The proposed sports center has the potential to be a great community amenity. However, if bike and pedestrian access aren't thoughtfully done to maximize safety by minimizing conflicts with motorized traffic, it would create a negative aspect to a facility that should be equally accessible to vulnerable users and drivers. Streetsblog Chicago has published a thoughtful piece on this aspect of the plan.
Many have voiced concerns about the center's potential to significantly increase car traffic in the area of 115th and Western. This is another compelling argument to maximize the ease of pedestrian and bike access so that more people will walk or bike to the center rather than driving.
Others have questioned the wisdom of spending millions on yet another piece of infrastructure when so much of our existing infrastructure (roads, sidewalks, sewers, etc.) is poorly maintained. A few have commented that this feels like a "let them eat cake" (while our streets crumble) moment. They have a point. I would love to see our miles of deteriorated sidewalks made more walkable again. Getting our streets in better condition would make biking much safer and more enjoyable.
What are your thoughts?