WBEZ | U.S. Census Bureau http://www.wbez.org/tags/us-census-bureau Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en A trip on the Metra Rock Island reveals vast emptiness on the South Side http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-03-29/trip-metra-rock-island-reveals-vast-emptiness-south-side-84407 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-March/2011-03-29/untitled shoot-022.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-March/2011-03-29/untitled%20shoot-022.jpg" style="width: 599px; height: 330px;" title=""></p><p>Travel through some parts of the South Side these days. The emptiness is startling.</p><p>The void is particularly noticeable along the Metra Rock Island line. I&nbsp;take this line daily between downtown and my house. The ride begins at LaSalle Street station at Congress at LaSalle, where tall buildings peer down on the train platform and ends 20 minutes later in the Beverly neighborhood. In between--largely between Gresham station at 87th and the Illinois Institute of Technology campus at 35th--there is a breathtaking void.&nbsp;</p><p>And not just vacant lots. That's <em>so</em> 1980s. These days, there are entire sections of neighborhoods, ripped up, grassed-over and gone. The now-demolished Robert Taylor and Stateway Gardens housing projects occupied two miles of this space and new housing has been slow to reemerge there. The 2010 demolition of Kennedy King College at 69th and Wentworth left a crater in the city grid (see the photo above) two-and-half blocks wide and three blocks deep. In other areas along the ride, bits and pieces of neighborhoods just ebbed away...</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-March/2011-03-29/untitled shoot-032.jpg" title="" width="507" height="380"></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-March/2011-03-29/untitled%20shoot-038.jpg" style="width: 640px; height: 298px;" title=""></p><p>The much-discussed 2010 U.S. Census disclosed the city lost 200,000 people over the past decade. That's like the entire population of Little Rock AR, or Des Moines IA just packing up and leaving.&nbsp;The view from the ground not only shows what some of that loss looks like; it underscores the need for something to be done about it as well.</p></p> Tue, 29 Mar 2011 12:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-03-29/trip-metra-rock-island-reveals-vast-emptiness-south-side-84407 Top cop: Chicago won’t redraw beat maps anytime soon http://www.wbez.org/story/beat-realignment/top-cop-chicago-won%E2%80%99t-redraw-beat-maps-anytime-soon <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Jody_Weis_by_Getty.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago may not have enough cops in its highest-crime neighborhoods, but police Supt. Jody Weis says the city won&rsquo;t redraw patrol maps anytime soon.<br /><br />Realigning the city&rsquo;s 285 beats would shift officers and cars to where they&rsquo;re needed most, an idea popular with some aldermen on the city&rsquo;s South and West sides. Weis himself had been talking it up for two years.<br /><br />But aldermen in low-crime areas voiced fears that they would lose protection. And the Fraternal Order of Police said its contract constrained where the city could assign officers.<br /><br />Now Weis is talking about a different approach. At a Chicago Police Board meeting last Thursday, the superintendent said the city would not redraw beat maps, at least for now. &ldquo;We certainly don&rsquo;t intend to do that until the wards have been redrawn,&rdquo; Weis said, according to the meeting <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/Chicago_Police_Board_public_meeting_20110217.pdf">transcript</a>.<br /><br />What do political boundaries have to do with policing? WBEZ on Tuesday asked Weis spokeswoman Lt. Maureen Biggane, but she didn&rsquo;t answer.<br /><br />The police department, meanwhile, is sticking close to the status quo. In a written statement, Biggane said that includes sending mobile units to high-crime areas &mdash; an approach she calls less costly than realigning the beats.<br /><br />&ldquo;None of these methods entail realigning districts or beats,&rdquo; Biggane wrote. &ldquo;However, the process is continual and fluid. Additional data, including recent Census Bureau figures, will be taken into account as the process moves forward.&rdquo;</p></p> Tue, 22 Feb 2011 21:36:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/beat-realignment/top-cop-chicago-won%E2%80%99t-redraw-beat-maps-anytime-soon