WBEZ | #2011 Blizzard http://www.wbez.org/tags/2011-blizzard Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The Political Roundup: January 31st – February 4th http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/2011-02-04/political-roundup-january-31st-%E2%80%93-february-4th-81796 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Snow removal_Getty_Scott Olson.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-04/Snow removal_Getty_Scott Olson.JPG" style="width: 488px; height: 325px;" />&nbsp;</p><p>Missed anything this week in Chicago politics? We have you covered with our weekly digest of the best game in town.</p><p><strong>In the beginning, there was crack</strong></p><p>The blizzard may have hit Chicago on Tuesday, but white stuff started swirling early this week: at a candidate&rsquo;s forum on Sunday, mayoral candidate Carol Moseley Braun <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2011/01/31/133374209/carol-moseley-braun-attacks-rival-as-past-crack-user">accused</a> the lesser-known Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins of being a former crack addict. Watkins, who admits to using drugs in the past, <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-met-chicago-mayor-race0201-20110131,0,4129836.story">responded later</a> that Moseley Braun&rsquo;s comments were unbecoming of a mayoral candidate and, by the way, she&rsquo;s never even seen crack. Watkins called for an apology, Moseley Braun initially declined to do so (though eventually did), and Watkins ultimately <a href="http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/02/moseley-braun-urged-to-leave-chicago-mayor%E2%80%99s-race-after-%E2%80%9Cstrung-out-on-crack%E2%80%9D-comment/?iref=obinsite">called for</a> Moseley Braun to leave the race. <br /><br /><strong>Early voting: in like a lamb</strong></p><p>In the meantime, early voting began Monday, with <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Emanuel_Casts_His_Ballot_Chicago-114963974.html">Rahm Emanuel </a>and <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Del_Valle_Casts_His_Ballot_Chicago-114965939.html ">Miguel del Valle</a> getting their ballots in with plenty of time to spare. They weren&rsquo;t the only ones&mdash;plenty of regular folk <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Early-Voting-An-Early-Success-115007164.html">also voted early</a> on Monday&mdash;good move, perhaps, as voting ended up shut down for a few days due to the storm. It&rsquo;s supposed to be <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/business/chicagos-early-voting-sites-expected-reopen-friday">back in swing</a> as of Friday.<br /><br /><strong>Candidates shovel, too</strong></p><p>Oh, and about that storm: it prompted <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=greg-hinz&amp;plckController=Blog&amp;plckScript=blogScript&amp;plckElementId=blogDest&amp;plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&amp;plckPostId=Blog%3a1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost%3a068de7c3-8b72-4d94-b954-6ab29549016c&amp;sid=sitelife.chicagobusiness.com">varied reactions</a> from the mayoral candidates&mdash;from a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hE5sVi8MRBk">video</a> of Gery Chico shoveling snow to statements of <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/news/politics/carol-moseley-braun-rahm-emanuel-gery-chico-miguel-del-valle-chicago-mayor-blizzard-20110202#">some disapproval</a> from other leading candidates over the city&rsquo;s handling of the blizzard, especially on Lake Shore Drive. But when it comes to dibs, <a href="http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2011/02/02/Chicago-mayor-hopefuls-support-spot-saving/UPI-55961296682555/">no probs</a>, say the candidates, aside from Bill &ldquo;Dock&rdquo; Walls.</p><p><strong>Public service announcements</strong><br /><br />But maybe, just maybe, you want to know how the candidates feel about the issues unrelated to snow (or crack). Good news for you: the Chicago News Cooperative has <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/mayoral-candidates-sound-off-on-citys-budget-woes/">in-depth answers</a> from candidates on a questionnaire regarding city budget woes. Equality Illinois has <a href="http://eqil.org/nextmayor.html">answers</a> to a questionnaire on LGBT issues; Greg Hinz <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=greg-hinz&amp;plckController=Blog&amp;plckScript=blogScript&amp;plckElementId=blogDest&amp;plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&amp;plckPostId=Blog%3a1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost%3adeeac237-b47e-4af3-8766-2250a33ed5df&amp;sid=sitelife.chicagobusiness.com#axzz1D0h9re9Q">summarized</a> the responses. And NBC Chicago&rsquo;s Ward Room has a nice, quick <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/How-To-Make-Chicago-Less-Congested-114926474.html">roundup</a> of how candidates would improve the city&rsquo;s transportation infrastructure.<br />&nbsp;<br />The <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em> put out the word early this week that the paper <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/3568392-474/emanuel-mayor-chicago-candidate-chico.html">endorses Emanuel</a>. Del Valle, natch, disagreed with that editorial board, <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/3641950-418/emanuel-del-valle-hdo-chico.html">linking</a> both Emanuel and Chico to convicted former Streets and Sanitation chief Al Sanchez. Sanchez was <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/al-sanchez/former-streets-and-sans-head-sentenced-30-months">sentenced</a> this week to 30 months in prison for political corruption.