Twice during the last couple of weeks I have ventured to downtown Naperville; once during the late morning, and another time in the early afternoon. I’ve lived long enough to know better than to drive during the morning or afternoon rush. I had an insatiable desire for an Einstein’s bagel and asked my wife if she would like to come along for the ride. She was all for it as long as I didn’t drive my 1990 240DL Volvo. I like seeing how many miles I can get on it (currently at 338,000 and counting); two more years and I can get an antique plate on it. That gives me another reason to keep living. I didn’t want to drive her new vehicle, so we decided to hop into our yellow 2000 VW bug. It’s fun to drive and can squeeze into small parking spots. It’s less than 4 miles to downtown Naperville and takes about 10 minutes to get there.
Things were looking good until we reached Washington and Aurora, and then pedestrians were moving faster than we were. We finally worked our way up to Chicago Ave, made a left and no parking. Then proceeded to do the Main Street, Jefferson, Washington, Jackson, Main Street, Chicago Street circle a few times with no success. Sensing my wife was eager to bring this to an end, I decided to forgo a bagel for some carmel corn at Kernel’s Popcorn at Washington and Chicago. Same situation. Slow moving traffic, and no parking. I gave it one more try for Einstein’s and as I’m sitting at the stop light looking west, I tried to imagine the Water Street Development becoming reality, and what it would look like. It was then that I confirmed what I have been thinking…..the city council might take us from the Smart Grid fiasco to the mother of all traffic gridlocks in downtown Naperville. The light turned green I noticed an open parking spot and did a quick U-turn and realized that parking in downtown Naperville is like playing musical chairs.
Tomorrow night (Tuesday December 4) the Naperville city council will do another go-around on the Water Street Project. The development is slightly smaller than the last time, but still huge. Many people will talk. Council members will reiterate what they have said twice previously, a vote will be taken, and if it looks like a no-go again, councilman Chirico can pull the plug on the proceedings and have a do-over at the December 18 meeting. Do-overs are big in Naperville, like the do-over vote for districts but that’s a topic for another posting.
If the Naperville city council votes to approve the Water Street Development Project, you might have to ask yourself two questions:
- were they intimidated or swayed by emails which inundated their in boxes when a project supporter requested the tactic to “bombard the expletive” out of the city council members’ email boxes.
- Can council members generate any personal business from the approval?
Work experience of the nine council members includes plumbing, floor covering, real estate, sales, city planning, patent attorney, English teacher, pilot, and law enforcement.
I’m not saying it could happen, however somebody (business) has to do the plumbing, or lay the flooring, or do some real estate deals nearby, or generate sales for the area, or do some fine tuning for city planning, or maybe get some business for a patent attorney, or give a luncheon talk to a group about dangling participles and split infinitives, or pilot a plane dragging a sign overhead about where to park. And in honor of Mayor Pradel, an honorary bridge or driveway could be named after him. Connecting the dots on the ‘yes’ votes and business opportunities might be very interesting.
Would I do business with all of the council members if I had a need for their individual services? The answer is ‘absolutely yes’. They are all outstanding at what they do for a full-time living, though I’m not sure they would want to do business with the Watchdog. I just hope that if they do approve this project, it’s for the right reasons, and traffic gridlock is not one of them. I wonder if Einstein’s delivers.