CHICAGO (CBS) — It was initially deemed the “Greenest Street in America” in Chicago.
But it’s now covered with trash, vandalism and even needles found near schools.
Changes are now promised after CBS 2’s Steven Graves started looking into who’s responsible.
It started with a Facebook post of a bus stop turned dumping ground.
Just over a week ago CBS 2 showed how a neighbor cleaned it up and collected beer cans, even needles near Western and Blue Island.
No one took responsibility for fixing the problem. CBS 2 has learned that according to a decade-old city document, the answer was right across the street.
Non-profit Instituto said it was not aware of the deal until CBS 2 called Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez. His office dug up the document, also unaware of its existence.
Instituto leaders said they now plan to add trash cans, daily pickups, even more greenery. But the original responsibility agreement is part of the Chicago Department of Transportation’s Sunstainable Streetscape initiative.
CDOT built it seven years ago and other areas as a part of a pilot program for green spaces. It relied on non-profits to fund a big portion of maintenance on the 14 million dollar improvements.
Around the corner from the site is another part of the project, a mile and a half cleanup area at Blue Island and Cermak. It’s about a mile length of clean up. It’s the same situation with one agreement and one group trying to find a fix.
The difference for the Economic Strategies Development Corporation is that they want to get back into the mix after CDOT said it severed ties with the group since it re-organized.
Some involved said they hope to see some positive progress out by the spring.
CDOT said it does take some responsibility for some work and does basic maintenance on the fences and planters.