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I Live In Chicago (born And Raised)


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And I will admit I have mixed feelings on the Olympics coming to Chicago.

Would Chicago be a 'good' venue for the Olympics and would it be a beautiful setting for the summer games? Heck yes!

Does Chicago have the sports facilities necessary and park space available for good competition settings? Definitely.

Would we benefit from the tourism and influx of money/jobs? Yes, absolutely.

Here's where my opinions differ, though.

Consider that roughly a million additional people will rotate in town for part or all of the Olympic period...

Does Chicago have the infrastructure to support this? All the hotels downtown would be booked up, but those folks are already downtown, near the majority of the events.

Hotels near O'Hare Airport would be booked up, and hotels out further on the 90 in the Schaumburg area would be booked up, so how would those daily commuters get into downtown for the events scheduled? The Kennedy expressway is already a parking lot, even at odd times and off-hours, so driving in would be a nightmare. Metra is overbooked, and the CTA Blue line only goes out to O'Hare, and that's had construction slowdowns off and on for years.

Hotels near OakBrook would be booked up, as well as Naperville/Lisle area, meaning the 290 would be slammed as well. There's only the Metra or various expressway options from those suburbs. We have an existing congestion problem and public transportation crowding issue now without the additional burden of the Olympic tourism crowd.

Mayor Daley has allowed an incomprehensible new metering contract in the city proper that is already controversial and is arguably driving business away from local businesses because it is simply too expensive and inconvenient to park. Does the city intend to make its money off of the Olympic crowd by ticketing and towing cars? That's not a very friendly face of an Olympic city, if you ask me.

I do not follow very well, nor am I an expert on the Chicago city budget issues, so I can't really speak to all of that. I am pointing out logistical hurdles that I see as a resident of Chicago.

That said, if the Olympics DO come to Chicago you can bet your butt I'd spend good money to attend many events, since having the Olympics in my home town is probably a once-in-a-lifetime event! ;-)

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Fractal, welcome.

It'll all work out. Atlanta, LA, Salt Lake/Placid...heck even, tiny Squaw Valley all SURVIVED and have added the Olympics to their histories. People who can't be bothered will leave and rent out their homes; and people who are booked out, end up in private rentals. There will BE NO TRAFFIC because vacations have been shifted; deliviries happen LATE AT NIGHT, etc., etc. Atlanta and LA had the clearest freeways during the Olympic periods.

You see...it'll all WORK OUT in the end.

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Plus, don't forget that Rosemont has the Blue Line. I'm sure that the city will encourage people to take public transportation like with other big events in the city. I'm willing to bet the CTA and Metra will increase the amount of trains for those weeks as well as Pace and CTA with buses. Heck, maybe the whole system will be like rush hour all day in terms of how many trains and buses are operating. The hotels in the suburbs should have shuttle buses to get to the trains. So not much worry on public transport.

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