Studies show space on the Drive for public transit may reduce traffic
August 9, 2013 7:56PM
A community member leaves her comments on a sticky note during a public meeting discussing plans to overhaul Lake Shore Drive on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. | Chandler West~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 12, 2013 6:35AM
The editorial “Here’s to a prettier Lake Shore Drive — but traffic comes first,” [Friday] argues “before investing in the huge cost of rail rapid transit investment, we need extensive documentation that it [public transportation] would lure a large number of people out of their cars.” There have been studies that have shown reducing traffic capacity for public transportation, pedestrians, bicycles, or green space does not cause traffic mayhem; rather, it reduces traffic. One such study titled “Disappearing traffic? The story so far,” based on over 70 case studies worldwide, shows that such alarmist predictions are rarely as bad as anticipated.
Lake Shore Drive is being redesigned with everyone in mind — not just auto traffic. All transportation projects should be built with moving people in mind, not traffic. Repurposing parts of Lake Shore Drive for bus or light rail are more efficient uses of space and will lead some people out of their cars, not cause more traffic. The evidence is in and it proves that the alarmism exhibited in this editorial is unfounded. Chicagoans and planners should recognize this. Moving people, not just traffic, should be the No. 1 priority.
Shaun Jacobsen, Sheridan Park
Immigration reform advances
The Senate is moving forward on an immigration reform bill our country has needed for years, and as an immigration attorney, I am feeling hopeful yet realistic. A majority of Americans are convinced that a path to citizenship done the right way will help our country. We have a supportive president and a bipartisan group of lawmakers working together to frame a common-sense solution that works for the undocumented, businesses, students, and families. So we are nearly there. But I worry that amendments that would impose questionable border enforcement criteria will block this chance for real reform. The changes we need to our broken immigration system should not be held hostage to an unachievable metric. Now is the time for real reform on a bipartisan basis, and I urge our senators to lead the way.
Tanaire Moyett, Oak Park