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Chicago’s place in the world?

Tuesday 15 January, 2008

Last week I was reading Crain’s Chicago Business’ article on the agenda for Chicago

Here are my comments-Transportation is key & Chicago falls down in a couple of ways. Our roads are some of the most congested in the country. Gas is most expensive here in the US. Our public transportation system is 1 of the most heavily used, but because of its inconsistency is still underutilized. I’ve been in much smaller cities in Poland which have bus & tram schedules & they hold to them. There is no excuse to wait for a 1/2 hour & then have 3 buses drive by, the 1st full, the next 2 nearly empty, rather than equally full every 10 minutes. It costs Chicago businesses time & money when employees can’t plan to get to work on time because of inconsistent public transportation. Other businesses won’t locate here if people can’t get to work on time. It needs to be fixed.

Human resources-I’m all for improving education, but I’m skeptical on a couple of points. It’s important to learn foreign languages, but unless you’re going to follow-up classroom instruction with immersion in a local culture, it won’t help much. I learned book German, & when I arrived to work in Germany, they laughed at my language skills. It wasn’t until I hammered the language in for a year or 2 that I achieved any proficiency. I know a woman whose child has taken Chinese in the public schools & I’m told it’s pretty much a joke. I also love listening to music, but the thought that the music industry can save Chicago seems ludicrous. Should it be elevated?-sure. Could music be better utilized to entertain tourists?-yep. Should we spend tons o’money on it? I don’t think so.

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