Today’s Headlines for Friday, March 30

  • The Factors Behind Chicago’s Population Loss (Chicago MagAaron Renn)
  • Report: Poorly Maintained Roads & Bridges Cost IL Drivers $16B a Year (SJR)
  • Waguespack: More Oversight Needed for O’Hare Express Approval Process (Sun-Times)
  • Petition Asks Waguespack to Get a Speed Camera Installed on Logan Boulevard
  • Federal Review for Obama Center’s Impacts Continues (Sun-Times)
  • A Developer Is Building a Parking Lot Across From the Howard El Stop (Evanston Now)
  • New Urbanist Memes for Transit-Oriented Teens” Has U. of C. Roots (Chicago Mag)
  • Apply for an Active Trans Mini Grant to Host a Bike Week Event in Your Community
  • (Lots of) April Events on the Lakefront Trail (Active Trans)
  • Active Trans’ Bike the Drive Takes Place on Sunday, May 27 (WGN)

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  • Sarah Hummel

    Would that it were May 30 . . .

  • rohmen

    The Chicago Magazine and the Atlantic articles definitely hint at the uncomfortable question that’s been lurking under the Chicago population decline—does it mean the City is failing, or are middle and working class citizens(especially minorities) simply getting pushed out given the City’s sole focus on attracting white collar jobs and residents?

    The metric for a long time has seemed to be that unless your city is growing in population, it’s failing. The actual numbers, and what they mean for Chicago, paint a potentially different picture, and I think factor into why you’ve seen Chicago politicians (especially Rahm) react the way they have to the population losses (which is to do not much of anything, or instead proactively increase certain activity that will likely lead to even more population loss). I personally don’t think the path to making Chicago “better” is to create an environment where lower-income residents have to leave, but not everyone shares that viewpoint, and I think that viewpoint is shaping policies in this City much more than anyone is paying attention to outside of the above-linked pieces.

  • Chicagoan

    Chicago is a complex & fascinating city and that’s why it’s so commonly analyzed and written about by scholars.

    South and West Side neighborhoods have been through a lot. They’ve lost factories, steel mills, and other blue-collar employers. They’ve seen the construction of expressways (Eisenhower & Dan Ryan) slice through their neighborhoods and wreak havoc. They’ve inflicted their own wounds with racial strife and rioting. They’ve seen broad strokes urban planning and urban renewal forced on them.

    It’s no surprise that Hyde Park is still so pleasant, it’s community anchor never left town. Hyde Park is how North Lawndale and South Chicago would look if Hawthorne Works didn’t leave Cicero and steel didn’t leave the Southeast Side. South Chicago was built and grew around steel companies and steel workers, then both were gone.

    Is it any surprise the neighborhood now struggles?

    We’ve got to figure out a way to help those neighborhoods and the answer isn’t that clear, I suppose.

  • Courtney

    The project on Howard is disappointing but not surprising. More units could have been built on the parking lot considering the VERY close proximity of the Howard stop which gives folks access to tons of bus lines and 3 L lines.

  • Chicagoan

    Why isn’t it surprising?

    I’m surprised.

  • rohmen

    I guess my worry is that for many in this City, the plan is to not help those neighborhoods, and instead let the depopulation occur. I’d love to be corrected, but I can’t think of anything meaningful that Rahm has done towards helping those areas, outside of the whole rising tide lifts all boats shtick you’d hear about Rahm bringing business to Chicago period. Corporations moving their headquarters to the loop doesn’t help West Garfield, however.

    And the closure of several CPS schools, mostly in the exact areas we’re talking about, with seemingly little effort given to raising standards in those that remain (outside of the top tier magnets)—mixed with how the CHA has operated the past 15 years—supports that view in my mind

  • johnaustingreenfield

    I recommend checking out the book “The Color of Law” for details on how 20th Century federal government policies mandated the creation of new whites-only developments and discouraged lenders from providing mortgages at fair rates to African-American homeowners, encouraging segregation and slum conditions in communities of color. https://www.epi.org/publication/the-color-of-law-a-forgotten-history-of-how-our-government-segregated-america/

  • Courtney

    Chicago & Evanston are not as committed to transit-oriented development as they tout. The cities could be a lot more progressive when it comes to sustainability and affordable housing efforts. In the end actions speak louder than words.

  • Chicagoan

    It’s difficult b/c these neighborhoods are great areas for industry, but a lot of that isn’t coming back to the United States for a very long time, if ever. I’ve seen some progress in certain areas, such as Pullman receiving the Method factory and Whole Foods distribution center, as well as Englewood receiving the CTA bus shops and Hegewisch receiving the CTA car factory, but there needs to be so much more of that. Long ways to go.

  • Chicagoan

    Evanston has received plaudits for a shift to TOD: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/10/evanston-illinois-what-works-213282

    Chicago sure does seem committed, a ride on the Milwaukee Elevated will show as much.

  • rwy

    I’m just glad that they’re building something on the site. I do wish part of the plan was for bike lanes along Chicago Ave.

  • rwy

    The NIMBYs are very loud and are trying to stop any more dense developments in Evanston. They’ve already had a few victories this year.

  • Tooscrapps

    While there is an encouraging number of TODs, those are ones that were fought for by the developers. Though the City allows for less parking, it doesn’t mandate it. That’s how we get all those West Loop towers with floors of parking and One Chicago Square.