#41: Oprah Winfrey, Chairman, Harpo
So I know people aren't going to like what I have to say on this, but I like the fact that Oprah Winfrey is holding a huge party to open her show's 24th season.
Yes, it's an inconvienence for commuters, but what the hell are you doing driving on Michigan Avenue in the first place during either rush hour? Have you been on the Mag Mile in the afternoon? It's a nightmare. I never take it, because I crawl from light to light, I sit at stoplights two or three times waiting to turn. Plus, no one can turn right thanks to all the shoppers, and the bus traffic tends to block two lanes. It sucks, take Wabash, don't think twice or get to Lower Michigan and stay away.
Speaking of the shoppers, I normally have a high tollerance of tourists because I want our city to succeed. "Thanks for visiting Chicago, make sure you shop in our stores and spend money." It's good for everyone. However, the slow walkers just try my patience when I'm trying to catch the #148 or when I'm running across the street to Walgreens from the Tower to grab something and three street performers are out there hogging the sidewalk.
Anyway, my real argument is that world class cities have major streets blocked all the time. New York does it for Letterman, LA does it for movies (all we do is shut down Lower Wacker or film at night downtown). If the supporters of the Olympic bid are serious about bringing the Olympic games to Chicago in 2016, then this is just a little hiccup along the way. It's not even a test of what the chaos will be like for those 16 days seven summers from now.
Mayor Daley is right. This will give the city some world-class exposure and it comes right before the IOC unveils who will get the bid.
**Speaking Oprah related things, we were watching Whitney Houston on GMA this morning in the Traffic Lounge. She was awful. Clearly not ready for a big comeback and a new album push, but she's going ahead with it. Voice was in terrible shape and she blamed it on an interview with Oprah that went long the other day. I blame it on the interests of her former husband and the "stuff" they did together. What do you think?
**A horrific crash this morning in Logan Square was the big traffic story. A garbage truck and another car smacked into each other and left two dead and Fullerton closed for hours. Mike Lorber flew over it a few times in SKY 5 and every time you looked at it, just couldn't help but cringe. One of the nastier ones we've seen in awhile.
**We know the Dan Ryan Expressway sucks most days, now the rest of the country knows. The stretch from the Stevenson Bridge to the Circle is among the worst bottlenecks in the country. Inrix (the people who study these sorts of things) says that traffic was down in the first six months of the year. I'll agree with that and their note that it's starting to go back up. That happens when school starts back up and parents go back to work, regardless of what economic state the country is in.
**Are you like me and you can't put the phone down in the car? Well we better figure out how or have an intervention. Some people think a nationwide ban is coming, and I have a hard time arguing against it.