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If More Snow Falls Tuesday Night, Side-Street Plowing Will Have To Wait, City Warns

The city doesn't plow alleys — but they will have garbage trucks "tracking" the alleys to create paths, officials said.

A snowed-in car in the 7000 block of South Paxton Avenue in South Shore.
Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago

CHICAGO — Parts of Chicago could see another 2 or 3 inches of snow Tuesday evening, potentially delaying the plowing of side streets and slowing the city’s recovery from the nearly 18 inches that fell over the past day.

John Tully, commissioner of the city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation, said crews hope to turn their attention to the city’s side streets Tuesday evening, but added the arrival of new snow could force plows and salt spreaders to stay on arterial streets and Lake Shore Drive.

“We will be moving into all 50 wards provided there is no additional snow,” Tully said at a Tuesday news conference to update the city’s response to the snowfall and cold.

Tully also said so much snow has fallen, the city will use backhoes and semis to haul it to huge piles around the city, including the parking lots at Guaranteed Rate Field. He warned parents to keep kids away from the piles, noting it is hard for truck drivers to see children playing there — and the piles are filled with debris, including lawn chairs from displaced dibs.

“Crews are working around the clock relocating the snow to predetermined” areas around the city, he said. Moving it out of neighborhoods will help keep plows from burying parked cars when they eventually turn to side streets, he said.

RELATED: Snowed In? Here’s How To Get Shoveling Help In Chicago

Building owners and property management companies are also being asked to shovel bus stops around the city to help the CTA get back on schedule. Heavy snow on switches at the Howard Terminal, meanwhile, caused Yellow and Purple line disruptions.

As for the city’s snow-clogged alleys, don’t expect city plows to come to the rescue.

“If we start plowing in alleyways, you start collapsing garage doors ‘cuz there’s nowhere for that snow to go,” Tully said.

Instead, Streets and San will have garbage trucks “tracking” the alleys, creating paths through the alleys. They’ll also work to get back on schedule for garbage collecting, including working overtime on Saturday. Many of the garbage truck drivers are the same people driving plows, so crews have fallen behind during the storm, Tully said.

Credit: Kelly Bauer/Block Club Chicago
A man blows snow in Logan Square.

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