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Urbanophile Blog Says Chicagoans Don't Want Better Transit

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Mike Doyle

Since 2005 scribe of the local blog, Chicago Carless. I invite you to visit.

urbanophileLocal urban-affairs blogger Aaron Renn says there's a very good reason Chicago doesn't have a world-class transit system: it doesn't want one. Recently on his The Urbanophile blog, Renn began a multi-part series examining why Chicago never seems to be able to get its act together to plan, build, and maintain innovative public-transit infrastructure the likes of which other world cities have enjoyed for years. Even though Chicagoans love to complain at length about the CTA, could it be we actually think the agency is doing a good-enough job?

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Urbanophile Blog Blasts Nichols Bridgeway

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Mike Doyle

Since 2005 scribe of the local blog, Chicago Carless. I invite you to visit.

monroestreet--aaron renn(Photo: Lifeless Monroe Street beyond Nichols Bridgeway.Credit: Aaron Renn.)

In May, I threw down the charge for local bloggers to set aside starchitect fandom in their reviews of Renzo Piano's new Art Institute of Chicago Modern Wing. This week, Aaron Renn, author of the widely noted urban-analysis blog, The Urbanophile, took up the challenge. A fan of the Modern Wing's exterior, in an epic post, Renn considers the elevated Nichols Bridgeway and Monroe streetscape, below, in the same copious detail for which his blog has become known in national planning circles. And much like the mood of one local critic after reading my original post, Renn does not come away happy.

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Uptown Update: Why Mum's Not the Word on Wilson Yard

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Mike Doyle

Since 2005 scribe of the local blog, Chicago Carless. I invite you to visit.

uptownupdateI get a kick out of Uptown Update, the popular community news blog for the North Side's Uptown neighborhood. It's always entertaining. But not always for the right reasons.

For the past couple of years, its claim to fame--along with Buena Park Neighbors and the Uptown Neighborhood Council--has been vituperative opposition to Holsten Corp.'s $150 million Wilson Yard redevelopment project on the site of a former CTA rail yard on Broadway between Montrose and Sunnyside. Potential development plans for the rail yard (whose story is well summarized on railfan site Chicago-L.org) were vetted with 46th Ward residents beginning in the late 1990s, leading up to the creation of a Wilson Yard Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district by city ordinance in 2001.

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