</p><p><strong>More blizzard woes</strong><br /><br />Mayor Daley has largely avoided fallout from his association with Sanchez; this week, he also <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-snow-politics-20110203,0,7314817.story">deflected criticism</a> for his administration&rsquo;s handling of the blizzard. That hasn&rsquo;t stopped some aldermen from dishing some, with some incumbent candidates <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/aldermen-fret-political-fallout-from-blizzard/">worried</a> that they&rsquo;ll bear the political brunt in elections if neighborhood snow removal isn&rsquo;t deemed adequate.</p><p>On the other hand, some of those same aldermen are among the candidates perhaps <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/well-funded-new-political-group-makes-picks/">getting a boost</a> from the group For A Better Chicago. The business-backed PAC issued endorsements earlier this week, and has some money to throw around.<br /><br />Meanwhile, an American Airlines spokeswoman says the blizzard is to blame for the <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chibrknews-airlines-cancel-meeting-with-daley-20110203,0,6570355.story">cancellation</a> of a meeting with Daley and United Airlines. They were scheduled to talk on Thursday about the troubled plan for O&rsquo;Hare expansion; the Daley administration accused the airlines of stalling.</p><p>And talk of privatizing the Taste of Chicago has officially <a href="http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2011/02/city-hall-rejects-taste-of-chicago-private-takeover.html">stalled</a>, as the administration rejected the lone bid to take it over.</p><p><strong>County cuts coming</strong><br /><br />As for Cook County government, it seems to be <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=greg-hinz&amp;plckController=Blog&amp;plckScript=blogScript&amp;plckElementId=blogDest&amp;plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&amp;plckPostId=Blog%3a1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost%3aadffc0e0-0fcb-4dff-98b4-05a053e1cfdc&amp;sid=sitelife.chicagobusiness.com#axzz1D0h9re9Q">full steam ahead</a> for budget cuts&mdash;Board President Toni Preckwinkle put out a proposal on Tuesday calling for some 2,000 layoffs, and County Sherriff Tom Dart seemed to be on board.</p><p>On the Board of Review for Cook County, meanwhile, is Michael Cabonargi. The SEC attorney was <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=greg-hinz&amp;plckController=Blog&amp;plckScript=blogScript&amp;plckElementId=blogDest&amp;plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&amp;plckPostId=Blog%3a1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost%3a859ff0c8-ffa9-4b8c-b05a-67c80288357a&amp;sid=#axzz1D0h9re9Q">appointed</a> to replace Joe Berrios on the board that hears property tax appeals&mdash;47th ward alderman Gene Schulter famously quit his bid for re-election in an effort to snag this position for himself.</p><p><strong>State snow</strong><strong>ed out</strong></p><p>Not too much happened this week in the realm of state politics&mdash;the legislative session and committee meetings were all <a href="http://progressillinois.com/news/content/2011/01/31/general-assembly-cancels-work-week-because-snow?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProgressIllinois+%28Progress+Illinois%29">cancelled</a> due to the blizzard.</p><p>On Monday, though, Governor Pat Quinn <a href="http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/31/illinois-governor-signs-civil-union-law/?partner=rssnyt&amp;emc=rss ">signed a bill</a> legalizing civil unions in the state. The law goes into effect June 1st. Last Friday, State Rep. Deb Mell said <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/%5Bfield_program_ref-title-raw%5D/civil-unions-law-state-rep-deb-mell-pushes-gay-marria">now&rsquo;s the time</a> to push for gay marriage.<br /><br /><strong>Some D.C. bits</strong></p><p>And in Washington, a repeal of last year&rsquo;s health care legislation was <a href="http://progressillinois.com/news/content/2011/02/03/effort-repeal-health-care-reform-dies-senate?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProgressIllinois+%28Progress+Illinois%29">killed</a> in the Senate. Sen. Mark Kirk was among those voting for the repeal.</p><p>Also this week, 8th district Congressman Joe Walsh (who unseated Melissa Bean) <a href="http://progressillinois.com/news/content/2011/02/03/effort-repeal-health-care-reform-dies-senate?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProgressIllinois+%28Progress+Illinois%29">scored</a> a House subcommittee chairmanship&mdash;a significant get for a freshman. <br /><br />That&rsquo;s it for the political week in review&mdash;let me know if we missed anything, and get some rest from shoveling this weekend!</p></p> Fri, 04 Feb 2011 18:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/2011-02-04/political-roundup-january-31st-%E2%80%93-february-4th-81796 The science of the 'urban avalanche' http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-blizzard/science-urban-avalanche <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Chicago Suburban Snow - At Least The Roof Is Clear.