I understand Lori Lightfoot is looking for suggestions. So I’m going to accommodate her.
My first idea is to have Chicago’s city sticker glow in the dark or be reflective. We have a plethora of cars registered in the suburbs but parked on the city streets. So between the hours of 1 to 6 a.m., no vehicle without a city sticker can be parked on a city street. Imagine how much money that will generate?
There are people from neighboring suburbs who like to park on the Chicago side because their suburb doesn’t allow street parking at night. For years we have permitted this, but it’s now time to look at our dwindling city piggy bank and say, “No more.” Also included are areas in the city where the businesses rent vans from suburban locations, but park them at night on the city streets. I bet the city can soon find themselves selling at least 100,000 more city stickers if my idea is implemented.
My next suggestion: Offer to reduce property taxes if people maintain a video security camera capturing the front and alley in the neighborhoods. Camera systems that record everywhere are a crime-fighting tool. They can capture the images of individuals who are driving/walking/running past who’ve just committed a heinous act.
Quality-of-life issues are a major reason why the city has lost such a substantial amount of population. The city needs to begin a crackdown on people who allow their dogs to poop and don’t clean up after it. I will also include fining people who put dogs out that bark all day and night.
The city needs to crack down on illegal conversions as well. We have a number of single-family homes that have been converted into multi-unit dwellings. Owners are making a lot of money doing this, while the neighborhood has more people than it can hold. We need an ordinance that would stop Commonwealth Edison from adding on a multitude of electrical meters without the owner first getting a permit from the city for more than one meter on a single-family home. Owners who have been caught illegally converting the houses, should be mandated to put in a water meter.
I recently saw the skeleton of a bungalow where the entire attic had burned because people were living up there. With the average bungalow now approaching 100 years old, the lumber used to build the roofs is now tinder. A friend of mine recently had a devastating fire in her building. I would suggest an initiative called “Stay Put Chicago,” which would help people to get through the processes of rebuilding the burnt-out structure efficiently so that the people stay put and don’t decide to leave and move away.
Lastly, it is time to return several Chicago streets to be places where cars can move. South Chicago, please get rid of all those damn bike lanes that nobody uses. Western and Cicero avenues, return them to places that people can use to go from the South Side to the North Side without stoplights every block. Lake Street used to be a nice alternative to the Eisenhower.
And get rid of those bike lanes underneath the el tracks. They were the biggest and stupidest waste of time!