CHICAGO (CBS) — There are safety concerns on a busy street where kids walk to school every day.
Needles and alcohol bottles line the sidewalk. But some neighbors are taking measures into their own hands to clean things up.
CBS 2’s Steven Graves reported Monday that it’s a bigger problem than originally thought.
It’s a dirty duty that gets Frances Velez off her feet and down on the ground. From posters to beer bottles, she and her son find it all.
“We need to take our part and also help to clean up,” Velez said. This after a concerned resident made a Facebook post.
“Seeing the pictures they showed gave us concern,” Velez said.
Most disturbing, needles they saw on the walk near the bus stop at Western and Blue Island avenues.
“It’s not safe for anybody. Not only for our kids in the community. Because there’s two schools here,” she said.
Also amid the mess are construction signs.
“Come on, clean up after it. Or have someone come pick up after it. I’m sure these signs cost money,” Velez said.
And CBS 2 found out the pathway littered with garbage also cost a lot of money. Millions for the city to build this area as part of a first of its kind, Streetscape and Sustainable Design Program.
After CBS 2 called the local alderman, city crews showed up.
The Streetscape and Sustainable Design Program that promotes safety goes for miles. And it was much of the same: more trash, alcohol bottles and twisted fence.
Seven years ago, Chicago’s Department of Transportation touted it as innovative with green space, with less cost to taxpayers to maintain.
But now, Velez just wants it back to simple.
“Maybe they just want to change it and just put benches. A clear bench,” she said.
But Velez said she’ll continue to clean up and urge others to get involved, if only for the sake of the community she loves.