To the Editor:
Today I walked the perimeter of the proposed changes necessitated by the Obama Presidential Center and the Tiger Woods Golf Course.
The building of the parking garage and returning the athletic fields between 62nd Street to 63rd Street to the Park District is a positive development. I also believe that the assumption of the costs for the parking garage by the OPC is good for the taxpayers. I would hope that the OPC consider placing the sledding hill above the parking garage.
The widening of Lake Shore Drive will impact first the Lawn Bowling site, secondly require a new bridge over the entrance to the 59th Street harbor and probably require the shutting down of the harbor for some period of time, third it will require the removal of mature trees and the new vegetation planted in recent years by Project 120 and the Army Corp of Engineers and finally the closing and extension of the pedestrian tunnels located just north of Hayes Drive and at 59th Street.
Adding two lanes to Stony Island Avenue between 63rd Street and 59th Street, to make it an eight lane roadway, will require a great deal of park land, which might not be necessary. CDOT should consider restricting parking on Stony Island Avenue during peak hours of usage and installing a reversible lane instead of widening the street.
The proposed CDOT changes will be expensive and their claim of additional park land being created is dubious.
Editor’s Note: Mr. Hoke sent this as a separate letter on Monday, Aug. 28.
To see why I have concerns regarding the pedestrian underpasses in Jackson Park take a look at the underpass at 59th Street. It has been flooded for over three weeks with no attempts by CPD to repair same.
The underpass at Marquette Drive and LSD was flooded for three years before CDOT repaired same after the Golf Association made its desire known to build two new underpasses.
Why build something new when you cannot maintain what you currently have?