I was impressed with the contrast between Dan Haley’s Nov. 14 meditation on the damage caused to this community by the imposition of the Eisenhower Expressway back when, and the editorial in the same issue dismissively rebuking the neighbors who are resisting installation of lights at the OPRF stadium. Mr. Haley was able to identify the “scars” of “the Dan Ryan ripping through and, at points, high above, the entire South Side,” and the “decimation the ‘spaghetti bowl’ caused in Little Italy and Greektown,” and the “grim psychological damage [Mr. Haley has] incurred as a result of that damned highway” (referring to the Eisenhower), while the editorial views the neighbors objecting to something being imposed on them as “pests” and the effect of their efforts on the official decision-making process as something that “reflects all that is worst in Oak Park’s open governance processes.”
Clearly there is a huge difference in magnitude between the area’s expressway construction and lights at OPRF. However, communities are undermined in various ways. I don’t think it is invalid for members of a community who have more than a four-year-old’s ability to project the impact of somebody else’s will on their lives to not only express their concerns but to resist it when they see that their community will be diminished.
Frankly, I think these people deserve more respect from Wednesday Journal. Dismiss the comparison if you will, but then don’t expect a lot of sympathy when the next great idea lands across the street from you. After all, often Person A’s psychological damage is just Person B’s easier way to get to work, and the downside for Person A is seldom a downside or even a concern for Person B. It happens all the time. But that does not mean Person A should just roll over and accept the abuse.