Daley defends city’s handling of Lake Shore Drive

February 3, 2011

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A stalled bus on Lake Shore Drive (AP)

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is defending the city’s handling of Lake Shore Drive during this week’s blizzard.

Speaking to news reporters about the snowstorm for the first time Thursday, Daley said he didn’t take part in a decision to leave Lake Shore Drive open during the storm’s first few hours.

By the time the city closed it Tuesday around 8 p.m., hundreds of buses and cars were log-jammed. Some commuters got stranded for hours.

But Daley said his staff members did their best: “They responded very well, people here. These people worked hard out there. The accidents took place on Lake Shore Drive, a number of accidents, and backed up traffic immediately. They closed the drive.”

Daley said he would not have done anything differently if he were running for reelection.

Officials say crews have cleared the city’s thoroughfares and are now focusing on side streets. Daley wouldn’t say how long that plowing would take, but asked for patience.