Today’s Headlines for Thursday, March 7

  • The Tribune Invokes Livable Streets Icon Jane Jacobs in Its Pro-Lincoln Yards Editorial
  • The Jane Byrne Project Is 3.5 Years Behind Schedule and $170M Over Budget (Tribune)
  • Volkswagen Beetle Driver Fatally Struck Man, 50, in Belmont-Cragin and Fled (ABC)
  • State Rep Theresa Mah Discusses Sustainable Transportation With Active Trans
  • Reilly Calls for a Crackdown on “Guerrilla Marketing” Stickers on Street Furniture (Sun-Times)
  • Daniel Burnham Did, in Fact, Say “Make No Little Plans” (Tribune)
  • Logan Square Neighborhood Association Holds a Fundraiser at Cole’s Tonight (Block Club)

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  • FlamingoFresh

    Re: Lincoln Yards…Just because there there is backlash against the Lincoln Yard project doesn’t necessarily mean people are against the project as a whole. Other than the fact that TIFs may not be a thing with the next mayor, I don’t understand the rush to force this project so quickly, hence the backlash.

    The fact that this project is always changing without adequate time for it to be reviewed, is obviously the biggest problem. It was less than two months ago that a concert venue was proposed and then scrapped from the plans. It was just yesterday the affordable housing was doubled and the heights of the building were reduced. When the project was initially approved by the community development board, the 740 page traffic study was in the hands of the board for all of three days before being voted on. The community themselves didn’t even get a chance to see the traffic study until after the vote.

    Public input and outreach is important, even more important for a project of this scale. To foolishly rush something like this without hearing all or most of the rational concerns is the reason why people are up in arms. The impact to traffic due to this development will be substantial and there should be concern that everything was properly evaluated. At the end of the day they’ll be paying for it from increased property taxes, the least the city can do is to properly hear them out and ease their concerns before ramming this into their backyard.

  • FlamingoFresh
    This tribune article from 1992 has the same quote. Guess it was a slow news day.

  • rohmen

    All of the changes you’ve mentioned in the project have been Sterling Bay modifying the plan to meet and address the concerns of area residents. People were upset that a arena might draw in too much traffic, so Sterling Bay eliminated it. People thought the buildings were too high, so Sterling Bay shortened them. People were upset that Sterling Bay was trying to meet the affordable housing requirements by locating units off site, so Sterling Bay relocated them to on site.

    It almost seems that because Sterling Bay has been willing to compromise and hasn’t dug in, people are now approaching the situation with a “what else can we get out of them” mentality. Not sure that’s exactly fair or healthy. The traffic may be a concern, but very few seem to actually be pushing that as any sort of reason to delay at this stage.

    To me, the real concern left seems to be whether a TIF should exist at all. I don;t think this sort of project gets done without a TIF, and this sort of project seems exactly why TIFs exist in the first place. TIFs have been abused in the past, but I don’t buy the argument that a TIF is being abused here. The TIF is defined as the boundaries of the project itself, and more than 3/4 of the TIF goes to pay Sterling Bay back for infrastructure the City would very likely have to build if the area was developed piecemeal.

    TL;DR. It doesn’t feel like the people that want to slow this down are doing so just to make sure everything is accounted for, they want to kill it. I just don’t buy that this is a project that should be killed.

  • Matt

    From that article:

    “Trouble is, no one can prove that Burnham ever said what everyone says he did.”

    The whole point is that quote has been used quite often, yet apparently nobody (not even his own son) had any record of it being said. That’s what the article you linked to is talking about. The blog post is cool, because he actually found the original source.

  • FlamingoFresh

    That’s fine, that’s the purpose of public outreach. Present a plan, receive input, and modify accordingly. Regardless of how it “feels” when it comes to the public opinion, the fact tremains that for a project of this scale, the time that have been allotted for public review and concern is not adequate for the timeline this project approval is following. Alderman Waguespack and Smith both request that they slow down with the approval process so they have time to review. They aren’t requesting this project be killed at all.

    Traffic is easily one of the largest concerns coming from the general public. That’s why the arena was eliminated. Traffic concerns still exist due to the large amounts of housing units being proposed and the lack of viable public transit to support that area. If you want to add a reason why there isn’t even more outrage with traffic concerns it could be to the fact they only had one month to review a 740 page traffic study document. The report suggests a multitude of changes to the roadway network (extending roadways, expanding lanes, adjusting the directional flow of traffic) which takes time to review and evaluate.

    These reports are paid for by a private client expecting a specific result. Typically traffic studies are “calibrated” and “assumptions” are made in ways that favor the client in order for his development to get passed. All these calibrations and assumptions should be given the proper time to be reviewed and made sure nothing egregious was done. Don’t think the last minute posting of the traffic impact report wasn’t calculated to give the public as little amount of time as possible to review it and limit their disapproval.

    I’m fine with projects but the timeline for review needs to match the scale of the project. This one clearly doesn’t. At the end of the day they’re replacing an industrial site with development, common sense tells you this is something any normal person would be behind if done correctly.

  • FlamingoFresh