I have thought about this A LOT -- ever since North Avenue began looking like a suburban mall zone.
"I wonder what is being done to handle new
traffic patterns and the added congestion from
building going in south of North Avenue?
Whole Foods -- the British School---Twin
condo towers that will be thirty stories tall--
All this added traffic will be pouring onto North
Avenue and Clyborn and Halsted Street.
Who is planning this stuff? Where's the city
Here are my hunches.
At least three different alderman's wards converge in that area: Burnett, Matlak, and Daley. Maybe some others.
And, there is almost no one living there. So, there is no citizen base to fight the changes, question them, or encourage design improvements. Furthermore, the aldermen are not requiring that developers include housing in conjunction with all those shopping malls. That would have the benefit of making that area a truly mixed-use community. Thus, all possibility of a civic life has been drained from the area.
As the area lacks a complete voice, the developers get to do whatever they want, more or less, and traffic will not be addressed until it is too late.
Matlak touts the new North Avenue bridge and several new traffic lights along North Avenue as the cure for the congestion, but I don't get how that will be, except for the first few hours after the bridge officially opens.
Finally, over here in Lincoln Park, the citizenry has been sliced, diced, and roto-chopped into such small subgroups of community organizations that no one has the collective power to say: "Hey, enough is enough! Have some vision and build something that is vibrant, alive, and HOUSES PEOPLE AND CITIZENS."
Aaaarch. The whole thing frustrates the heck out of me. They had an opportunity to enhance that small part of the city and make it really thrive all the way to the expressway. Now, it's just another ugly shopping strip devoid of human presence when the shops are closed and enabled by a bunch of alderman who are all too free to say, "Not my ward."