Staff Editorial: Promontory problems

By The Maroon Staff

Many of the protesters in Hyde Park’s “Save the Point” campaign have found the city of Chicago’s response to their efforts unsatisfactory. The Task Force for Promontory Point spent the past five months researching and formulating a counterproposal to the city’s, one that they allege would be cheaper and more agreeable to local interests. We feel that the city’s response—a 13-page report that pays little attention to the claims staked by local protesters—is insufficient.

While it is true that the city was in no way obligated to respond to the extensive research and recommendations provided by coastal engineer Cyril Galvin, the city delayed construction plans at the Point ostensibly to give the Task Force a chance to present an alternative strategy for preserving it. If the city of Chicago never intended to give serious consideration to the Task Force’s proposal, then why did it allow them to waste their time, energies, and money on an alternative plan?

It should be said that the city’s insistence on making the new Point shoreline handicapped-accessible is admirable and must be addressed by the Task Force’s final report. All the same, the city’s round rejection of the Task Force plan is vexing, given that plan’s apparent superiority. Galvin’s proposal allows for the preservation of the Point’s limestone revetments at a savings of $13 million over the plan developed jointly by the city and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The city of Chicago has no obligation to respond to protestors, and no obligation to comply with their wishes. But a simple explanation wouldn’t hurt.