I feel the need to rant. So please bear with me.

I drive for a delivery service part-time. As such, I see parts of Chicago that many don’t — such as the side streets, not the major thoroughfares that people use to get from point A to B. 

One of the things that bothers me is the depressiveness of far too many side streets in the neighborhoods. That depressiveness is directly aligned with the amount of filth that is covering both the streets and alleys. 

I don’t care what one’s economic status is. There is simply no excuse for the garbage that is permeating certain neighborhoods. That trash for the most part is not brought in by outsiders. It is the direct result of the lazy, trifling, and uncouth people who live there. Even the highly congested North Side of Chicago is filthy because the trifling neighbors did not rake up the leaves. All winter long those leaves were left to decompose on the street. Now the sewers are clogged and water is standing at the curb because the flow has been dammed by the leaves.

I often hear community activists and those running for office lament the closing of Chicago’s mental health facilities. But rarely do I hear them proffer that a clean and green neighborhood is an inexpensive way of providing visual therapy. I would like to see Chicago neighborhoods returned to having beautiful green yards accented with flowers. There should be pride in where one lives. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. The majority of time it just takes the manual labor of mowing the grass and planting the flowers. It also involves taking the time to get out and sweep the curbs in front of your home. Just the other day I got boxes of Zinnia flower seeds at Dollar Tree. My backyard planters will be filled with beautiful flowers and it won’t cost me a fortune.

I am not a fan of wrought-iron fences. I am now seeing block after block filled with them. In truth, it makes the neighborhood look more like a prison camps. A wrought-iron fence will not protect you. It is the epitome of generating a false sense of security. The average teenager can climb those fences in two seconds. And the worst part about the fences are those who get tired of having to lock and unlock the gate, so they just leave it hanging open.

I noticed on the North Side that the city has allowed developers to build houses with front driveways. That has, in essence, eliminated street parking. It also means no one will be parked in front of one’s house. So what does the alley become in those neighborhoods? I think there should be special tax assessments on those driveways where the previous house did not. No community should be allowed to eliminate street parking for private gain.