Chicago Area Pothole Problem – Hazards For Motorcyclists And Bicyclists

Potholes are a problem on a nationwide basis, especially in those areas with harsh winters.  Potholes in the Chicago area are numerous, and unfortunately – despite efforts to fill them – many serious potholes remain throughout the Chicago metropolitan area.  The CBS Chicago article (and video) of June 11, 2014, titled “Alderman, Drivers Want More Done To Fill City Potholes” discusses this enduring pothole issue.

These potholes represent particular risks to motorcyclists and bicyclists, as many of the potholes are significantly large and/or deep to as easily throw motorcycles and bicycles off balance – to the point of causing accidents – if they are “hit.”

While it may seem that these potholes can be avoided, on many streets the potholes are so numerous as to make it challenging to avoid all of them.  Of course, pothole avoidance becomes even more challenging if a motorcyclist or bicyclist is not familiar with the street, or if the motorcyclist or bicyclist is traveling at night.

While potholes are the primary roadway safety issue, there are also associated pavement abnormalities such as cracks, bumps, and other various types of raised pavement that also creates roadway safety hazards.

Also of concern, due to the poor condition of many streets, roads and expressways, are significant amounts of gravel on the roadway.  This gravel is likely due to deteriorating pavement, and can also represent a significant road hazard under certain circumstances.

Awareness of this Chicago area pothole hazard is very important for motorcycle and bicycle riding safety, especially as the pothole problem may persist for a protracted time period.


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