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Old 07-11-2011, 02:49 PM
 
Location: St. Augustine
9,258 posts, read 10,866,236 times
Reputation: 7364
Quote:
Originally Posted by j_cat View Post
Dare I ask what that is supposed to mean? Anyway, there are young families here right alongside the young singles.

Many young married people are caught up in the "right this, right that" mania. Don't you know that? Where is your "here" anyway?

Are you trying to dismiss my point that improving the schools would bring working class people back to the city? Including working class people with white collar jobs? You know, just because a guy is white collar doesn't mean he isn't a regular guy and can't enjoy living at Belmont and Central, drinking in a neighborhood tavern and eating at the Greek diner on the corner. Indeed, many millions have done so. And we need for more to do so.
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park/East Village area
1,827 posts, read 1,543,598 times
Reputation: 1107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
Many young married people are caught up in the "right this, right that" mania. Don't you know that? Where is your "here" anyway?
This makes sense to you, maybe, I don't think anyone else is getting it.
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Chicago
35,647 posts, read 53,290,440 times
Reputation: 24024
Quote:
Originally Posted by j_cat View Post
Depends on $$$. There are some nice private schools for city people to use in the meantime.
You're right, it does depend on $$$. That's the whole point -- middle-class families don't have enough $$$ to live in the city and assure a quality education for their kids. So pointing to strollers and saying "see, there's young families here!" is a meaningless indicator if those families are simply going to cycle in and out of the city rather than move here and stay.
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:19 PM
 
1,496 posts, read 989,521 times
Reputation: 773
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
You're right, it does depend on $$$. That's the whole point -- middle-class families don't have enough $$$ to live in the city and assure a quality education for their kids. So pointing to strollers and saying "see, there's young families here!" is a meaningless indicator if those families are simply going to cycle in and out of the city rather than move here and stay.
Well looky here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by j_cat View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Strollers may not be a rare sight in these neighborhoods, but that's not really the issue. Track those stroller-wielding families for 10 years and see if they're still around long after the kid doesn't fit in a stroller any more. Which do you think is more likely: that they still live in their trendy and stroller-friendly little North Side enclaves, or that they have beat a retreat back to the suburbs?
I should also note that an awful lot can change in five or ten years, so it might be perfect timing.
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Chicago
35,647 posts, read 53,290,440 times
Reputation: 24024
^^ Anyone can make vague predictions. But one thing that hasn't changed over the last half a century is that middle-class families with kids to educate are still leaving the city, I see nothing to suggest that will suddenly change in 5 or 10 years. Or 20 or 30.
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:41 PM
 
2,053 posts, read 2,154,673 times
Reputation: 880
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
I see nothing to suggest that will suddenly change in 5 or 10 years. Or 20 or 30.
People will move back to the cities when it costs more to fill their gas tanks than it does to pay their mortgage.

What's the point in working if it takes half your pay just to get to and from work?
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Chicago
35,647 posts, read 53,290,440 times
Reputation: 24024
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrcousert View Post
People will move back to the cities when it costs more to fill their gas tanks than it does to pay their mortgage.

What's the point in working if it takes half your pay just to get to and from work?
You do realize that several million people not only live in the suburbs but work there too, right?
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:31 PM
 
2,053 posts, read 2,154,673 times
Reputation: 880
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
You do realize that several million people not only live in the suburbs but work there too, right?
Those people will probably stay put, but look at the freeways and you'll see that far more people commute to the cities than work in the suburbs.
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Chicago - Logan Square
2,685 posts, read 3,101,530 times
Reputation: 2058
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
^^ Anyone can make vague predictions. But one thing that hasn't changed over the last half a century is that middle-class families with kids to educate are still leaving the city, I see nothing to suggest that will suddenly change in 5 or 10 years. Or 20 or 30.
They aren't leaving in the same numbers they used to, and there are a number of forces that are making more stay. The biggest one is the over supply of condos. There are loads of parents who planned on bolting for the suburbs when their kids turned 3, but they can't unload their condos. Combine that with an uncertain job market and a lack of equity in a house/condo and you have a lot of people looking at CPS who wouldn't have 5 or 10 years ago. There also isn't the same automatic fear of cities that existed 10 or 20 years ago. People in their 20's who complain about strollers and kids in restaurants end up considering staying in the city when they have kids in their 30's because they saw all those kids around. It also doesn't help that Catholic Schools are raising tuitions and lowering standards due to shrinking parishes and settlements for sex abuse cases.

I'm seeing some evidence to back that up on the North and Northwest sides. They are loads of elementary schools that white professionals never would have sent their kids to 10-15 years ago, but they're doing it now. Many schools (like Audubon, Ravenswood, Coonley, Burr, Pulaski, Waters, Alcott, Goethe, and Prescott) are seeing enrollment increases and dramatic shifts in the demographics of their student bodies. It definitely seems to be the beginning of a wave - when I was touring a lot of elementary schools they would have stats showing that 15% or so of the students were white. When you go to sit in on classes or to school assemblies you find that K-2nd grade is 50% white and the higher grades are more like 5% white. Expansions of TBPK programs is also introducing parents to the schools early, and is working well as a way to funnel more kids into the neighborhood schools.

Also, the number of applications to both magnet and neighborhood schools skyrocketed this year. CPS changed the application process so it's hard to figure out the exact increase, but the number of students applying may have doubled. Also, schools use the number of students enrolling in SNAP programs as an indicator of the poverty level of the school, and if enough kids in a school are enrolled the school can qualify for Federal assistance programs. I know of at least two schools on the NW side that were blind sided by losing that funding due to students' families making too much money. I've heard rumors that the same thing has happened at 4 or 5 other schools, but can't really confirm it. It will be interesting to see what the final numbers are when the school year starts.
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:56 PM
 
956 posts, read 734,411 times
Reputation: 892
Quote:
Originally Posted by emathias View Post
...No, it doesn't. Magnet schools aren't a true choice, because they have to select you, and there's aren't nearly enough of them to meet demand. Magnet schools are also mostly for high-achieving students. When I say school choice for all students, it needs to also be a system that works for students who are average. The magnet system doesn't work for average students who end up stuck in whatever their local school is.

