Friday, June 8, 2007

change and progress

…are not necessarily synonymous. When I look at the change happening at Block 37 and the former Carson Pirie Scott building on State Street, I have mixed feelings.

I miss having Carson's on State Street. The word is that some of the space has been leased. Today I actually saw construction workers going in and out of the building and taking lunch breaks. I hope that there will be retail businesses that are actually of interest to me, instead of more disposable junk like cheapo shoe stores, H&M, etc.

The Block 37 construction has been a nightmare for months. It is affecting pedestrian and bike traffic, car traffic, bus traffic, and the CTA red and blue lines. In one of the most pedestrian-heavy areas of the Loop, all foot traffic is compressed onto one side of the street, causing pedestrian gridlock. Today I noticed the long skinny snout of a concrete pumper sending concrete up to around the 20th floor. I will be celebrating when the building is enclosed and adjacent sidewalks and street lanes reopen to traffic. That can't happen soon enough.

I hope that any new businesses added at these two locations will be a positive addition both in what they sell and the jobs they offer.

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