Friday, February 13, 2009

First Take on the 'Final' Chicago Bid

Let's be honest, it's impossible to sort through the 500+ pages of bid information quickly. However, as I thumbed through the plan, the venue portion (volume 2) did impress me. The 'Olympic Waterfront' cluster, which is centered around Grant Park, Museum Campus, McCormick Place and the new proposed Olympic Village, would truly be spectacular and showcase some of the most beautiful areas of our city to the entire world.
However, the biggest disappointment has to be the Transportation plan. Our hope, as well as many other people judging by the comments on this article on, was that the Olympics could serve as a spring board for the City, State and Federal governments to invest and upgrade our decrepit CTA. Anyone living in Chicago knows upgrades are desperately needed!

We were hoping for some new lines (maybe the circle line project) or something connecting the Olympic Village to the rest of the CTA. Amazingly this doesn't exist. I think it goes without saying that the Olympics would bring funding for the CTA, but right now it looks like it would solely be used to upgrade the existing system; which is needed but not the scale we were hoping for.

However, 2016 is a lonnnnnnnng time away! If Chicago gets the Olympics it wouldn't surprise me if the transportation plan changes (remember Chicago and the US are all about CHANGE these days thanks to Obama). I know it would cost a lot to expand the CTA, but we see this as an opportunity Chicago can't pass up.

More Olympic thoughts to come as we continue to read, listen and digest all that is the 2016 Olympic bidding process...

No comments: