Millions of tourists must be right

It’s something of a burden to bear.  For the thousands of people who live in the New East Side not a day passes without hundreds, sometimes thousands, of tourists wandering their streets asking how to get to the lakefront and Navy Pier.

Long lines of cars snake into, and then back out of, the cul-de-sacs and private driveways of the New East Side as legions of tourists ignore the few tattered signs put up to direct them.  Once an articulated CTA bus got stuck back there and it took the better part of 12 hours to get it turned around.

The opening of Millennium Park only made things worse.  After all — it only makes sense that the city’s front lawn would connect to the lake and eventually on to Navy Pier.  But more than once I have seen a frustrated tourist raise an angry fist to a local when told, “you can’t get there from here.”

Well, some day maybe they can.

With the impending destruction of Daley Bicentennial Plaza to make way for the new Chicago Children’s Museum, there are finally some serious talks about linking the parks and the lakefront in that area. it cost $20 million to do the same thing at 11th Street.  How much it will take farther north remains to be seen.  But a committee is starting work on it, and maybe there will be some logical relief soon.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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