Today’s Headlines for Friday, May 20

  • Moreno Proposes City’s 1st Affordable, LGBT-Friendly TOD for Logan Square (Curbed)
  • Meanwhile Somos Logan Square Targets Moreno in a Protest Over Affordability
  • Active Trans Director Ron Burke Reflects on the Meaning of the Ride of Silence
  • Council OKs Emanuel’s Plan to Use Density Fees to Fund Neighborhood Projects (Curbed)
  • 100 Lucas Museum Supporters Protest Outside Friends of the Parks Office (Tribune)
  • New Service Offers Car Rentals for as Little as $8 an Hour (DNA)
  • CTA Train Evacuated After Truck Got Caught in Wiring Under Tracks (Sun-Times)
  • Chicago Ranked 6th Best U.S.Bike City — Kudos for Getting # of PBLs Right (Active)
  • 2 Local Guys Are Biking to LA to Raise Money for World Bicycle Relief (RedEye)
  • An ‘L’ of a Cocktail Menu: Check Out These Drinks Inspired by the CTA (Chicagoist)

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  • Wait, an “LGBT-friendly” development? What the effing nuts does that even mean? I thought it was illegal (by state statute and city ordinance) to discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, or gender presentation, in housing and employment.

    I’ve read the article and can’t figure out what the phrase actually means.

  • Pat

    Its very hard/expensive/time consuming to prove discrimination when it comes to housing, especially small landlords.

    LGBTQ-friendly just means that they are welcome there, when for many years in this city they were discriminated against.. I would also guess that since its CHA partnered, the development would team up with LGBTQ organizations that help people find housing.

  • BlueFairlane

    It has excellent interior design?

    I don’t know. I’m puzzled, too.

  • I think Pat is correct. I don’t know how old you are Elliot, but I think you mentioned you grew up near Old Town in the 80s – when my parents moved to Chicago in 67 it was apparently common in Old Town bars known to be gay friendly to have cops come in and roust people for absolutely zero reason except straight up bigotry. Bartenders would tell their patrons not to sit too close or display any affection as that would definitely bring in cops who then went haywire not only hassling patrons, but then threatening to call building inspectors, the health department, etc. They saw this first hand.

    So while yes it is 50 years later, many of Chicago’s LGBT community comes here from parts of the country where intolerance is still the norm (anywhere Trump is ahead in the polls strikes me as a probable feeder area), so as long as no laws are being broken I think this is a great idea.

  • Jeff Gio

    The media’s representation of gays as a homogeneously healthy and wealthy group is dishonest. There is a large group of LGBT (especially trans youth) that suffer a unique form of poverty: ostracization from family and friends, discrimination in housing and employment, and mental health issues caused by institutionalized homophobia.

    There is similar housing on Halsted, TownHall apartments. City Lab did a write up on it and touches on some of pertinent subjects:


    Hope this points you in the right direction!

  • It was literally illegal to be gay in Chicago in the 1960s, there’s not really any comparison. I have friends who were IN those bars, trust me, I know what it was like.

    For the record, I AM part of Chicago’s LGBT community, and it’s really freaking hard needing services and not living close to the lake on the north side, or along the closest stretch of the blue line.

    If this helps people live there and have easier access to services, then great. But I own a house in Albany Park and it’s about an hour’s drive to ANY queer-focused social events or health clinics, which is a drag.

  • I live at Belmont off the blue line, I totally hear you on the
    transportation challenge. It’s ridiculously time consuming to have to
    go against the grain of the hub-and-spoke model of the L and head east
    or northeast.

    And progress is good indeed. What I was getting at is not related to services per se, but that for those coming to Chicago to escape very abusive and intolerant environments, knowing there is a welcoming *and* affordable environment and housing option strikes me as important.

    Boystown and Andersonville have gentrified through the roof and are cost-prohibitive for many people at this point, many of those teens/young adults in desperate situations come here with literally not much beyond the shirt on their back. I don’t think it’s possible for those of us who grew up here to
    understand how intimidating Chicago can be to a newcomer. It’s not
    imaginary – there are a lot of predators out there. It was not uncommon as recent as the 90s to hear about lowlifes from a variety of backgrounds targeting LGBT people in the lakefront neighborhoods for physical violence based on nothing but sheer bigotry.

    On services, the lakefront neighborhoods have more services as they are substantially more dense, this is a citywide epidemic at this point and is linked to the overall population, which gets complicated as that’s also a reflection of household size, rental buildings converted to condos, deconversions, cost of living vs wages, etc.

  • I will be very, very happy when Chicago finally gets on board the evidence-based save-some-money train and implements housing-first policies in regard to both homelessness and drug use.

    But right now we’re still caught up in a culture of blame-the-unsuccessful-for-their-moral-turpitude, which ends up costing taxpayers more, depressing our city’s economic potential, and greatly multiplying human misery.

  • rohmen

    So, regarding the miles of PBLs in Chicago, they took out the plastic bollards on the 4 mile stretch of Lake Street this past winter and haven’t put them back (and it seems unlikely that they will). I assume that stretch still gets counted, though it’s nothing more than a buffered lane now at best, which kinda calls into question Chicago’s bragging rights on 22 miles of PBLs.

  • ardecila

    Yes, it’s not clear how they can present this development in a way that complies with fair housing. Obviously there are many members of LGBTQ community that have unmet housing needs, but you can’t legally restrict housing that way. (Age and income are generally accepted ways to restrict housing.) Developers even have to walk a fine line marketing these units, as they can open themselves to claims of discrimination…

  • ardecila

    Pretty much, yes. Unfortunately there are well-funded conservative knuckle-draggers out there who would love nothing more than to challenge “LGBTQ-friendly” housing in court, so it’s important that the groups behind this proposal do all their leasing and marketing in a way that complies with fair housing law.

  • rohmen

    Not sure this will run afoul of fair housing laws, as they’re really just advertising it as LGBT-friendly, and not saying they will only take (or prioritize) applications based on sexual orientation.

    In my mind, I think they do this because it results in some applicants who would not be okay living next to people who identify as LGBT and could cause issues to simply not apply, which in turn then hopefully creates at least a somewhat safer environment without doing anything more than making that statement.

  • There’s a public meeting on Saturday and DNAinfo’s Paul Biasco will be going and reporting.

    I think if we can find the ways that TownHall at Addison/Halsted is geared towards LGBTQ senior citizens, then we might have some insight on how this building is “LGBTQ-friendly”, as Alder Moreno said in his Facebook post/press release.

  • Jeremy

    Doesn’t Lake Street have the bike lanes to the right of parked cars? The parked cars provide the protection, not the bollards. If drivers start parking in the bike lanes, maybe the bollards will be installed again.

  • rohmen

    Lake is a mix. Stretches where the bike lane is next to a car lane, and stretches where a parking lane is a buffer. It actually switches back and forth quite a bit. I’m actually so, so on bollard protected lanes to begin with, but it has removed any “protection” large amount of the bike lane had on that street.

  • rohmen

    Lake is a mix. Stretches where the bike lane is next to a car lane, and stretches where a parking lane is a buffer. It actually switches back and forth quite a bit. I’m actually so, so on bollard-protected lanes to begin with, but it has removed any “protection” the bike lane had in several areas.