Chicago Park District meeting was a waste of my time

To the Editor:

I ventured over to the event at South Shore Country Club Park today. I found that it was a waste of my time.

I inquired of the representative from CDOT “why the Park District was considering building two new pedestrian underpasses when they cannot maintain those that currently exist”. He responded that “he was aware that there was some flooding problems but they hope to rectify them in the near future”. He could not answer why they were even considering building new underpasses.

I then inquired “why are they going to rebuild the shoreline at the Country Club Park when they have failed to move on the promised rebuild of the shoreline between 45th Street to 51st Street”. He responded by stating “he had worked on the plans for the Morgan Shoals project but he had no idea when it would move forward”.

I then asked a CPD employee about the costs of infrastructure improvements attached to the golf course proposals and could not obtain an answer. Another attendee stated that he had been informed that the pedestrian underpass at 67th Street and South Shore Drive would cost 18.5 million dollars, the golf course pedestrian underpass would cost an additional 1.5 million dollars and the proposed shoreline improvements would cost 20+ million dollars. The CPD did not dispute these figures.

I then inquired about the Clarence Darrow Bridge rebuilding. I specifically inquired of a CDOT employee “has a funding source been identified for this project and has the funds been encumbered?”  He responded “that CDOT is only in phase 1 and that the answer to my two questions was no”. He said “everything regarding this project is subject to change”.

It appears to me that the public still knows nothing about what will happen to Jackson Park and no one wants to inform the public about the costs and funding mechanisms.

-Michael Hoke