Dear Mayor Daley,
As you know, traffic in our windy city really blows. Yet thousands of commuters daily opt to sit stuck in traffic behind the wheel versus taking public transportation, exacerbating the problem and costing Metra and CTA millions in lost revenue. And you want to know why? Because for all of the perks of public transit—being able to read, relax, reliability, etc.—there are people—seat hogs, loud talkers—who ruin the commuting experience for others.
While most Chicagoans are pretty darn polite, a few rotten apples are ruining the bunch. If the city could work to curtail their rude behavior, I believe more people would opt for public transportation. Below, I have taken the liberty of listing what I believe are the worst offenses and suggested appropriate measures to tackle the offense. I hope that you will consider these issues and solutions.
On behalf of commuters everywhere who are daily confronted with these issues, I urge you to propose the required laws and ordinances to effectively deal with these challenges and would make my life—errr, I mean the lives of millions of Chicagoans—better.
Desperate Deerfield-to-the-Loop Commuter
1. Uber-Slow Walking. There are slow walkers, and then there are people whose pace can only be described as slow motion. Usually, these people can be found waddling in the middle of the sidewalk so that it is impossible to get around them. I propose separate lanes on sidewalks created for uber-slow walkers. Offenders caught in the wrong lane should be fined. Repeat offenders should be publically flogged by citizens who have missed their buses/trains and been late because the slow walker failed to stay in their “lane.” (Note: this law should especially apply to tourists who should also be barred from public transportation during rush hours.)
2. Uber-Fast and Aggressive Walking. Too many innocent citizens have been the victims of these people who walk at a pace that defies the laws of physics. They often have no regard for people in their way, including 9 months pregnant women who are waddling as fast as their swollen feet will carry them. (I suspect many offenders have lost their driver’s licenses for too many accidents or aggressive driving are now must take out their hostility on pedestrians.) I suggest speed-walking limits posted throughout the city and officers who can hand out tickets. Repeat offenders should be forced to walk up and down the Magnificent Mile during peak tourist season.
3. Public Snoring. In my humble opinion, being able to sleep on the way to or from work is one of the perks of not driving. But a peaceful commute is rudely interrupted by those who snore—and by snore I mean make sounds like a cat going down a garbage disposal (ewww). I propose a law that requires snorers to use nasal breathe strips (bought from the city of course), or citizens should be given the right to roll snorers onto their sides or stomachs.
4. Uber-Loud Talking. Too many citizens have had to listen to the boring conversations and personal stories of loud talkers. I would like to see “silent” buses/train cars introduced—where no talking is allowed. I’d be willing to pay additional to ride these buses/trains.
5. Excessive Flatulence. Nothing, and I mean, NOTHING, ruins a commute more than someone in near proximity repeatedly dropping stink bombs. This is a complex problem that requires a multiple solution approach. First, emergency gas masks should be made available on all public transit. Second, industrial air fresheners should be placed behind glass for major emergencies. And third, I suggest a detection device—similar to systems in pools that identify urine—that could identify the culprit. This would help deter this behavior and also ensure that those who did not drop the bomb would not be accused.