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>(This story has been edited to reflect the proper weight of rooftop snow)</em></p><p>As the Chicago region digs out from 20 inches of snow on the ground, keep in mind that a lot of it is still piled up above our heads.</p><p>Drifting snow on rooftops can be a problem for building owners, and for passers-by.</p><p>WBEZ&rsquo;s Gabriel Spitzer reports on the science of the urban avalanche.</p><p>SPITZER: Science Storms is one of the newest permanent exhibits here at the Museum of Science and Industry, and right when you walk into this big cavernous hall, the first thing you see on your left is a giant movie screen, where there is a very cold-looking guy in a winter hat and a big beard, who is explaining the kinds of conditions in the mountains of Montana that cause avalanches.</p><p>ADAMS (RECORDED): For a snow avalanche, we need snow. We need a slope, and we generally have a weak layer sandwiched in between two strong layers. And then we hit it with a trigger, that whole thing can take off.</p><p>SPITZER: So what do avalanches have to do with the Chicago area? Well it turns out there are places right here in our area that are subject to very similar avalanche hazards as the mountain west. I&rsquo;m talking about rooftops. It turns out rooftop avalanches tend to kill one or two people every year in the United States. And you know, it&rsquo;s not a huge danger. It&rsquo;s nothing even approaching the number of people killed or injured every year from car accidents on snowy or icy streets. But I wondered what the physics of a rooftop avalanche have to do with what&rsquo;s going on in the mountains of Montana. So who better to ask then Ed Adams, the guy in this video.</p><p>ADAMS: Yeah, I&rsquo;m Ed Adams, and I&rsquo;m, professor of engineering mechanics at Montana State University in Bozeman.</p><p>Adams says the physics of avalanches in the mountains and off the roof are quite similar.</p><p>In each case, there&rsquo;s a particular slope that&rsquo;s most hazardous: about 37 degrees.</p><p>Now take those ingredients he mentioned in the film: strong layer, weak layer, and trigger.</p><p>First, the strong layer: snow on a roof can harden quickly into a slab, especially in the wind.</p><p>ADAMS: The wind has the propensity to drift, specifically on the leeward side of a slope or in this case, a roof. So you tend to get buildup on that down slope. And the snow is quite cohesive.</p><p>Then there&rsquo;s the weak layer.</p><p>On a building, that often comes from heat radiating up through the roof.</p><p>ADAMS: In the urban avalanche, I think it may adhere to your roof for a while. But if you have a melt layer forming between that snow load and the roof itself, as it starts to get warm and that snow starts to get a little wet, you may start to keep your eye open for an avalanche coming down and nailing you as you walk in or out of your building or your house.</p><p>And finally, the trigger, which is often human.</p><p>ADAMS: We tend to think of it in terms of a skier or a snowmobiler. So you know, probably don&rsquo;t ski or snowmobile on your roof, is probably a reasonable thing. But shoveling your roof, too, if you&rsquo;re trying to get rid of that. It&rsquo;s something to be very careful and maybe put some sort of a belay on, so you&rsquo;re protected from that.</p><p>It&rsquo;s easy to underestimate how much falling snow weighs.</p><p>If you have, say, a 20-by-20 foot roof with 20 inches of snow, depending on how dense it is, that could weigh up to 6 tons.</p><p>That&rsquo;s like three good-size SUVs dangling over your head. <br /> <br />ADAMS: I think the problems there are going to be suffocation, if no one&rsquo;s around to pull you out, or a broken neck.</p><p>Now, the science of all this may be intriguing, but let&rsquo;s be clear: Rooftop avalanches are not a big problem around here.</p><p>The American Avalanche Association reports five U.S. fatalities in the last three years &ndash; none in Illinois.</p><p>But it&rsquo;s still a good idea to be careful.</p><p>John Rogers runs Rogers Roofing out of Hammond Indiana, and he does quite a bit of snow removal.</p><p>His workers use a 14-foot long rake.</p><p>ROGERS: It allows you to pull the snow off your roof along the gutter edge, to where you&rsquo;re going to be safe. When the snow does come down it&rsquo;s gonna be towards the building and not on you.</p><p>Rogers says there&rsquo;s a much bigger hazard out there: ice dams.</p><p>That&rsquo;s when ice forms at the edge of the roof, so water can&rsquo;t drain.</p><p>It can back up under shingles and cause mayhem.</p><p>ROGERS: It can get into your walls, so now you start worrying about electrical. So you&rsquo;re talking about drywall damage, insulation damage and possibly electrical damage as well.</p><p>So your snowy roof may be more likely to bury you in bills than an avalanche.</p><p>In any case, Rogers advises homeowners not to remove the snow themselves.</p><p>As you&rsquo;d expect, he says call a pro.</p><p>Gabriel Spitzer, WBEZ.