Going Underground: Finding Chicago’s Sewers

While walking through Lincoln Park one evening with my friend, I noticed all the different sewer covers on the sidewalks. Out of boredom, I started reading out loud what each one said, sometimes having to stop and bend over to see the words. Although some of them were self-explanatory, like “Gas” or “Water”, others had were confusing, like “CDWM”, and others even had paragraphs of writing on them, labeling them. I noticed so many of them, sometimes not even five feet apart, and they made me curious- what did those letters stand for? I find it odd that these sewers make up such an important part of Chicago- if we didn’t have them we’d be walking in garbage, without gas, and without water- and yet we barely notice them as we step over yet another brown manhole cover in the ground. So, for this project I’m going to try to map out as many sewer covers as I can, taking pictures of the really unique ones along the way.

In response to Malchik and Hollis, is walking a luxury, a privilege, a necessity, or a right, and why? What are the threats to walking? How does where you live influence how you live?

I completely agree with Hollis and Lefebvre in that walking is definitely a right. Walking is as natural and human as breathing is; everyone has the ability to do it. Walking does not require money, a bus pass, or gasoline, just your legs and a good attitude. I think everyone has a right to walk anywhere, and no one should take that from us. However, there are some threats to walking. As Malchik said, in 2013, 4,700 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes; you are not as protected while walking as you are in a car. Even just with women, there are tons of reports of attacks on women walking the streets every day; people can be robbed, raped, even killed while walking. Along with that another threat is threat from authority, like in Istanbul. People who were congregating and walking in peaceful protest were violently punished by the local police. Furthermore, where you live has a large influence on how you live. If you live in the suburbs, you are probably used to taking a car to drive ten minutes to school, whereas if you live in a big city like Chicago, you can just as easily walk the same distance.