CHICAGO (CBS)– Just one day after a carnival went up at 87th and the Dan Ryan, Shea Prater drove by the carnival and saw what he described as “alarming.”
A video sent to CBS 2 showed carnival rides located very close to the on-ramp of the Dan Ryan expressway. Now, community members are questioning if the barricades enough to protect families at the carnival.
The only thing separating this ride from traffic are orange barricades. The carnival operator told CBS 2 everything is up to code, but is now taking further action to protect carnival-goers.
“I see a major interstate entrance next to a carnival ride, very dangerously close,” Prater said.
He said every year the carnival comes into town and the setup has always been the same with no major problems.
“It’s just with all these chases and accidents that have happened it recently caught my attention, I thought it should be brought to light,” Prater said.
Prater doesn’t believe these barricades will be enough to protect families at the carnival.
“It could be a crowded Friday evening and kids on the ride and something bad may happen,” he said.
The Illinois Department of Labor is responsible for inspecting carnival rides and issuing permits.
But a state inspector said it’s up to the carnival operator to decide where to set up the rides.
The state inspector said it is not typical to have a carnival right next to the expressway.
But, it’s been done in the past.
The carnival must meet the manufacturer guidelines, such as clearance space.
“I’m not here to shut the carnival down or take away the kids or family fun, I just want it to be safe,” Prater said.
CBS 2 found the carnival operator, Modern Midways has been inspected three times this year by the state with no set-up violations in recent years.
Even though everything is done within guidelines, the manager of the company said there are now plans to put up cement barricades to protect carnival goers.
“Local officials may have some input of their own if they really want the ride moved they may have the authority to do that, but hopefully our actions will make sure that it’s safe from any vehicle traffic,” Mike Matulis of the Illinois Department of Labor said in a phone interview.
CBS 2 reached out to the city’s Department of Buildings and the Elevator Bureau is in charge of conducting inspections for carnival rides within the city. The officials did not respond.
So far, two vehicles have placed in front of the carnival to serve as barriers until cement barriers arrive.