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The Chicago Traveler

Slow Down!

by Matt B on April 9th, 2008

If you've been down Chicago's Lake Shore Drive recently, you know that it resembles a rocky mountain road more than an urban thoroughfare.

potholesRadio talk show hosts can make jokes about the numerous potholes along the lakefront road, but very few people are laughing. In fact, the situation is so bad, public transportation officials have decided not to raise Lake Shore Drive's speed limit.

Normally, from April 1 through November 1, Lake Shore Drive's speed limit is set at 45 mph (72 kmph). But the pothole situation has gotten so bad, the Chicago Department of Transportation has determined that it's just not safe to drive faster than the winter limit, 40 mph (64 kmph).

potholeI personally have found driving along Lake Shore Drive to be a worrying experience. You can't go more than a few feet in any lane without coming across a road defect. Some holes are big enough to cause damage to a smaller car. Many drivers don't pay attention to the traffic around them when they are swerving to avoid a pothole. The worst of the road is along the stretch I travel frequently, from Bryn Mawr Avenue to Addison Street.

Of course, many people (including myself) would argue that the change of the speed limit is a farce anyway. As I've noted before, most Chicagoans completely ignore the speed limit signs along Lake Shore Drive anyway. Something tells me though that all those holes in the ground will make even the most daring of speed devils slow down a bit.

Photo credit (via Flickr): polomex, Robert Dumas

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