Tagstreets

History of Chicago streets

New bridge as seen from Division Street bridge

A new bridge over Halsted Street, opened in 2012 spanning the North Branch Channel on the west and north sides of Goose Island.

I found this document listing what appears to be all Chicago streets, their locations (relative to the Chicago grid whose origin is State/Madison), previous names, and namesakes. I doubt it’s hard to find, but I wasn’t looking for it. In fact, I was searching with queries people used before they came across Licensed Chicago Contractors.

“where is 435 w hobbie st chicago ill” was the specific query and I found Chicago Streets on the first page of results hosted on the Chicago History Museum’s website. (You’ll notice the hosting domain name has the acronym for the museum’s previous name, Chicago Historical Society.)

Halsted Street, which I often tell people is my favorite street because it goes through so many neighborhoods (with lots of gaps and railroads in between), was named after “two New York brothers William and Caleb who helped to develop the west end of the Loop.” William Butler Ogden, the first mayor of Chicago, named it.

Halsted Street was previously known as Egyptian Road from 1830 to 1837.

Halsted from Chicago Streets document

A screenshot of Halsted Street in the document.

On sucker poles

Twice in the past seven days I’ve encountered an unsecured sucker pole.

A sucker pole next to a highly-secure bike rack provided by the City of Chicago’s Bicycle Program. The adjacent placement of the two fixtures is an unfortunate side effect of construction crews who didn’t receive guidance on bike rack placement. 

What’s a sucker pole? Any sign pole that’s not embedded in concrete or securely fastened to the ground in another fashion. A simple hex nut on a bolt fastens the pole to the base.

So last Saturday I encountered my latest one in front of India House (59 W Grand), just hours after Alexis Finch of Thought You Knew pinup calendar fame mentioned a specific sucker pole at the Green Eye (2403 W Homer) – I could completely remove the pole from its base.

Alexis reported that when she visits that bar, she removes the pole from its base and lays it on the sidewalk to prevent others from locking their bikes there.

I want you to spread the word about sucker poles while at the same time requesting a bike rack for that spot. I invite designers to remake this crappy poster I created and thankfully never printed.

Remake this “beware of sucker poles” poster into something cool and I’ll pay to print a few copies for you to keep and give to friends or bike shops. 

Carnage culture: Extrapolating blood alcohol content levels

A breathalyzer test, to measure an automobile driver’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), is not always administered at the time and scene of a crash. I don’t know why it took four hours for Drew Forquer to have his BAC measured, but it registered at 0.045 percent, slightly more than half the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Drew was convicted on Friday, June 17, 2011, of reckless homicide and aggravated drunken driving, but not “aggravated DUI charges that specified he was over the legal limit.”

…but the judge said it was clear to him simply from the results of field-sobriety tests, eyewitness testimony and Forquer’s “bizarre” turn — which was caught on surveillance video — that he was impaired.

The prosecution hired an expert witness to extrapolate Drew’s BAC at the time of the crash, “estimated…to be from 0.084 to 0.123 percent.”

What extrapolation means

Using evidence, prosecution and defense argue about the estimated BAC based on a variety of factors, including:

  • witness statements about driving behaviors (prosecution)
  • evidence of drinking before or during crash (prosecution)
  • field sobriety test (prosecution)
  • individual’s metabolism (defense)
  • “what the driver ate or drank that day” (defense)
  • other health issues (defense)

(The parentheses indicate which side used the factor in Drew Forquer’s case.)

In Drew’s case, his defense attorney argued that the BAC was lower because him having liver disease and chronic alcoholism would have slowed his metabolism (meaning alcohol would enter the blood stream more slowly).

Drew awaits sentencing, which can be from probation to 15 years in prison. They must be joking about probation – he’s gone to court for four previous DUI arrests!

More carnage culture articles

Story sources

Chicago Tribune – Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chicago Tribune – Friday, June 17, 2011

A taxi driver exited Lake Shore Drive and drove across the grass separating it from the Lakefront Trail. This photo, taken on July 4, 2010, is not related to the story above. Photo by Andrew Ciscel.

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