Monday, August 8, 2011

What's Wrong With Chicago? (Example #1)

I am particularly annoyed at the moment. While walking my dog this morning, I got told off by a police officer for crossing the street improperly. Let me lay out the scenario for you:

I'm at a street corner, about to walk across it, using the clearly identified crosswalk. It's a four way stop, and there are cars approaching from a few different ways but none are already stopped and waiting to go. I start walking across the street. One of the cars slides through the stop sign, guns it, then has to stop mid-way in the intersection so that I can continue crossing. A police officer then pulls up and tells me I need to wait to cross streets until every car from every direction has gone through. Say what? If I follow that rule, it could take me hours to cross one little side street!

Let's see here... I'm quite familiar with the laws of the road, having taken and passed an Illinois driving test recently, but to be sure, let's review the Secretary of State's driving handbook:

Pedestrian Right-of-Way:
A driver must come to a complete stop (and yield):
• When a pedestrian is in a marked crosswalk.
• When a pedestrian is in an unmarked crosswalk on the driver’s side of the road and there are no traffic control signals.
• When making a turn at any intersection.
• When making a lawful turn on a red light after coming to a complete stop.
• After coming to a complete stop at a stop sign or flashing red signal at an intersection.
• When a pedestrian enters a crosswalk before the traffic light changed.
• When a pedestrian is walking with a green light, to a walking person symbol or a walk signal.
• When a pedestrian is leaving or entering a street or highway from an alley, building, private road or driveway.

Clearly, the car was in the wrong. I know how to cross a street properly and I'm quite surprised that a police officer would take the time to stop ME, when all I did was follow the rules and almost get run over! Shouldn't people, especially those in positions of power, be trying to make their city more walker friendly?

As much as I love Chicago, there are SO many things backwards about it. This is just a silly, small example, but I can think of a hundred more. I should start a series of blog posts titled "What's Wrong with Chicago". Next week's post? The lack of recycling. It's disgusting.


  1. I think we could probably make this a daily article. After recylcing, driving in the left lane but not passing!

  2. Yeah, then after than, turning left or right from the centre lane. And after that, spelling centre incorrectly :)

  3. Clearly Oprah has dropped the ball ;)

  4. I know what you mean. We just got back from walking the boy and we had to cross a few streets...even though the street was clearly marked as a crosswalk we had to slowly try to cross without being killed. One car actually slowed down but that was all. They need to have flashing lights like in Canada.