Localdelica: Complaint Department

I just now figured out that I’ve been living in the Chicago area for a whopping 30 years, having started when I left Peoria in 1978 to live with my first husband in Bolingbrook. This is going back so far that Old Chicago was still standing, and I swear upon my life that I actually saw The Jam perform there. From there, I moved to the Southwest Side (right in Midway Airport’s flight pattern), Lincoln Park, Wrigleyville, Rogers Park, back to Wrigleyville, Lincoln Square, Little Italy, Bridgeport, and then finally Evergreen Park. So, there you have it: That right there is pretty close to being a survey of Chicago neighborhoods, give or take a Wicker Park or Bucktown.

Although I have finally settled into Evergreen Park after four years here, I still consider myself primarily a city person. We opted to move here mainly because it was one of the few near suburbs that offered both affordable homes and decent schooling, and one of the few things that has made it palatable for me is that I can walk two blocks West or South and get either the Kedzie or the 87 bus. Most of the time it’s the Kedzie to the Orange Line, but I usually start out on the 87 bus when I set out on my 2-hour trips to Loyola Medical Center via bus, bus, train and bus.

Last Friday June 27, I waited at 87th and Sacramento (and then Francisco, then California) for almost half an hour, finally giving up and walking to my connection at Western Avenue. Once there, I waited just long enough to determine I was going to be at least half an hour late for the doctor’s appointment for which I had waited at least three months. Sweaty and frustrated, I watched the 87 bus finally lumber East at right about the time I crossed 87th to wait for the bus to go back home and reschedule my appointment (I’m now in for September 21st).

According to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) schedule, a bus should have arrived at one of my stops every two to nine minutes. I can understand that these things don’t always run according to schedule, but this is so far out of the ballpark as to be absurd. Having been told by a driver the last time I rode that bus that some of the drivers on that route will turn around (say at Pulaski) to avoid driving the whole route, I am calling out the CTA to take some action. Since my spouse rides the same route and has heard the same thing, it is time to stop looking the other way while your drivers personalize routes as they see fit.

I appreciate that the CTA generally does a fine job, and for every rogue driver there are several good ones. However, that in no way negates their responsibility for doing their best to ensure that every route is covered. It is unfortunate indeed that I now feel I must either change my route or schedule in enough time to hike to Western, a walk that I would normally enjoy but don’t really need at the start of a long trip.

berwyn spindle
(Photo courtesy of The Consumerist)

In other news, the latest example of encroaching gentrification in the Chicago area is the plan to replace the landmark Berwyn Spindle (otherwise known as the Car-Kabob) with a New Walgreens. Lord knows we are sadly lacking in the latter, but I wish they would just leave well enough alone and halt this movement to eradicate every last shred of individual character in Chicagoland. I have nothing agains Walgreens or Starbucks or most other chain establishments, I just think it’s a sad loss when irreplaceable landmarks are demolished to make room for them. Fortunately there has been a grass-roots effort to save the Spindle, including a protest by about 2000 Critical Mass bikers last Friday. I don’t know if anyone will listen, but I feel better just knowing that someone cares. If you want to help Save the Spindle, click on this link.

Greetings to those of you wandering in from the Britannica Blog. Although this weblog is by no means restricted to library-related topics, it will return to them from time to time. More important, what I consider library-related is very broad indeed and certainly encompasses the internet and most (if not all) of popular culture. And I have nothing against big, dusty tomes. Love them in fact. I just see them as one medium among many and just as open to challenge and critique as the rest.

1 Comment so far
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Thank you

Comment by Stuart Hobbes

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