Happy December! We have been quite busy this year working to make the 11th Ward the best Ward in the City. We are doing a lot of infrastructure improvements as well as working with developers to build new housing and business opportunities throughout the Ward.
To recap the infrastructure work, I wanted to highlight the following improvements:
- $3.5 million Streetscape project on Morgan Street. It looks fabulous.
- 5 alley resurfacing projects. The 5 blocks really made a difference with flooding and vehicle travel.
- New lighting in the viaducts on 43rd Street, 37th Street, 35th Street, 31st Street and 33rd Street, and 16th St.
- New sidewalks around Donovan Park. The park is seeing a lot more use with all of the new housing being built. More to come with Donovan Park ideas.
- New Water Main and Street resurfacing of 36th St.
- New Water Main and Street resurfacing of 31st St.
- New Water Main and Street resurfacing of Lock St.
- New left turn signal on 26th and Halsted.
- Speed humps along 29th Street between Halsted and Poplar. This is important because it slows the vehicle traffic so people can walk from McGuane Park to Palmisano Park.
- Installed four (4) new high definition cameras for a total of 14 in the Ward.
- Four (4) blocks of new street lights. I know everyone would like the new LED lights. The good news is that the City will be changing all lights to the LED fixtures. This will take a few years but is scheduled to be done. I am not waiting to replace the bulbs in the viaducts as mentioned above.
I encourage everyone to visit our website, www. ward11.org, to see the maps showing all of the work. Not only can you see 2017, but you can see a map for 2015 and 2016. It is clear that we are investing in every community and every corner of the 11th Ward.
We have also seen historic activity with new development projects. As is my policy, before any property owner files for a zoning change, I host a community meeting to illicit input from our community. This process is not required but a policy I have implemented and follow. We have held 21 community meetings in 2017. With good support from the community, I believe that the projects are all positive improvements.
I do have the discretion to initiate zoning changes when I believe the zoning designation is no longer appropriate. For these rare occasions when the zoning isn’t being changed because of a proposed development but rather because the uses within the zoning designation are no longer appropriate for the area, like certain properties along Halsted Street or on Pershing Road, then I move quickly to change the zoning. Based on the 21 community meetings, there are approximately 169 new housing units being constructed or built. These will be great additions to our Ward.
I want to welcome our new police commander for the 9th District, Randy Darlin. I introduced the Commander at my last quarterly meeting. Also, our previous commander, Steve Chung, is our new commander in the 12th District. Welcome Steve to the 12th District. We continue to work on making our communities safe for all of us to enjoy.
The holiday season gives me a chance to reflect upon how lucky I am. I am so fortunate for Katie, Nora, Grace, Patrick and my family. I am extremely grateful and feel so privileged to represent the communities in the 11th Ward in the City Council and to work alongside Commissioner John P. Daley. I will continue to work hard to earn your respect and approval. On behalf of my family, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year. For any concerns or questions call our office at 7732546677.
11th Ward Alderman Patrick D. Thompson