...Feasible and effective are not the same thing. I love mass transit rail. But a rail route that does not have downtown as a destination and runs mostly through areas with very low jobs densities and residential densities below 20,000 people per square mile will NEVER be cost effective. If you think I'm wrong, show me a single rail line, anywhere in the world, that contradicts that. Additionally, there is a huge rail belt where people talk about putting a Crosstown transitway, and it's just not pedestrian-friendly. There are plenty of pedestrian-friendly parts of the City, but we can either pretend it's possible to make the entire city pedestrian-oriented and continue to drive the manufacturing type jobs into the car-oriented suburbs, or we can allow the parts of the city that are already car-oriented to better serve that demand in the city instead of in the far suburbs.

At some point, we have to face facts if we want to actually rehabilitate the parts of the city that have been abandoned by even working-class people. And one fact is that highways are a marvelous and popular means of transportation in low-to-mid density areas.

Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul and other major cities have elevated expressways through the core that greatly help the areas they serve. What we know about highway design now compared to when the Ike and Dan Ryan and Kennedy were built, is vastly different. It is possible now to build a highway with far less disruption of the urban fabric. Just because it's currently popular to tear down certain highways around the nation doesn't discount the fact that highways are indispensable in the big picture nor that there are still areas where additional highways would add more benefit than they would detract.

An elevated highway running next (or even over) the existing rail lines on the Crosstown corridor would require much less disruption of existing areas, would isolate cross-town car traffic from local roads, would make it faster and easier for smaller manufacturers to locate in areas not currently near an expressway, and would dramatically reduce the number of traffic accidents in the areas served by the expressway. I'm talking about working to induce new use of areas that are already depopulated below the density of many close-in suburbs.
School choice outside of the magnet programs happens every day. Charters, vocational academies, classical schools. Kids have the option of trying to get into a traditional neighborhood school outside of their neighborhood boundary, space permitting. Do you need to be admitted? Sure, but average and below average students are admitted to these every year. These aren't strictly for the best and brightest. The problem with complete and total school choice is that every average student would want to go to the best elementary/jr high/high school within a 4-5 mile radius of their house, and you'd have a selective application process for the best of the "average" kids anyway, defeating your premise. The Kenwoods and Morgan Parks of the world would be even more selective because they'd have to screen a big pool of applicants for precious few spaces, and many neighborhood kids wouldn't be able to attend. School choice doesn't address the problem of poor schools in CPS. Until you magically reduce the poverty, single parent frequency, and other factors inside the city limits, nothing will really. That takes a lot of $$$ and a solid middle class willing to enroll their kids to subsidize the added expense of educating a kid from a less fortunate background.

Re: crosstown expressway. You can't compare Japan, India, China, Egypt, etc flyover expressways to something you're trying to build in an urban center in the US. Those countries have tremendously strong central governments that can displace a million inhabitants at the drop of a hat if they feel like it. Japan/Korea, less so, but much stronger than here. If Daley the elder met huge resistance in the 60s, when excitement over urban expressways was only beginning to wane, what makes you think anyone could get it done now, and more importantly, what problem will this solve? This type of stuff is not getting built in any major urban center in the US, Canada, Australia, etc anymore, and it's not without reason.

The relatively affluent, low density outlying neighborhoods like the Beverlys and Norwood Parks of the world are almost all within 2-3 miles of some expressway, just like their outlying counterparts. Meanwhile, the carless living on the rail corridors with a revised crosstown get: a) their neighborhoods carved up b) maybe bus service via terminals that ride on the expressway that get to go 15 mph in rush hour with the rest of us and c) a lost rail line, which is the only reason why some jobs are located along that belt in the first place. You could do dedicated bus lanes + truck lanes w/ rail, which = widening the right of way and displacing another 100K. Talk about getting screwed.

It may seem "harmless" to put a below grade or an expressway flyover through a neigborhood, but it absolutely destroys it. Look at Chicago's very own for fine examples. And that rail corridor doesn't just contain a bunch of slums, but also a number of working class areas with semi-vibrant to vibrant communities in place. Most of neighborhoods on that corridor are 10K to 20K per square mile density areas. Austin may seem "not dense" to you, but it's at 14K/sq mi and Hermosa is at 21K. Even Pullman is over 8K. These are more dense than Oak Park, Cicero, and Melrose Park, respectively. Maybe these areas aren't dense enough people or job-wise for rail. Fine. Put in BRT alongside the rail at grade with stops every 1/4 to 1/2 mile. There is enough room for both. Use tax incentives to relocate a lot of the light industry currently in the middle of the city closer to their potential employment base in this belt from areas like Goose Island, the Lake St Corridor, Elston/Clybourn, etc. It's not like a dock worker pulling down 20K a year can afford to live in many neighborhoods close to the current central PMDs as as it is. It will be worse 20 years from now. Build out areas like Goose Island for residential/commercial and take increase in property tax base to support the industrial corridor initiative. A guy from Ashburn Gresham or Chatham could then get to a job using BRT in Hermosa in 30-40 minutes or anywhere else in between (Midway included) in even less time.

If you wanted to damage these areas as much as you could, an expressway might be the way to do it; it's not going to improve those neighborhoods. Worse yet, it's pretty much an irreversible mistake.
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