Suck It Up, People | Letters | Chicago Reader

Suck It Up, People 

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To the editor:

[Re: Ben Joravsky's "Arrogance on Wheels," March 11]

The ways in which the city goes about implementing these projects are certainly not always scrupulous or fair (witness Mayor Daley's midnight assault on Meigs Field). Citizens should, and must, challenge any project that impacts on their lives. However, many of the same residents and business owners who feel threatened or inconvenienced by the Brown Line project have, for example, thought little about preserving the character of the city. I'm a longtime resident of Lakeview, and it seems that whenever I walk around the neighborhood another 100-year-old frame home is being torn down. "It's cheaper to rebuild than to renovate," they say.

Yes, some businesses will be affected, and Brown Line riders, myself included, will be forced to walk further or--heaven forbid--take the bus! Let's put this thing in perspective. The Green Line project closed down an entire line for three years. This caused many south-side residents to take the bus--maybe a second or third bus even--and many young people were faced with the choice of going around or through gang territory in order to get to school.

Not to be callous, but that's life in the Big City. Take a look at the swath the expressways cut through the city and the numbers of oddly shaped blocks and dead-end streets adjacent to them. The project forced thousands of longtime home and business owners to sell at "fair market value." The next time you zip up 90/94 to that weekend retreat in Wisconsin, ask yourself: Was the sacrifice worth it? Would you rather take Milwaukee Avenue or Lincoln Avenue up north, as folks did back in the good ol' days?

Ed Budzilowicz

N. Paulina

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