Snow Plows Move To Side Streets

UPDATED 02/03/11 5:06 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) — With main roads now clear and passable throughout Chicago, snow plows are working to clear the side streets.

Mayor’s chief of staff Raymond Orozco said crews turned their attention to side streets around midnight.

They still have equipment on the major roads to maintain safe road conditions, but most of the focus has been diverted to the neighorhoods, “just eight hours after the storm ended.”

There are 3,300 miles of side streets in the city, so clearing all the side streets will take a long time. As of Thursday afternoon, many side streets still hadn’t been plowed.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

On Wednesday afternoon after the blizzard had stopped, many side streets remained nearly impassable, and cars parked along the streets were often buried completely in snow.

Meanwhile Thursday, city crews were out with hand-held shovels and heavy machinery, trying to clear other important places for motorists, pedestrians and mass transit riders.

WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports at the corner of Taylor and Carpenter streets on the city’s Near West Side, a front-end loader scooped up thousands of pounds of snow and dumped it into a semi-truck that carted it away.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

The rest of the snow was deposited on a parkway off the street.

A Chicago Department of Water Management worker said his team’s job was to clear snow from bus stops, fire hydrants, and the edges of side streets where they meet main streets. These were the spots where snow mounds developed when the city plowed the main streets.

He let the front-end loader do most of the work, but he finished it up with a shovel.

“A lot of stuff turned to ice last night, from the cold weather, so it’s kind of easier on our backs with the heavy machinery,” he said.

The blizzard on Tuesday and Wednesday officially dumped 20.2 inches of snow on Chicago, making it the third largest snowfall in the city’s history. It is outranked only by 1967, when 23 inches fell, and 1999, when 21.6 inches fell.

  • bob meyer

    when are getting to the alleys

    • Bill

      After they get done with the streets,yuppie!

      • The Truf

        you said what I thought when I read that lol effin yuppie

      • Sue

        I heard twice today on TV news that they don’t do alleys. That’s up to you to do so hope you have a snow shovel and a strong back.

    • Juel J Richardso

      I need my alley plowed. My garage is in the alley. I need my car Saturday. PLEASE! HELP! PLEASE! SOMEONE< ANYONE!!

      • qiaozhi

        lol YOU better use HOT POTS OF WATER LOL to free your car. That’s what I did. Since no one bothered to help me. You can see how friendly and helpful your neighbors are.

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  • Dana

    still haven’t plowed my street 82nd Clyde. Not one car can move on my block.

  • sharon

    NO MORE DALEY and change of Alderman to follow

    • Bill

      Rahm is hand picked by daley……just another powerful well connected short guy!!

    • booyah

      you’re an idiot sharon, you live in chicago, its snows here

      • rakhyal

        Is it necessary to call people names. It shows that you lack intelligence to prove a simple point.

  • mic

    I think the city and CTA has done a good job in dealing with the snow. I’m from Pa where we get snow like this a lot, and snow removal doesn’t happen in a day. Two feet of snow is a lot of snow to deal with. I think people should stop complaining about it and pick up a shovel. It’s called a blizzard for a reason, if you can’t handle it, move.

    • Diaa Kristy


    • Soo Lin

      I agree with you wholeheartedly Mic. In addition, if you’re really in need of having your street cleaned (not specifically you Mic), get together with your neighbors, everybody pitch in about ten bucks, believe me, you can hire a private plow. Stop whining and get to a solution!!!!

      People can plan block parties to drink and eat tons of fattening unhealthy food in the Summer, but brains and resourceful thinking freezes when a little snow hits. As I read above, IT’S CHICAGO, IT SNOWS HERE.

      • qiaozhi

        LOL, Block parties. So true. Not a bad idea but I’m too cheap to pay $10

    • 2 days later

      mic, have you driven through the city side streets/alleys? Two days later nothing is happening. Just like PA.

  • Diaa Kristy

    Sounds like another snow day for most folks – I hear it’s slippery and dangerous out there and accidents are piling up again. Sometimes ya’ just gotta step aside and let the man do his work.

  • Kelly

    Having lived in several major cities, I can promise you Chicago does the best job ever of plowing the streets. Kudos to all the workers plowing our city streets…there are people who think you are doing a great job and really appreciate your work. Maybe if people would stop complaining and help each other out a little, things would run a bit smoother for us all. We have no choice but to deal with the snow so let’s all try and just make the best of it.

