Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Olympics and the "benefits" to the Southwest Side

After I have written three columns addressing the absence of any significant role for the Southwest Side of Chicago in the 2016 Olympics, Congressman Dan Lipinski and Ald. Mike Zalewski, naturally, have been trying to spin a different angle.

Let's be honest, that they "might" use the Bridgeview Stadium for soccer games is a no-brainer. All the thanks for that goes to Bridgeview Mayor Steve Landek who is responsible for bringing int he stadium against much odds and opposition.

But the truth is that while two Southwest suburbs will get tokenism and a little something, (Palos will get some bike Path racing -- wow! Big Deal), the majority of the capital improvements and new infrastructure will go to the rest of Chicago, NOT the Southwest Side.

Here's a great feature by writer Chuck Salvatore on Lipinski and Zalewski's "rah-rahing."

Personally, I think the Southwest Side is, ONCE AGAIN, getting screwed because our elected officials were ONCE AGAIN asleep at the switch.

They're going to be rebuilding in East and south Side of Chicago. Whatever residue the Southwest Side gets will be people zipping through, to and from, Midway Airport. Maybe. So we'll get some CTA congestion. But none of those tourist dollars will make their ways into the starving pockets of Southwest Side Chicago businesses that have been long abandoned by the state Chamber of Commerce and our government.

Hell, Mayor Daley sent a message out loud and clear when he moved to the "South Loop" suburb-in-a-city years ago abandoning Bridgeport, once the firewall of Southwest Side clout. These days, the clout is just a memory.

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