This week’s storm is apparently the largest since the “Groundhog Day” blizzard that famously closed down Lake Shore Drive in 2011.
The start of the New Year is being felt with a “Brrrrr” by Chicago residents. In what is already being dubbed “New Year’s Snowstorm 2014” the northern part of Illinois was slammed with well over a foot of snow.
No More Divvy
In response to the transportation nightmare, the new Chicago bike rental service, Divvy, closed this afternoon. In a blog post announcing the move, the Divvy team (as well as the Chicago Department of Transportation) noted that starting at noon, no bikes would be available for rent. However, all bikes rented earlier but still in use after that time could still be docked at any Divvy station.
The announcement did not indicate any end to the temporary closure. Instead, the post noted that all questions should be directed to the Member Services Representatives at 1-855-553-4889. Alternatively, cyclists in the city are able to check out the Divvy website and social media channels for the latest updates on the closure.
According to the most recent reports, the snowfall was expected to die down near 6 or 7 in the evening on Thursday. However, it is unclear how long it will take for roads and sidewalks to be clear enough to allow safe travel.
For those interested, the City of Chicago has a “Snow Plow” tracker service that allows you the chance to track the city’s plows in real time. As of this morning there were over 373 regular snow plows in service, with over 60 other vehicles also helping in the removal effort. Officials explain that the first priority is keeping Lake Shore Drive and the main streets clear. Only when that task is accomplished will the plows move to residential areas.
Be Careful Out There
The latest snowpocalypse is as good a time as any to remind everyone to be safe when traveling throughout the city this week (or at any time). The mix of cars, buses, trucks, cyclists, pedestrians, dogs, and other travelers make Chicago transportation dangerous at any time. The risks are magnified even more with a foot of snow, ice, cold, and wind clogging the roads, alleys, and sidewalks.
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photo credit: Some rights reserved by jayhay2336