  • aprendi

    7900 Merrill to 8300 Merill not a truck in sight. Some people are getting their alleys plowed while some people can’t walk out of their front door. I say political appointments suck.

  • the TRUF

    the main roads are clear. These guys plowing have been working 36 hours straight. let em rest and then get to the side streets. Stupid people throwing snow into the street make things worse. we have 8-10 foot piles of the stuff. our walk is totally clear and without salt. our parking spots and the middle of the street is clear. Dibs of course, im a southsider baby. I proudly display creatively, a warped and broken chaise lounge, yellow orange and lime green in color. 2 plastic forest green cheapo plastic chairs, one with a broken back. I have a neighbor that outdid my chaise lounge, with a dresser and a pink flamingo he put a sweater on. The junk trucks, usually put a fridge or a washer or one guy down the street had a 60″ projection television shell, completely see thru. This is the chicago that works.
    For those whining about dibs, spend 2 hours shoveling to get it piled and perfect, nads climbing deeper inside and shinking. Youre gonna get p/oed too!!!!! Its a southside tradition.

    • Peter

      Maybe if you and your neighbors pooled your efforts you wouldn’t need to put garbage in the street to guard your work. Six neighbors and I shoveled and blew out our alley, none of us are Chicago natives. In the days before I had my own parking spot, I shoveled myself out on the street as needed without ever invoking dibs. Dibs may be a tradition, it’s certainly ridiculous Chicago cliche, but you may have noticed that the overwhelming majority of residents don’t do it. Most Chicago residents just do what they need to do, without drawing attention to it. You’re a relic.

    • the TRUF

      or is it p/o’ed?

    • qiaozhi

      dumb ass. Let the city workers hire more people. They shouldn’t be working that many hours. Hire other workers at a lower rate. Dumb ass Chicago. You must be a yuppie living in a nice neighborhood if your street and parking spots are clear. I bet you would be complaining if they weren’t clear and you couldn’t plow the snow yourself. That would be a SOUTHSIDE tradition.

      • Sue

        Hire other workers to work at a lower rate? Those “other workers” are independent contractors who pay for and maintain their own equipment which costs just as much as the city’s equipment or more. And we should work for a lower rate? Are you nuts? Would you work for a lower rate? I doubt it especially if you’re “too cheap to pitch in $10.” Do you have any clue what it costs for maintenance, fuel, license plates, insurance, etc just to put and keep that heavy equipment on the roads?? I doubt that too by your “dumb ass” comments but as an independent contractor I know. And would I work for a lower rate and risk damage to my trucks under these dangerous working conditions… NO, and with our trucks out now, I guarantee we’re NOT working for a lower rate! We’re not charity contractors. In 79 we were there for snow removal and it took weeks, not days, to clear all the streets and dispose of the snow even with as much local equipment available and equipment coming in from Ohio and PA to help clear the city faster. And they should work for a lower rate….. NOT! Get a life!

      • Bugsy Twoface

        To Sue:
        You fat bum city workers/independent contractors are getting rich of our tax dollars. you deserve a pay CUT! Ohhh my, maintenance costs are too much, then you need to find another job……..Whatever it costs to maintain your precious little trucks, you better pay it because its your job. Ohhh you did work in 79, big deal. So did the whole world. And pitch in $10, well, your lazy people are too cheap to really do the “So called work” if you need to pay to get the job done. I did my own snow shoveling and so did our neighbors while your F#$%#$#ing lazy butts were mooching off our tax dollars. So stop whining because we did all the woRK you were supposed to!! PFFFF

  • JeanSC

    Something’s not quite right yet. The 2 side streets bordering my block were plowed, but the blade wasn’t brought down to the pavement in most places, so there are at least 4″ of snow between the tire tracks, and it’s got to be pretty slippery if you can’t stay in them. Those plows better come back soon and plow down to the pavement. These lowering temperatures just turn the snow into rock.

  • Lemmy

    The main roads to the north and south of me have been clear since around noon yesterday. But no one in my neighborhood can get to them because all the streets in between are still covered with 18″ of snow. Hope the plow comes through today so I can finish digging out my car.

  • J-Chi

    They need to focus on the alleys and then side streets. I cant even get out of my garage.

    This cities snow removal is a joke. I moved from New York and can tell you that the streets and sidewalks in the primary boro’s are cleaned quickly and you are fined if you don’t shovel your sidewalk. Chicago needs to implement these fines as well. They will generate money for the city and will also be a huge benefit for citizens.

