50 Wards in 50 Weekdays: 43rd Ward’s Shannon Golden says North Side crime sometimes ‘brushed under the rug’

June 5, 2012

(WBEZ/Sam Hudzik)
Shannon Golden, with Sophie, in Lincoln Park.

Shannon Golden gets that road construction needs to happen. But does it have to happen all at once? And why does it take so long?

“There's already so much traffic here, so it kind of just adds on to the problem, and it just gets kind of out of hand," Golden says. "It took me 20 minutes to get from [the Fullerton exit from] Lake Shore Drive to my apartment, and so that’s obviously pretty annoying."

That’s 20 minutes to go 0.7 miles, according to Google Maps. Ouch. That’s bad even by Lincoln Park standards.

Golden grew up in the Rogers Park neighborhood on the Far North Side, and about three years ago she moved to Lincoln Park. She’s a medical student and the neighborhood is central to the area hospitals she rotates through.

Her dog, Sophie, likes the neighborhood for other reasons.

“There’s a lot of other dogs and she kind of just [BARK, BARK] does this at them the whole time,” Golden says, with Sophie scowling at an enemy across the street. “It’s also great for walking, because you know the zoo’s right there and there’s so much to do, so it’s really great.”

Besides construction, Golden’s main gripe is public safety.  She says crime gets “brushed under the rug sometimes.”

For example last spring there was a woman pushed down the stairs at the nearby CTA rail station on Fullerton. She died.

“And then there was cops all over there all the time. But then now you go by there at two in the morning” and there are no police there, she says. “The issue has just kind of been put to the wayside. But you know it’s still a college-y area with, like, young women walking by themselves all of the time. So, you know, [the city should] just maybe focus on those areas.”

“Not all the crime happens on the South Side. There’s still stuff going on everywhere.”

Her criticism is general, not directed at the city’s relatively new mayor, Rahm Emanuel. She thinks he’s doing pretty well.

Golden went to Chicago Public Schools growing up, finishing at Whitney Young High School. She has this to say about her experience, a timely message as the school district negotiates a new contract with teachers:

“I think there needs to be recognition that teachers are the people that are going to push all of us to the next level in our lives. So you know they need to be taken care of.”