Jitneys Could Alleviate Chicago's Transit Inequality

Jitneys Could Alleviate Chicago's Transit Inequality
Neighborhoods near Chicago’s city limits on the South, Southeast, Southwest, and West sides have a well known longstanding transportation access problem, creating disparity in commute times to available jobs. Transit inequality severs a part of the city’s talent pool and slows regional job growth, and although the loss of economic opportunity is hard to measure with... Read more »

High-Traffic Avenues Are The Key To Urban Revitalization

There are those who claim traffic is a massive problem to be solved with other transportation options.  Some traffic, such as highway traffic, really doesn’t serve any useful economic purpose. But not so for street traffic of the streetcar, driving, or walking varieties.  Street traffic in the streets of a neighborhood is akin to blood... Read more »

McMansion-ize, Suburban-ize My City Part 1: The Reason For Homogenized Development and Mega-block Blank Walls

Whoops, there goes the neighborhood. Pictured above is the contrast between the extant cityscape on North Clark Street vs its replacement — an approved development at Addison and Clark. There is nothing Chicagoan about the prospective development.  The developers hope to get AAA-rated drug store or big box tenants.  They hope to land a world... Read more »

Chicago's In A Competition For 'Capital Of The Mid-continent'

Chicago Has Stiff Competition: Houston-Dallas and Atlanta Are Competing for Chicagos Turf At one time, Chicago was the undisputed capital of the mid-continent. There were no Southern cities that could come even close in scope, and all cities further West, except eventually Los Angeles, were in Chicago’s hinterland. Chicago’s domination to the West is well-noted... Read more »

Innate Problems With Public Housing

It’s easy to agree that society needs affordable housing for the more economically disadvantaged, but there is a shaky assumption underlying public housing programs.  People see homeless and poor on the streets, and many assume that that means there must be a shortage of affordable housing. Public statisticians calculate the percentage of affordable units and... Read more »

Contract writing: The difference between successful privatization and a public held hostage

Contract writing: The difference between successful privatization and a public held hostage The city of Chicago has been dabbling in elements of so-called “privatization,” and with mixed results. There’s Rahm’s “managed competition” to help bring down garbage collection prices. There’s the Chicago skyway lease. There’s the possible future Midway sell off. There’s contracted out call... Read more »

The Path To Vastly Improved Schools

The key to improved education: put the money back in parents’ hands There was a time in this country, not so long ago, when all education was private. Parents paid the bills for the school house. They hired and paid the teachers. They selected the books and paid for supplies. Although not every child went... Read more »

Sponsor A Pothole: A Cheap Way to Fix The Streets

Sponsor A Pothole: A Cheap Way to Fix The Streets
In Louisville, fixed potholes come with a curious message but an intriguing cost to the city: zero. KFC is already fixing potholes in Louisville and announced some time ago that it wants to do the same in Chicago. Here’s the reference link.  Chicago, a city with big financial problems, ought to consider signing contracts that... Read more »

An Underutilized Asset: Moving Maxwell Street Market

Maxwell Street Market used to be situated in a poor immigrant community serving as a market for those who could barely afford to keep the clothes on their back. It was a market for those rejected by the wealthy and genteel, or those derided by racists. It provided an opportunity for experimental musicians who wouldn’t... Read more »

Corporatism vs Capitalism: what the difference means for Chicago

I recently used this space to go on about how to change the city’s civic culture and restructure government from the bottom up (see here). But the beliefs of the citizenry governed are just as important to this city’s future as the method that that citizenry is governed because ultimately politicians must conform. It therefore... Read more »