    • StupidPeopleFTW

      Yet when the same basic snowstorm hit there not long ago, the whole city shut down… dont let silly little things like facts get in your way though.

  • Sean OHara

    Hey- All you yuppies, COOL IT.. Get a shovel and start shoveling..Had to clear out 6 garages in my alley to get my car out but we did with 2 shovels..I’m sure if you whine long enough the National guard will come out and do it for you.. Babies !!

    • sharon

      hardly fair… I’m not a yuppie in spirit or income level (nor are the neighbors in my building) and we are stuck in our alley with no way to get our kids to school tomorrow or to our jobs today/tonite/tomorrow without a 1 mile+ walk (ok for grownups, not for toddlers). There is no place for us to PUT the snow in our alley is the problem. I have to go out tonite after my toddler is asleep so I can shovel a 4 foot mound into a wagon, pull that (likely 4-5 trips) to the side street tree lawn and dump it; then tomorrow drive out of the neighborhood the wrong way down the street (the only one half passable) to get my boy to school and myself back to work. Not mad at the city–it WAS a blizzard–but just because I’m unhappy at not being able to work and have my son at school doesn’t mean I’m a yuppie.

  • TCL

    Im hoping that they get to the side streets as well. I am finishing up my Master’s degree at my internship but haven’t been able to get to the site because the side streets are stacked high in snow! I am patient , though and I’m sure they will get to my block (69th and Paxton) soon.

  • snowedin inpilsen

    when are we getting at least one plow though pilsen!!! we are on a freakin standstill here…..the only reason people got to work is because we all rallied together and shoveled one whole lane ourselves but due to the drifting some of our cars are completely buried….help chicago! we are seeing a repeat of new yorks disaster……dig us out! 17th st needs help!

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  • Claudetta Griffith

    Does anyone know if there is a place (online or otherwise) to track the side street snow removal efforts IRT what locations are done and the upcoming neighborhoods? I live on the 6300 block of Ingleside.

    • johnnie

      Claudia, the city doesn’t provide that information. It’s classified.

  • englewood

    Streets unplowed in Englewood. They hate us.

  • c. drew

    when will they attempt to move snow on the 9100 block on union ave. , it;s a mess, please help

  • CAnway


    • 87th st

      they don’t plow the alleys;they send a garbage truck to put down tracks for cars to follow. isn’t that nice?

  • Nikki

    75th & Kingston hasn’t been plowed thats a side street. I guess it depends on where you live on the south side hint hint if you in a black neighborhood they will plow by Monday. Its a shame we pay taxes to! I work downtown and not any snow on the ground. Chicago needs to treat all there citizens equal. Before someone leaves a smart comment come drive in the quote unquote black neighborhoods see all the snow you will be outraged too!

    • Former New Yorker

      I’m live a white, yuppie neighborhood, Nikki, and we haven’t seen a plow. Oh, and I drive in the ‘quote unquote’ black neighborhoods’ every day since that is where I work. The only thing I’m outraged by is you and your ‘equality’ comment. hint hint.

  • Former New Yorker

    Why are people complaining about alleys when the streets haven’t even been plowed? Shovel your own alley like the rest of us. The plows need to focus on the streets since many of have not even seen a plow yet., CAnway

    • Juel J. Richardson

      Because that’s where my car is. People need access to their cars whether they are on the street or in the alley. It would be impossible for me to shovel the whole alley. You could shovel your street using your logic. However I wouldn’t expect you to. That’s why we pay high taxes so we can get city services!

  • richard

    96th and Hamilton–I’m stuck!

  • Paul Johnson

    I wish the city could stop this! A bunch of senior citizens are going to shovel their alley tomorrow to attempt to get their cars out because one has to go to dialysis, and others have doctor appointments. One lady who is doing it is afraid of losing her job and it is too dangerous for her to walk to the bus stop at night.. This is the alley at south 73rd street in between Prairie/Calumet located in the six ward. Two of these people are in their eighties and they feel they have no other choice because they have no other sources for to help.

  • Claudetta Griffith

    Does anyone know if the drivers are assigned via dispatcher because my neighbors and I have been shoveling our block for the past 4 hours and snow plows have been driving up and down 63rd st and that street is clear. Not complaining, just confused.

    • William

      I think that’s all the salt trucks do is just drive around. During our last snowfall, I followed 2 salt trucks on my drive to work, it was snowing and none of those trucks were putting down any salt, and the plows were up. Just driving around. You’re right. That’s all they do, just drive around. What a joke.

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