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Developers Run Amok

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Ben Joravsky's article on Terrapin's proposed tower on South Clark [The Works, September 30] does a good job criticizing the development's threat to pedestrians but ironically devotes far too much space to cars and not enough to the larger problem of runaway development. Many of us who live in the neighborhood because of walking and public-transport options still need garage space for the car we use maybe once a week, and those who choose to live here but work in the suburbs may not have other options.

The problem is not the prospect of too many cars alone but of towers of apartments and parking, which appear to respond more to the demands of investors hungry for a quick return than to the city's own Near South Community Plan or any demonstrable need for the thousands of new units in the works in the near south. The 2003 city plan calls for new buildings built to a scale equivalent to existing stock, with greater height and density along transit roots (especially State Street) and lower density further away, as well as the protection of pedestrian streets such as Polk, while the number of units for sale in existing towers like the Wells Street Tower suggests the need for modest rather than aggressive development, with pedestrian-scale retail as well as residential buildings that respect the local context.

LK

W. Harrison

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