To the Editor:
The article “More lighting, new signage on 57th Street approved by majority in new survey” failed to account for the opinions held by many of the residents near the proposed 57th Street improvements. At the public meeting it was in general agreement that the limited South East Chicago Commission funding would be welcomed for items like banners, landscaping and way-finding signs.
What was not in general agreement was more lighting. When the survey respondents indicated that they wanted more lighting, what they were actually looking for is higher quality lighting – that is, lighting designed to light the streets, sidewalks and viaduct without wasting light, energy and money up and sideways and into residents’ bedrooms. The limited options for pedestrian lighting presented failed to do so and lacked any good details about their implementation onto the very mixed-use street that is 57th Street.
What works in downtown Chicago and Harper Court will not work on blocks of residences and small businesses. While it is understandable that this funding is for improvements, it highlights deeper concerns of sidewalk maintenance, street surface, drainage and infrastructure that do not match the character of 57th Street and its connection between the Museum of Science and Industry and the University of Chicago. We look forward to improvements that are real improvements.
Dean W. Armstrong