Someone saw a city worker parked in a bike lane and took a picture of them. The worker, whose name is being covered up by the city, used a city vehicle to chase the person down multiple streets and confronted them, calling the picture-taker "A little bitch" and a "f--ing p-ssy". They then threatened to follow the picture-taker home.
The worker then gave false and incomplete statements to the inspector general's office. The IG recommended that the worker be fired and put on a do-not-hire list. Nope. Streets and San merely suspended them for a month.
Not only does the city not care about enforcing bike lanes, it doesn't much care if its own workers threaten people who catch them in the act. In my opinion, that city worker should have been charged with one or more of several criminal offenses, including assault and intimidation. Why haven't they been? What would happen if someone did that to Lori Lightfoot?
The city authorities talk the talk about bicycle safety in Chicago, but they sure don't walk the walk.
Well, no they don't, and this is a bummer. In this instance, CDOT (i.e. the city) seems to operate in the interests of the Painters District Council, the Cement Masons Local, and the Concrete Contractor's Association of Greater Chicago. #electionyear
The tough part for cycling safety is that just because a city worker gives someone a hard time doesn't mean the union contract (again, think voting block) gets renegotiated on the spot, or that the city is going to terminate a union-dues paying worker outside of the worker's contract rules. To be even more practical, then those dues wouldn't be paid, and then the union coffers would be a little lighter, and then so would be the campaign contributions.
And if the incumbents make life lucrative for the unions (think control of CDOT) then there's not much else to ponder.
Meanwhile, nobody likes being criticized on the road. Next time somebody chases down a no-brake fixie who breaks the law and doesn't stop at a red light, the vocabulary likely won't be any warmer than our example with the city worker.
The solution? Be courteous, follow the laws, and encourage all of our fellow travelers to do the same.