.

I'd like to get in a few words on today's Illinois Supreme Court Case, essentially holding that the CTA is not responsible for shoveling or salting its platforms until whatever snow/sleet/hail/dreck is done falling from the skies in winter.  A lot of the court's decision [pdf] revolves around "natural accumulations" which, if you're like me, you'd think snow on the platform is always a natural accumulation.  And it is! Right up until it stops snowing and the wind starts to whip it around into drifts or the temperature changes and you get ice/slush.
CTA Icicles.jpg

As a "common carrier" the CTA has special responsibilities toward its riders.  For instance, when buses pull up to the curb, they can't pull right up to the 4-foot high bank where all the plows pushed the snow (this is an unnatural accumulation) but instead must find a place where it's safer for passengers to get on and off.  A train obviously can't do this because it's on a fixed rail, and if it doesn't let passengers off at the platform, it can't let them off at all.

To me, the sensible extension of this logic is that the same standard should apply to every CTA mode--specifically the imperative to get passengers on and off safely. For the L, since they can't move the location of the stop to a safer one, they have to change the environment of the stop to make it safe--i.e. shovel or salt the platform at regular (but not onerous) intervals. But I'm not a judge, and instead the CTA is basically absolved of responsibility.

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