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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Joseph J. Finn / November 18, 2003 12:11 PM

1. Peotone is unviable - it's too far away from anything without a mag-lev train, and the airlines have no interest at all.

2. Gary might be a good choice - if there was a decent way of getting there. The thought of trying to cross into Indiana with the current modes to a major airport is laughable.

3. Rockford? Might as well go use the Milwaukee airport.

Which leaves us with O'Hare expansion, the best alternative. Airlines are already there and there's available space, and plenty of ways to get there. Granted, there are the usual noise complaints, but hey, they chose to live next to an international airport.

Andrew / November 18, 2003 1:06 PM

Yeah, Rockford's a long drive from Chicago, but from, say, Crystal Lake, it's not bad. And a lot of people already *do* drive up to Milwaukee for flights.

I think using Gary and Rockford is a much better idea than building in Peotone. For one thing, those airports already exist and operate well below capacity. Even if they only took some of the cargo traffic away from O'Hare, it would be a benefit.

Joseph J. Finn / November 18, 2003 1:45 PM

Well sure, from Crystal Lake, but we're talking Chicago airports here.

Phineas / November 18, 2003 1:47 PM

I think Illinois should be ashamed for even having a town called 'Peotone', altho I suppose it's good for making children giggle.

And I quite like the new Midway terminal. It feels like an actual airport now, whereas before it felt more like a rundown K-Mart with airplanes parked outside. I still prefer O'Hare, because getting to Midway from the north side is a bloody CTA safari.

Wendy / November 18, 2003 1:47 PM

The word "Peotone" makes me snicker.

That is all.

Wendy / November 18, 2003 1:53 PM

Apparently Phineas was posting the same time I was. And I proved his point.


Andrew / November 18, 2003 2:03 PM

Well sure, from Crystal Lake, but we're talking Chicago airports here.

No, we're talking Chicagoland airports. O'Hare and Midway wouldn't be nearly as busy if they only served the 3 million people inside the city limits. People currently drive in from as far away as, well, Rockford to fly out of O'Hare, and the whole reason for the Peotone plan was to create a south suburban option for all the folks from Kankakee, etc. that have to drive up to Chicago or over to Indianapolis.

Anyway, I'm in favor of using what we have, and that includes expanding O'Hare. I like the new Midway, although it's a bit of a pain that they have to shove everyone through that bottleneck between the ticket counters and the gates.

brian / November 18, 2003 3:31 PM

O'Hare expansion is the only viable option. We can talk all we want about where we'd like a new airport, but the bottom line is that most people come to O'Hare as a transfer point. And that's where the need for more runway space is most acute. So the O'Hare expansion is the best idea.

The only reason to build at Peotone/Rockford/Gary would be if there were more capacity needed in the metro region for flights needed to serve new markets. Midway is absorbing this quite well.

This isn't a 'if you build it, they will come situation'. None of the airlines want a new airport; politicians do because they can claim they're creating job. Building a multi-billion dollar airport b/c a few people in Bensenville whine about the noise is dumb.

Ramsin / November 18, 2003 4:28 PM

I agree with Brian. Making O'Hare larger and more efficient will not only create jobs, but literally make the eastern half of this country smaller. Everything will be routed to Chicago. There will be impetus to move business, both commercial and industrial, here. Commercial airline employees will enjoy a better standard of living. Although the displacement of people in Bensenville and Elk Grove Village is unfortunate and in some ways unfair, that is the whole point of eminent domain.

Besides, we don't need to build a new airport for people in Crystal Lake or Rockford. Cook County accounts for a third of this state's population. People that live in western pennsylvania have to drive four or five hours to get to a decent airport. People in Rockford and Aurora or wherever can spare the 90 minutes.

And the downstaters? Well, they don't fly anywhere anyway. You know, new-fangled technology frightens them.

stephen / November 18, 2003 4:52 PM

Why don't we build something near the Lake, where all the fatcats in their corporate jets can fly in from River Forest and lay people off?

Naz / November 18, 2003 5:01 PM

O'Hare Rules!

Oh shit. I meant to say O'Doyle Rules!

bk / November 18, 2003 5:20 PM

O'Hare sucks

the congestion on the Kennedy & 294 is ridiculous

adding another runway isn't going to help, its very unlikely the surrounding suburbs will allow an additional runway.

-its inevitable that a major 3rd airport will come sooner or later so why not now.

Onid / November 18, 2003 5:53 PM

its very unlikely the surrounding suburbs will allow an additional runway.

I was under the impression that the surrounding suburbs lost the battle. Game, set, match. Daley gets what he wants...

Reards / November 19, 2003 10:01 AM

I agree with many here that O'Hare seems the best alternative, but Midway should probably be further expanded too. Peotone is an absurd option; only the map at all b/c typical political bs. I think Gary may be feasible as well for a third option. SOme sort of train other than the South Shore would be necessary.

WHile I know this off topic i bit, it is in the transportation realm: the bigger issue in my opinion is the decaying and already pathetic public transpo in this city. The ability to use the el for things other than your "standard commute" is almost non-existent. When you can take an el-type train to bars and movies and errands and the like and people really see it and can use it as an alternative to cars, then we are getting somewhere; perhaps trite, but think London's tube. Roads and congestion are only gettin worse (who hasn't noticed such in the last 5 years) and the manner in which we are set-up for the future in this city for efficient transpo is abysmil.

Naz / November 19, 2003 10:39 AM

As far as public transport goes, Chicago isn't too bad. I've lived in London (grew up there actually) for a significant period of time and it has a nice little system.

I think the Metra is the auxiliary or tandem-support for the CTA, along with PACE for getting out to the suburbs and such. It seems to work pretty well for the most part.

My only gripe is that I wish bicycles could get on Metra. They lug around all those cars and yet nly use two at the most.

brian / November 19, 2003 10:53 AM

Naz - totally agree with bikes on Metra. They have really whiny excuses about it every time I ask (which is about every time I take the train). The peeps at the Bicycle Coalition said that they had "made a lot of progress" with Metra since they were acquiring new rolling stock (ie new cars).

Reards - people will always, *always* bitch that public transit isn't good enough. The truth is that a car takes you door to door, and a train or bus usually won't. You *can* use the CTA to get out - plenty of people including myself do on a regular basis. For an American city, our public transit is pretty darn good (try getting around in Phoenix).

Onid / November 19, 2003 1:19 PM

In my opinion the expansion of O'Hare has to be done especially the part about opening the western side of the airport. When O'Hare was built I don't think that anyone imagined that the western suburbs would expand at all and not as much as it has until now. It was all fields and forgotten suburbs out there but now with all of that expansion out that way it is needed. The way to get to O'Hare from naperville is to come from the west and drive around to the "front" at Kennedy and 294. Hopefully, this will ease some of the traffic but I think I read somewhere with more roads comes more traffic.

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