To the Editor:
The University’s McMobil building will increase our parking problems, and I salute that. Instead of asking for more places to put our cars, we should learn from the greenest town in America – New York – that density means less parking, fewer cars – and less carbon dioxide. Last week the world set a 3 million year record for atmospheric CO2 and our efforts to add more are unwelcome.
Though we can’t very well build a New York style subway under 53rd Street, there are ways to get around the area with fewer cars. Walking and biking can be encouraged; pedicabs and trolleys would be nice. If the number 6 bus were re-routed to go down Lake Park, and 53rd were made a Metra “all train” stop, our new shopping corridor would attract more riders and fewer drivers. Then again, we could increase parking rates to purchase carbon offset credits.
My suggestions are amateurish if not worse. But there are people who really do know how to plan for sustainable urban development. The city itself has done an enormous amount of such planning and provides tax incentives for others to do so. And the university, having created this problem/opportunity for us, should be pitching in, too.
Seasons are changing, oceans are rising, Arctic ice is melting away; earth, air, fire and water have become increasingly deadly and costly enemies. Hyde Park has a history of action for the common good, and in its “Book of Hours” not a word is written about parking. We shouldn’t need Paul Douglas, or Leon Despres or Barack Obama to tell us that it is not the issue of our day, either.