Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pedestrian signs are taking a beating but are still working well

by Michelle Stenzel

The Stop For Pedestrians crosswalk signs went up in Lincoln Park about seven months ago, in July 2012. You may have noticed that they've already taken a beating. Many are scratched and bent, and I  presume that it's from people driving into or over them.
This "Stop for Pedestrians" sign has already suffered damage during its seven months of service on Stockton Drive.

My first thought upon noticing this is that it's unfortunate that there will be yet another piece of worn-out looking infrastructure our streets. So many of our street signs are bent, hanging askew or upside down, faded, obsolete or otherwise in a pathetic state, and this will just add to the decrepitude. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Linear parking lots: Is this the best we can do for our streets?

by Michelle Stenzel

Parked cars are visual blight. 

Many people may not realize how much the sight of these massive, inert vehicles degrades the quality of life in our neighborhoods. Lining practically every curb of every block in Lincoln Park, there are rows and rows of them. Some of their drivers are paying by the minute and will return soon to move on, but the vast majority stay for days or weeks on end. We're so used to their presence that we mentally "erase" them from what we see when we look around. I know this because, unlike my brain, my camera lens refuses to erase the sight of parked vehicles from the pictures I take, and makes the pictures unusable for purposes of promoting walking and biking.

One fall day I went out seeking to take some nice pictures of autumn foliage on our neighborhood streets. I got a lot of this:
Linear parking lots line are found on every street in Lincoln Park. I think this is Mohawk, but it's really Everystreet, Chicago.
The colorful leaves look nice, of course, but the linear parking lots stretching endlessly along both curbs? Not so inspiring. 

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