Gazette Chicago 06 02 2017 E Edition Page 1

INSIDE By Eva Hofmann According to 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett, the time has come for the concrete median planters on West Madison Street between Halsted Street and Ogden Avenue to go. The alderman is considering a proposal to remove the planters, which divide east and west traf- fic on Madison. The City installed them more than 20 years ago as part of Mayor Richard M. Daley's move to beautify the Near West Side and West Loop ahead of the 1996 Dem- ocratic National Convention. "Basically, it's to free up traffic," said Reginald Stewart, chief of staff at Alderman Burnett's office. Tak- ing out the wide concrete plant- ers would allow for turning lanes at some intersections, clearing up traffic during peak hours. Traffic on that stretch gets congested, Stewart said, especially during rush hour and before and after United Center events. "There is no down side," Stew- art said. "These planters were in- stalled back in the day, when Mad- ison Street was Skid Row and there was no traffic. Today, we have mul- tiple businesses and residences as well as the United Center, so we have major traffic backups. With A free, independent community newspaper since 1983. Near West/Tri-Taylor University Village West Loop South Loop West Haven Bridgeport/Armour Square Chinatown Bronzeville East Pilsen Heart of Chicago Reactions mixed to removal of cement planters on Madison Street in West Loop Continued on page 6 OTHER HIGHLIGHTS Chicago Center for Arts and Technology makes it debut. See page 11. Learn about community events in Around the Neighborhood. See page 16. Public's greater good, not that of elites, should be reasons for City actions. See Editorial. See page 30. $50 million in TIF funds allocated for new South Loop Elementary School. See page 20. Property Markets Group wants to build with "social responsibility" in Pilsen. See page 3. Rush to move offices into former National Republic Bank Golfers divided on City's proposed Jackson Park, South Shore golf courses merger Continued on page 13 By Igor Studenkov The proposal to consolidate and upgrade two of the South Side's big- gest public golf courses is getting a mixed response from the golfers who use them. Late last year, the Chicago Park District announced it was looking into combining the Jackson Park and South Shore golf courses into a sin- gle golf course and adding upgrades to make the new course suitable for national tournaments. The process remains in the early stages, with the Park District currently conducting an engineering study. Interviews with golfers on both courses revealed mixed opinions. Some said they would appreciate the upgrades and the community development they could bring, while others worried the improve- ments would cause prices to go up, shutting out less well off players. Still others felt consolidation would happen anyway, with the best they could hope for being to ensure the community benefits in the process. The Jackson Park Golf Course opened in 1899, while the South Shore Golf Course opened in 1907. Jackson was publicly owned from the beginning, while South Shore started as a private country club. Jackson is located in Woodlawn between Hayes Drive, Lake Shore Drive, Stony Island Avenue, and 67th Street; South Shore is located in the South Shore neighborhood between Lake Shore Drive, the shore of Lake Michigan, and 71st Street. The former is not fenced off, but the latter is, though the public Continued on page 8 The Chicago Air and Water Show, featuring aerial thrills and water spills, is only one of the many attractions to enjoy this summer. For a roundup of all the fun, see Gazette Chicago's annual "Summer in the City" guide beginning on page 22. New bicycle lanes are coming to the Near West Side and South Loop communities. See page 14. June 2, 2017 Vol. 35, No.2 CHICAGO By Susan S. Stevens At a recent community meeting, Rush University Medical Center received neighbors' approval to move offices into the former Na- tional Republic Bank of Chicago building at 1201 W. Harrison St., although several expressed con- cern about the property's zoning. "I will work to ensure what we committed to today," Ald. Jason Ervin (28th Ward) told the 16 area residents who attended a commu- nity meeting May 17. He said he would make certain that a zoning

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