Traffic congestion something to get used to

by Mat Cohen

At the New Eastside CAPS meeting, which is now the first week of the month, community members discussed traffic clogs, pedestrian safety and an increase in construction in the neighborhood.

A resident said that due to the construction of three new condos in the neighborhood, there are construction vehicles speeding in and out of New Eastside, where she likes to walk her dog.

“We need a plan because construction is only going to increase,” she said. “There’s no regulation, no signals, no signs—they’re speeding in and out.”

She also stated that the construction is creating a place where the homeless are gathering—on the steps at the end of Randolph Street going up to the middle level.

“I don’t feel the homeless are a problem, but people are starting to gather,” she said. “I’m feeling really uncomfortable where I used to feel safe.”

The CAPS team said they would give the area special attention moving forward.

A man at the meeting asked about strategies to deal with traffic jams occurring on the middle tier of the neighborhood, as well as cars running through stop signs.

With rideshare popularity in the area compounding normal rush-hour traffic, the CAPS team said congestion would have to be something to get used to. Not helping the problem, they said, is the fact that many rideshare drivers from outside the city are not used to driving downtown, but come because they make more money with downtown rides.

Another issue residents discussed was safety in Cancer Survivors’ Garden, a strip located to the east of Maggie Daley Park.

One resident, who said she had been followed in the gardens one morning walking her dog, asked about the patrol presence in neighborhood parks.

The CAPS team said there’s always one patrol car designated for all the parks in the district.

Residents were urged to continue to call so extra patrols could be directed. The CAPS team reminded everyone to call 911 if they witness something is happening on the spot, but to call 311 if reporting an incident that happened in the past.

The next New Eastside CAPS meeting will take place Feb. 6 at 130 N. Garland Court.

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