Thursday, October 1, 2015

Public Hearings on Proposed Lucas Museum Unsurprisingly Provide Varied Perspectives

One thing is certain about the proposed Lucas Museum - people are passionate about their opinions.

And that certainty apparently rang true during public hearings on the proposal (via Chicago Tribune):
Opinions about the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art ranged from excitement to distaste as residents got their first chance to speak about the proposed addition to the lakefront at two public hearings this week. 
"I'm here absolutely enraged by them taking away public land for private enterprise," said Jim Purgatorio, 72, before a hearing Wednesday. "My major concern is that if we allow them to do this, that there's no end to the land grab that people are going to make beyond this." 
Others, like Martin Thaler, 60, a professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, came to the hearings just to learn more about the project. 
"I'm fascinated by George Lucas and the idea behind the museum," Thaler said. 
The Chicago Park District sponsored the hearings Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss museum plans for architecture, landscaping and traffic.

While this debate isn't necessarily new news, there were some new details that came out of the meetings.

Specifically, it looks like some engineers believe that the museum wouldn't impact traffic:
The most anticipated portion of the presentation was about traffic and the impact the museum would have on drivers. Chris Hutchinson, senior traffic engineer with Terra Engineering, said during Tuesday's hearing that most people would be using East 18th Drive to get to the museum and that analysis shows there would be little effect on traffic. 
"Most of the traffic entering the area is going to be using the interchange at Lake Shore Drive and 18th, and really what we found evaluating these new trips that are coming to the Lucas Museum is really 18th, Museum Campus (drive) and this area right now is very underutilized," Hutchinson said. "The signals currently run flash, they don't really run unless there's something going on because there's just no traffic down there."

Not sure if we're buying that, but such is life.

While the museum by no means is a guarantee at this point, it seems likely that it's going to move forward.  This is just intuition on our part, so obviously take it with a grain of salt.

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