Chicago's Road Maintenance Goes Straight To Just Salting The Cars

(Screengrab: ABC 7 Chicago)
(Screengrab: ABC 7 Chicago)

If you’ve ever lived in the northern half of the U.S. and care about your car at all, you recognize road salt as a mortal enemy. Of course it melts ice, but it also breeds cancerous rust which gobbles your vehicle from the inside out. Which is why it hurts to watch it get dumped directly onto these street parked vehicles.

An ABC 7 Chicago news team spotted this CDOT worker flinging salt across cars from the bed of a salt-spreading rig in what looks like an attempt to get the ice-melting rocks onto the sidewalk. But it sure seems like a lot of that crunchy corrosion-enhancing sediment is landing on the vehicles instead.

To be honest I feel bad ragging on anybody busting their butt in the name of improving road safety, on a wet and freezing night, from my couch in California. But I did spend a couple decades in Massachusetts. And if I ever saw somebody heap a shovelful of road salt onto my car I would be mad enough to shrug my shoulders, exhale dramatically, and say something like “dude, come on.”

ABC 7 asked CDOT about what was going on here, and the agency provided this response:

“This is not standard operating procedure. It was an isolated incident. The crew had to improvise because there was a breakdown in the equipment that is usually used to spread salt on Wacker drive’s sidewalk. It has been discussed with the crew that this was not a good solution.”


City parking is war, folks. Never forget it. And maybe keep any classic International Harvesters far, far away from Chicago forever.

Hat tip to Paulo!

Jalopnik Staffer from 2013 to 2020, now Editor-In-Chief at Car Bibles

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The good news: The parked cars are now seasoned to perfection.