I have lived in many different northside neighborhoods in Chicago and have seen some enormous potholes, but that never prepared me for what I encountered when we moved to W. Rogers Park last year. The streets are so bad in my neighborhood that the potholes have potholes. Apparently, our immediate past alderman, the esteemed Bernie Stone, spent the last several decades sleeping while he should have been fighting to allocate the funds to resurface the roads.
Then there are the sidewalks. I have never lived in a neighborhood where the sidewalks are so uneven or so badly cracked that they are dangerous. Just the other day, I was out on my daily 3 mile constitutional and I tripped on the uneven pavement. I went flying and ended up falling on my left knee and hands. By the next day, I could hardly move; I had jammed my shoulder and torn a muscle in my shoulder which referred into my ribcage. I was convinced I had cracked a rib when the pain still hadn’t subsided after a week. This is not the first time I have fallen and I’m sure it will not be the last. One of my neighbors was considerate enough to paint their dangerously uneven sidewalk with white fluorescent paint. I really appreciate their thoughtfulness.
Then there’s the recycling issue. Would you believe that in 2012 that W. Rogers Park has no recycling program? Nothing. Nada. Bupkis. We were shocked when we moved in. So, we decided to set up our own recycling system. We have about a dozen brown paper bags in our kitchen into which we sort the recycling. Then, when it is spilling over, we load it into the car and drive it some miles to the recycling center in Peterson Park. Very ecological!
Bernie Stone was voted out of office last year. Apparently, he thought he was “alderman for life” and was quite irate when the residents chose Debra Silverstein instead of him. Some of the streets have already been resurfaced which is encouraging, but there is no talk of a recycling program which should have been a priority issue for our new alderman. We’ll see what happens.