All these meetings asking for neighborhood input about how to make transportation (and other) changes at the Museum Campus--to make it more user-friendly and accessible and desirable--are driving me crazy.
How about leaving everything the way it is. What's the matter with that? The Museum Campus is already user-friendly, accessible and desirable.
The entire history--and future--of the universe exists in those Museum Campus buildings. How much more user-friendly can you get? And by the way, we don't need 59 Norman Rockwells and a Star Wars Memorabilia collection to round it out. The Museum Campus is fine right now.
There are rumblings that the number of tourists visiting the Museum Campus is down. Well, that's because people from elsewhere are scared to come here because of our people-shootings. To that I say get a Chicago-grown cop to head up the force. We don't need one from Newark/New York. We need a home-grown Chicago cop. Don't change the Musuem Campus before changing the top cop, Tiny Dancer.
Then there's all this talk that the transportation getting there is lacking. There's buzz about trolleys and special trains and boats and gondolas and everything else to get people over there. I think I even heard rumors about helicopters dropping people--for their utmost convenience--right into the exhibit of their choice.
To all of this I say this: add a few more buses. If there's a problem, simply increase the number of 146s; or add a few more 6s and 12s--and extend those two routes onto the campus. Of course, there's already a lovely walk that gets one there, most of which is out of traffic and provides good exercise.
And if the old tootsies give out, there's the Uber app. And bikes rule at the Museum Campus, too. Not to mention rickshaws galore. And if one happens to be coming from Navy Pier--unless it's the dead of winter--there's already wonderful water taxis that arrive in just a few short minutes--complete with a fabulous opportunity to take pictures of Chicago's famous lakefront.
But the powers that be seem to think that change is needed.
So, ok, let's follow a little money. Let's just follow a few dollars to see if we can figure out why all the emphasis on new ways to get over to the Museum Campus. I don't really think the pols care about the financial health and visitorship at the museums. Except perhaps the newly proposed Lucas Museum. (Is that because they like Hollywood big shots who marry local girls?) In fact, studies show--according to Friends of the Parks--that when tourists visit the campus, they pick only one day to visit and only one museum to visit and stick with it.
So back to the cash. What entity up there right by the Museum Campus needs a little better transportation, a little better accessibility for throngs and throngs and throngs and more throngs? And no, it's not Soldier Field. Which handles its loyal throngs best by letting them have cookouts outside on the backs of their SUVs while wearing Chicago Bears Jerseys.
Ding. Ding. Ding. You got it. It's that crazy, nutty, completely and totally out of place music venue that backs up against the Museum Campus, the 12th Street beach, Northerly Island, the Burnham Harbor (and the Burnham Park Yacht Club) and is pretty much disliked by everyone up there other than the throngs that descend on the place to hear the likes of groups I have either never heard of or who have seen their better day.
So watch for trolleys, gondolas and maybe even helicopters, folks. Anything to get the cash flowing into that goofy, creepy and very intrusive music emporium. I think that's what it's all about if you follow the money and the clout. Once you find out who really owns the place and books the acts and has the concessions there, they'd be the ones who really need to make the area more user-friendly.
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