More Lakefront Parks? Yay or Nay?

June 18, 2008

So, I'm not producing today, but I am working on a couple of stories.

The "newsier" items are that Government Accountability Office has sided with Boeing over the Pentagon's multi-billion dollar tanker deal the Chicago-based behemoth had lost out on. Boeing said the Air Force dropped the ball by awarding the contract to the parent company of their main rival, Airbus. The Air Force will now review the decision, and may fork over some or all of the contract to Boeing.

I also chatted with Sen. Dick Durbin about off-shore oil drilling and the stalled electronic surveillance bill -- FISA. Both should be That conversation is up on the City Room shortly now.

One story we're not running, but I find very interesting is about a plan to expand park land on the city's lakefront.

In fact, Friends of the Park is hoping to build man-made islands just off the current shoreline for the new parks -- hit the link for nifty renderings. Erma Tranter of Friends of the Park says Daniel Burnham would want nothing more than to re-claim the remaining few miles of Chicago's lakefront. She even tells me 80% of Chicagoans would support such a plan -- but admits no formal polling on the issue has been done, nor has a feasibility study been put forth.

One opponent I chatted with today says the plan will cost taxpayers several million arms and/or feet, create annoying construction noise, and is flat out unnecessary. He counters FOP's renderings with his own, that show a sneaky northward expansion of Lakeshore Drive even though Friend's of the Park say no such plans exist.

Friends of the Park is holding a public hearing on the issue tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Broadway Armory.