It's known as "Pigeon Poop Station," so perhaps it should come as no surprise that as a lawmaker gave an interview there griping about the pigeon poop problem ... he got pooped on by a pigeon. State Rep. Jaime Andrade was talking to CBS Chicago at the city's Irving Park Blue Line CTA station when, mid-sentence, he stopped to feel his head and, yep, a pigeon had indeed just relieved itself on the politician. "I’ll just have to go clean up," he told the reporter. "That’s what happens to my constituents. They get s--- on all the time." Andrade has been fighting for years to get the station cleaned up; the sidewalk outside it is covered in bird droppings, and the birds congregate in an underpass, meaning those same droppings frequently end up on bus and train riders, CBS Chicago reported in a previous story on the issue.
It's not just poop: "You’ll see feathers, you’ll see bones, you’ll see pigeon bodies, you’ll see cracked eggs," says one commuter. "It stinks to high heaven around here." Andrade got a $6 million line item added to the budget in 2018 for the station—but it turns out the underpass where the pigeons gather is not considered part of the station; the Illinois Department of Transportation has jurisdiction over it, while the City of Chicago's Department of Streets and Sanitation has jurisdiction over the sidewalk below the underpass. Adding to the confusion: The underpass is half in one ward, half in another. Every office CBS Chicago reached out to blamed, at least partially, people who illegally feed the pigeons, and Andrade says that is indeed a problem. But it's not clear when, or even if, a long-term solution will be found. (Read more Chicago stories.)