</p></p> Thu, 03 Feb 2011 23:16:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-blizzard/science-urban-avalanche Transit for elderly and disabled "major issue" http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-blizzard/transit-elderly-and-disabled-major-issue <p><p>Pace Bus&rsquo;s paratransit service, a lifeline to elderly and disabled people who rely on public transportation, has had to overcome significant difficulties to access its riders.</p><p>&ldquo;In the city, and in a number of the suburbs, too, we're running into a lot of issues as far as vehicles being able to access the side streets where people live,&rdquo; said spokesman Patrick Wilmot, &ldquo;and it's been a major issue.&rdquo;</p> <div>Wilmot said the difficulties have been compounded by snow-filled sidewalks.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;A lot of times people are using mobility devices, like wheelchairs and walkers and so forth,&rdquo; said Wilmot, &ldquo;and if the sidewalks aren&rsquo;t clear then it becomes really complicated for people to be able to even access the vehicle.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The 24-hour, door-to-door service normally makes 8 thousand stops on weekdays, in six counties of the Chicago region. Today, said Wilmot, it handled fewer than 3 thousand. Wilmot credited riders for opting to postpone non-essential trips. Still, he added, the service has logged on-time pickups for 90 percent of its calls since the blizzard hit.</div></p> Thu, 03 Feb 2011 21:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-blizzard/transit-elderly-and-disabled-major-issue Daley (on why his staff debriefed press instead of him): 'They speak for me. This is not a Daley Show' http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-02-03/daley-why-his-staff-debriefed-press-instead-him-they-speak-me-not-da <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/AP110203038739.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="512" width="311" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-03/AP110203038739.jpg" alt="" title="" /></p><p style="text-align: left;">Chicago, this is what we in the business call 'great tape.'</p><p style="text-align: left;">The City Hall press corps (and other press) finally had a chance to pose their many questions about Lake&nbsp;Shore Drive, blizzard fall-out, and storm clean up costs directly to Mayor Daley on Thursday.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: left;">He hasn't spoken publicly since the blizzard hit and during the last 48 hours, he has faced some criticism about the decisions made and&nbsp; why his chief of staff and his department heads have debriefed the media in his place.</p><p style="text-align: left;">What follows is a piece of tape that I&nbsp;will keep close.</p><p style="text-align: left;">It's history in the making - a lame duck mayor addressing a very information-hungry media mob after the third-worst snowstorm in Chicago history.</p><p style="text-align: left;">Oh yeah, and that mayor is Daley.</p><p><audio class="mediaelement-formatter-identified-1328076860-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/daley-presser-snow.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p></p> Thu, 03 Feb 2011 20:09:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-02-03/daley-why-his-staff-debriefed-press-instead-him-they-speak-me-not-da Photo: CTA Train Delay Slip Blue Line 02/03/2011 9:40am http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-02-03/photo-cta-train-delay-slip-blue-line-02032011-940am-81709 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/bluelinetardyslip.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img width="500" height="669" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-03/bluelinetardyslip.JPG" alt="" title="" /></p><p style="text-align: left;">When's the last time you had to show your boss a tardy slip? Dan Mallon, a CTA&nbsp;train rider was given a train delay notice this morning at the Division street blue line stop.&nbsp;He thinks this was a thoughtful gesture on CTA's part. The slip shows an estimated two hour and fifty-five minute delay. Mallon says he'll be presenting this slip to his boss.</p><p style="text-align: left;"><audio class="mediaelement-formatter-identified-1328076813-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/CTA Delay Slips.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p></p> Thu, 03 Feb 2011 15:40:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-02-03/photo-cta-train-delay-slip-blue-line-02032011-940am-81709 Photo: Irving Park 02/03/2011 8:06 am http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-02-03/photo-irving-park-02032011-806-am-81704 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/20110203_blizzard_0001.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="332" width="500" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-03/20110203_blizzard_0001.jpg" alt="" title="" /></p><p style="text-align: left;">Icicles hang from an eve in Irving Park on Thursday, February 3, 2011.</p></p> Thu, 03 Feb 2011 14:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-02-03/photo-irving-park-02032011-806-am-81704 Photo: Time-lapse through Elmhurst 02/03/2011 7:00 am http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/photo-time-lapse-through-elmhurst-02032011-700-am <p><p>We've been amazed by the photos our users have been submitting to our Flickr pool of the 2011 Blizzard. Contributor <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/clarkmaxwell/5413404322/in/pool-32855810@N00">Clark Maxwell</a> went above and beyond by putting together this video of a drive through Elmhurst this morning. Check it out- it's pretty awesome!