The Tribune Praises Pat Dowell’s “Expertise in Urban Planning”

Pat Dowell
Pat Dowell

I know Streetsblog Chicago has been giving Third Ward alderman Pat Dowell a lot of guff over various transportation issues during the past year, but I’d be remiss if I let some puzzling praise for her in the Chicago Tribune go unaddressed.

The paper is endorsing the City Council rep, whose district includes parts of the South Loop and Washington Park, for several reasons, some of which may be legit. They praise her “thoughtful approach to problem-solving” and her support for transparency initiatives in the council, and call her “level-headed and fair.” But, oddly, the Trib also gives Dowell a shoutout for “her expertise in urban planning.”

It’s true that that the alderman is a former city planner. But it’s also the case that, for as long as I can recall, Dowell has been on the wrong side of just about ever sustainable transportation issue she’s been involved with. Here’s a brief recap:

Today on Twitter, some of Dowell’s constituents were scratching their heads trying to think of good urban planning decisions she had made for the ward. They weren’t able to come up with much.

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Obviously, running a ward involves juggling many different concerns, so just because Dowell has a terrible track record on transportation doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve another term. But please, Chicago Tribune, don’t refer to her as someone who can be trusted to make decisions about transportation that benefit anyone except private car owners.

Update 2/6/19: Based on a constituent’s statement, this post previously stated that Dowell was involved in the removal of the plastic posts from the Harrison protected bike lanes, which was incorrect. Apologies for the error; the post has been edited accordingly.

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