A few weeks ago, a large disturbance at Montrose Beach turned violent. It made headlines. It also brought out the controlling "change" people.
As the Chicago Tribune points out, some are calling for the large parking lots to be turned into a bird sanctuary. That idea is, silly.
Alderman James Cappleman weighed in. He thinks reduced parking is the answer. Another ridiculous idea. This is the same inhumane alderman who tried to prohibit the Salvation Army from distributing lunches to homeless people.
Cappleman never investigated how and why the illegal concert was allowed to even set up, let alone begin. Is it any wonder why no one takes aldermen seriously?
Montrose Beach is the last bastion of lake front and parkland available to all classes of people. The free parking and its access by public transportation make it a great place for families to inexpensively enjoy the lake front.
It is far away from the tourist areas to the south, which are more expensive and somewhat exclusionary.
The Montrose Beach area also offers expansive park land for activities like soccer and other athletic pursuits. There is room for just about anything you want to do.
As the Tribune explains, it would be difficult for families to enjoy a day at the lake if not for the parking. How else can urban dwellers haul all their gear?
The Uptown area is gentrifying. With gentrification comes controlling people who want to exclude others from their area. They seem to believe they own the public spaces as well as their living spaces.
Many of these people are from suburbia. They bring their funny N.I.M.B.Y. ideas to our cultural urban oasis.
Montrose Beach does have problems. It gets overcrowded causing traffic jams, the closure of Lake Shore Drive entrance ramps, and delays in ambulances and other emergency personnel assisting those in distress.
These are not insurmountable problems. The Chicago Fire and Police departments have shown creativity in getting their personnel where they are needed. The C.F.D. has mini-ambulances, which can be stationed at crowded beaches. They have paramedics on bicycles.
An emergency triage center can be put in place and staffed on weekends to handle any medical problem.
Traffic congestion is a problem on the whole lake front every weekend. It is not limited to Montrose.
One incident, which could have and should have been prevented, is not a clarion call for change. It is a blip on the radar.
Montrose Beach, and its northern neighbors, are the last family friendly locations of the north side lakefront. They are also the most diverse and inclusive, crossing every demographic line.
We should keep them that way.
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