</p><object width="500" height="281" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="http://www.flickr.com/apps/video/stewart.swf?v=71377" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"> <param name="flashvars" value="intl_lang=en-us&amp;photo_secret=c04c84f377&amp;photo_id=5413404322&amp;hd_default=false" /> <param name="movie" value="http://www.flickr.com/apps/video/stewart.swf?v=71377" /> <param name="bgcolor" value="#000000" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><embed width="500" height="281" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.flickr.com/apps/video/stewart.swf?v=71377" bgcolor="#000000" allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="intl_lang=en-us&amp;photo_secret=c04c84f377&amp;photo_id=5413404322&amp;hd_default=false"></embed></object></p> Thu, 03 Feb 2011 13:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/photo-time-lapse-through-elmhurst-02032011-700-am City defends handling of Lake Shore Drive logjam http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-blizzard/city-defends-handling-lake-shore-drive-logjam <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/LSD Tim Brown 2.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The Daley Administration defended its decision not to close Lake Shore Drive earlier during the major winter storm late Tuesday that dumped more than 20 inches of snow on Chicago and generated winds in excess of 50 m.p.h.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>During a late afternoon press conference on Wednesday, Raymond Orozco, chief of staff to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, stated that the decision to keep the Drive open until 7:50 p.m on Tuesday was his to make - and that he believes it was the right one.</p><p>&quot;In a storm of this magnitude, there's no way to predict from minute to minute what problems may arise,&quot; said Orozco during a news conference late afternoon on Wednesday. &quot;But what we do know is that no major accidents and no serious injuries occurred.&quot;</p><p>The Daley Administration came under fire for not closing Lake Shore Drive earlier, given the severe weather conditions and long-standing blizzard warnings.&nbsp; Hundreds of motorists were stranded along the lakefront thoroughfare beginning Tuesday evening as high winds and snow led to white-out conditions and treacherous road travel.&nbsp; Orozco says he decided to close the Drive after a series of minor accidents occured, making the roads even more dangerous to drivers.</p><p>The controversy even found its way into the 2011 race for Chicago mayor.&nbsp; In a statement, Rahm Emanuel called for &quot;a thorough review&quot; of the city's response.&nbsp; Meanwhile, Carol Moseley-Braun was more critical, stating that the city should have closed Lake Shore Drive well in advance of the blizzard.</p><p>&quot;The question was do we eliminate Lake Shore Drive as an option, which would've essentially diverted thousands of drivers onto other roads&quot;, Orozco pointed out.&nbsp; He says that would've created even more traffic and dangerous travel conditions on other city streets.</p><p>Ramps were closed just before 8 p.m., preventing motorists from entering and exiting Lake Shore Drive for hours.&nbsp; Many were stuck in cars or on CTA buses well into the wee hours of the evening without information or assistance from emergency crews.&nbsp;</p><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--></p><p class="MsoNormal">Lake Shore Drive remained closed to traffic as of late Wednesday.&nbsp; Orozco refused to predict when it would reopen.</p> <p>Motorists looking to retreive their vehicles abandoned on Lake Shore Drive are urged to call 311.</p><p>&quot;Again we completely understand people&rsquo;s frustrations and I want to thank everyone for being exceedingly patient during this process,&quot; said Orozco.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 02 Feb 2011 22:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-blizzard/city-defends-handling-lake-shore-drive-logjam Photo: WBEZ Lobby 02/02/2011 4:10 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/photo-wbez-lobby-02022011-410 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/SM_20110202_0155.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<img width="500" height="357" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-02/SM_20110202_0155.jpg" title="" alt="" /></p><p>WBEZ's Navy Pier studios on Wednesday afternoon.</p></p> Wed, 02 Feb 2011 22:10:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/photo-wbez-lobby-02022011-410 Photo: Merchandise Mart 02/02/2011 1:20 http://www.wbez.org/blog/photo-merchandise-mart-02022011-120 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/SM_20110202_0068.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img width="500" height="332" alt="" title="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-02/SM_20110202_0068.jpg" /></p><p>Crews clear snow outside Merchandise Mart as seen from the Brown Line. &nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 02 Feb 2011 21:33:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/photo-merchandise-mart-02022011-120