Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Love or hate the 2016 Olympics, they'll leave Chicago and the Midwest in better shape

Yes, I am not a fan of the slogan "Let Friendship Shine" either, but I am in favor of the lasting impact the 2016 Olympics could have on Chicago and the Midwest as a whole.

In late April of this year, the Chicago Tribune reported on a massive $15.5 billion plan to rejuvenate and expand transportation, parks and commercial space downtown. Besides fixing the glaring problem of no CTA trains directly connecting to the Ogilvie Transportation Center or Union Station, the plan would also provide a train from the United Center to Millennium Park via Monroe St. The real key would be connecting Ogilvie and Union Station, which are only 2 blocks apart, so that passengers could easily transfer between the stations without having to face the fantastic weather that Chicago is notorious for most of the year.

The Olympics and Chicago will make big money, not on parking garages, but on accommodating as many visitors as possible from the surrounding Midwestern states, the rest of the country and the world (Thank you O'Hare) in a clean and walkable city that is not choked with traffic jams, but bustling in, out and all over with fast, expansive and seamlessly integrated public transportation, including one of my favorite proposed projects, the CTA Circle line.

When the Olympics pack up their big top and head back to Copenhagen, Chicago will be left with just that. A fast, expansive and seamlessly integrated public transportation network that serves not only the City of Big Shoulders, but all travelers and freight coming to or passing through Chicago.

I am not ecstatic about the crowds or craziness that the 2016 Olympics could reign down upon Chicago and it's fair citizens, but for tolerating one wild summer, Chicago and the entire region could be rewarded with billions of dollars of lasting infrastructure improvements that must hit an immovable deadline, rather than so many worthy public works projects that keep getting pushed further and further down the line -- I'm am looking at you 2nd Ave Subway.

Support Chicago's bid for the 2016 Games... even if you don't plan on being here for them.

As they say, BACK THE BID (If you live in Chicago, please email your Alderman if nothing else)

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Blogger United787 said...

What is the status of the Circle Line? The CTA board approved moving forward with the engineering of the Yellow, Red & Orange line extensions with no mention of the Circle Line...

1:06 PM  

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