Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I'd like to ask a few questions about the referendum that gets so much lip service around here. According to an article in last week's Reader:

http://www.chicagoreader.com/pdf/051028/051028_works.pdf

The referendum asked this question:“Should local, state andfederal governments allowextension of Lake Shore Driveor establishment of any otherroadways, marinas, housing orcommercial structures as partof any lakefront expansionfrom Hollywood Avenue toEvanston?” If this is the actual language used, then I would suspect that people voted against expansion of LSD first and foremost and not development of the lakefront overall. If this is the language used then the referendum is a joke. Who drafted this referendum? What purpose did they intend it to serve? It would seem to me that it is designed to block all development of the lakefront even if it were for park space.

Using LSD expansion paranoia to block all development on the Lakefront does a disservice to this community and makes us all look foolish. Responsible development of the Lakefront is a great way to bring much needed resources to Rogers Park. I am concerened that certain members of the community are more concerned with the well being of fish or possibly their own lakefront property than they are about their neighbors and the well being of our neighborhood.

2 comments:

nico's mom said...

I too was disturbed by the wording of that referendum (I thought it was too broad) and I did not vote for it, even though it was non-binding. I was also disturbed that Don Gordon was quoted so extensively in the Reader article -but that's the journalist's fault, not Don's.

I attended some of the community planning meetings that the Conservancy organized to gather community ideas about what they want in the park. My impression is that what you want is not that far from what the consensus is. Whether that is what the Conservancy will end of advocating for is another issue, but I hope they will keep the trust of those who participated in those meetings. We shall see.

Personally, what you want and what I want are more or less identical (except I'd add a dog park!) I, too, have worried that the voice of those who prefer the status quo or a return to the forest is disproportionately loud, and I have wondered what compromises would be worth making.

I am grateful to the large contribution the Conservancy made to defeating the Evanston Marina - I think that was before your time up here and believe me that would have been awful - don't take my word for it, look at the studies of how the changes in tidal flows would have washed up their refuse on to our beaches and eventually cause the beaches to infill with sand. It was ugly.

So I feel a little bit torn about the Conservancy. I think they do good, but I also think that some of their goals are a bit too radical and not really representative.

Michael K said...

Agreed. I do not want to discredit any good works that have been done but too often radical voices are the loudest. Just look at the news. I fear those who are in the majority are often quietly waiting for someone else to take care of things while special interest groups, both on the left and the right, disregard their wishes.