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Ignore the Pundits, Go and have a good time.

I read over on Parknews.biz that parking is full in Chicago. The mandarins at Streetsblog are heading for their fainting couches as people are actually driving to downtown Chicago and OMG not using public transportation. They are predicting carmageddon by summer when the museums open and hotels fill. There’s even an unreadable graphic showing traffic and parking in the Chicago Loop area. You can find the article on Parknews.

But wait. I took a moment and looked out the window. Rather I picked up the phone and spoke to a garage owner in Chicago and got a different story. It seems that with rare exception, the occupancy rates are running at 65% or so. Some garages, depending on their locations, are virtually empty. If people want to drive to downtown Chicago, bring them on, I’m told.

Is it possible that the agenda of the Streetsblog writers, that of bicycles, walking, and public transport may have slanted the article? My concern is that articles like this will keep people from coming downtown, even when there is plenty of parking.

The internet and its social media, wield great power. Unfortunately there are no editors to ask hard questions before stories like the one above hit the streets. Agenda driven stories abound.

I remember years ago when they closed the 405 here in LA for a day to remove a bridge the media went nuts. Carmageddon was predicted, disaster was to strike. There would be no way to drive on that day. Of course, the opposite happened. The freeways looked like Sunday at 3 AM. During the 1984 Olympics in LA (for those of you born before then), the city was predicted to be brought to its knees by all the folks coming to see the games. Non event event. LA was open and trouble free for those two weeks.

My suggestion is ignore the pundits. They are almost always wrong. If you want to go downtown, go, park, and have a good time.

JVH

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