Today’s Headlines for Thursday, May 4

  • Obama Calls for Pedestrianizing Cornell by Library and Not “Getting Fixated on Traffic” (Tribune)
  • Investors Float $2.8 billion Plan to Get Around Chicago’s Rail Bottleneck (Crain’s)
  • Federal Spending Plan Opens Path for South Shore Line Expansion Funding (NWI)
  • Driver Charged With Aggravated DUI for Crash That Killed 2 Friends Near Lamont (CBS)
  • Driver Crashes Into Building After Passenger Is Shot Near 115th Metra Station (DNA)
  • Police: Man Groped Woman on CTA Bus, Attacked Her After She Exited (DNA)
  • NIMBYs Get Their Wish: TPL Shelves Plan for Wheel-Friendly Park at East End of 606 (DNA)
  • Residents Can Provide Input on Art for Kedzie Green Station at 28th Ward Meeting on 5/9 (DNA)

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  • Carter O’Brien

    I’d politely suggest you think through what IMHO a routine misapplication of the term NIMBY, that is not what is happening here & the term is now so misused by the cycling crowd it’s losing all meaning.

    This is not NIMBY, capiche? The term does not mean “I don’t like this,” sorry, it just doesn’t. The neighbors are *not* saying “we demand a skate park for our own use, but in someone else’s back yard!” They are saying they are happy with the open green space. That’s displaying preference, not hypocrisy, and that is a very important distinction and you do nobody any favors by muddying those waters,

    I’m also not seeing much legitimate argument that skateboarders require a carve out space where they very well may interfere with larger usage and enjoyment of the Bloomingdale Trail. I have nothing against skateboarding, but there are more skate parks now than there ever have been, and wrt to this location, they are not even remotely on the same plane as bicycles when it comes to alternative transportation.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    I try to use the term NIMBY sparingly, but in this case the shoe fits. “Not in My Back Yard” generally refers to facilities that the opponents acknowledge would be a good thing for society, such as public housing, but they don’t want them near their home. I’m guessing that most of the wheel-friendly park opponents (this facility would serve cyclists as well as skateboarders) would say that it’s great that there’s a skate park in a dank space under the Kennedy Expressway at Logan Boulevard, because it gives local youth a positive activity to keep them occupied. But when faced with the prospect of teens from a wide range of income levels and ethnicities recreating near their homes, suddenly these neighbors say a plain green lawn is “fabulous.” That’s NIMBYism in a nutshell.

  • Jeremy

    Why would you guess they would like a skate park under the Kennedy? Wouldn’t they think such a facility would interfere with traffic?

    The exact quote in the article was, “Skateboarders bring in a different element”. The support for any facility elsewhere would be, “Good. Keep them away from me”, not “Good. That will give local youth a positive activity to keep them occupied.”

  • planetshwoop

    Would the community reaction be the same if a dog park were proposed on the fabulous lawn? Dog parks are used by a tiny fraction of residents (like skate parks). Unlikely.

    We spend millions on playgrounds for little children. It’s a shame our investment for kids over 12 isn’t matched. Not everyone is interested in traditional sports (the other mainstay of parks). Lack of spaces to play for when kids grow out of playgrounds is an issue. Skate parks won’t help every kid, but I bet it reaches bunch. (Including this author, who would have loved such a thing at 12).

    Smells NIMBYish to me; agree with John.

  • hopeyglass

    How does that make it better? The analogous reaction to the skatepark elsewhere would also be NIMBYism (which is, you know, often times just “more polite” racism and classism).

    “A different element” is one hundred percent code for young people of color. Honestly, even Parks and Rec has showed this.

  • rohmen

    “Not in My Back Yard” generally refers to facilities that the opponents
    acknowledge would be a good thing for society, such as public housing,
    but they don’t want them near their home.”

    NIMBY in my mind was traditionally used to discuss reactions to things that are “necessary,” not simply “good.” For instance, public housing, fire stations, hospitals, garbage dumps, and drug treatment centers, etc. are “necessary,” and many, many people believe and recognize they should exist somewhere, they just don’t want to live next to those things personally. That’s NIMBY’ism.

    We’re not talking about something necessary here, we’re talking about preferred usage of public land. Sure, skate parks are great, and they benefit a lot of people, but someone can be legitimately opposed to the idea of turning open green space (which there is an extreme lack of in that area) into a concrete skate park without it being tied to trying to keep certain classes of people out of the area (regardless of what someone said in the linked article). Keeping “undesirables” out of the area is not necessarily hand-in-hand with the intent of blocking a skate park in this instance, like say it was with regards to the vast majority of the worry over the Logan Ave. park, which was built on land that had pretty much no other use (besides maybe parking, which no one on here would have wanted to see). People may legitimately just want open park space to, you know, sit in a blanket in a park.

  • rohmen

    I’d say yes. I think enough people would have been opposed to idea of turning a lush green space like this at the head of a major trail into a limited-use dog park that it wouldn’t have happened.

    Honestly, when I saw this had ever even been intended to be a skate park, I was pretty shocked, as that area can really use some nice, open green space. I’d personally be opposed to anything going on that space, including a children’s playground, dog park, skate park, etc.

  • Carter O’Brien

    A skate park is a luxury, not a necessity. Rohmen is correct, NIMBY is a term invented to showcase the hypocrisy of people who use/benefit from something but don’t want to live with the externalities. A skate park is just not even remotely in the ballpark.

  • Carter O’Brien

    A dog park is also a luxury, not a necessity.

    NIMBY is an insult due to the term referring to hypocritical behavior. The NIMBY’s behavior in some way generates an externality that the NIMBY pushes into someone else’s community. A jail. A landfill. A power plant.

    If I don’t own a dog and don’t want a dog park, just a regular park, I’m not a NIMBY. I just want something different. If you label people as NIMBYs just because they disagree with you on subjective preferences for non-essential things, you have 100% diluted the term down to meaninglessness. This is not to say that there is anything with dogs or skate parks – but they are not necessities, and they are not something, in this case, that the neighbors want, but just in someone else’s community.

  • Jeremy

    Yes, I agree. And we have seen in this city that most white people in this city do not want to see the city spend money in areas where people of color live. Carter is correct in his original post that “NIMBY” refers to people wanting something built (prisons, highways, etc.), just not near them. That is why I don’t think NIMBY applies in this case, and it is why I agree with the original point that NIMBY is used too often.

    If you want to call out racism, call it out. Don’t label it as NIMBYism.

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