White Sox and fans would benefit from transforming parking lots into a neighborhoodon April 7, 2021 at 7:00 pm

Thank you for the Sun-Times editorial pointing out that the 70 acres of parking lots surrounding Sox Park remain a lost opportunity for redevelopment. The White Sox would also benefit from their development, since White Sox fans would no longer face the prospect of every game being book-ended by traffic jams on the Dan Ryan. Sox fans could linger in the neighborhood to shop, eat and play, just as Cub fans do in Wrigleyville.

Let’s be honest: The difference in attendance between our two teams has more to do with their neighborhoods than with baseball.

Soon after the Chicago Journal, a now-defunct paper covering the Near West and South Sides, suggested in 2005 this vision for a “Comiskeyville” or “Soxville” on these vacant lots, the White Sox revealed plans to develop a portion of the parking lot north of 35th Street. That plan was started, and that’s when the Chisox Bar & Grill and Chicago Sports Depot were built. Those businesses were to serve as a bridge between the development and the ballpark, but then the 2008 recession hit and construction stopped.

The Sun-Times is right: it’s time to get it going again.

Jeff McMahon, Bridgeport

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Getting back on public transit

Thanks for Laura Washington’s column “Chicago, let’s get back on the L and do our part to save public transit” and for Satchel Price’s news story surveying Chicagoans’ views on the matter. They indicated they will go back to regularly riding transit after the pandemic.

Rest assured, CTA, Metra and PACE are working at unprecedented levels on cleaning, sanitizing and making transit safe. The average annual savings is $12,000 for a Chicagoland resident who switches his or her daily commute from driving to public transportation. Transit saves the average rush hour driver $400 a year by reducing the number of cars on the road. Transit investments reduce roadway congestion for cars and trucks, shortening commutes and improving freight delivery.

Illinois would have to add 27 more lanes to our expressways if Metra stopped running. Each Metra rider provides value to non-riders of more than $4,000 annually by reducing congestion and increasing safety. Mass transit is a magnificent “economic equalizer” and where it goes, the economy and communities grow.

Kirk Dillard, Chairman, Regional Transportation Authority

Wash your recyclables, please

It’s not easy being the recycling police, even in my own home. I diligently wash all of my recyclables to give my cart a better chance at actually making it to recycling centers. But I know I am a rarity.

Visiting people’s homes in my line of work, I know that most people will take the two seconds to separate the recyclables. But most won’t take the needed step to wash them off, and may not know they need to.

It’s very encouraging to see that Chicago has a new contract with a new recycling company, but it is doubtful Chicagoans will give them uncontaminated waste without a little guidance.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and if the city were to launch a public awareness campaign, the pathetic rate of 8 to 9% would slowly climb.

We all need to do our part. It really doesn’t take but a few seconds to do it right. But if you aren’t going to wash your recyclables, then do the rest of us a favor and throw it in the garbage instead.

Scot Sinclair, Third Lake

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