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6/16/03 Poll supports Meigs

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Chicago Tribune: Print edition

Getting Around

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Jon Hilkevitch
 

Poll finds little support for Daley's raid on Meigs

Published June 16, 2003

Flying in the face of Mayor Richard Daley's assertion that the public strongly supports his recent order to bulldoze Meigs Field, a new Tribune poll shows that two-thirds of voters in the Chicago region disapproved.

Seven out of 10 voters surveyed also said they didn't believe Daley's claim that the tiny lakefront airport presented a terrorist threat to the downtown.

Daley, who previously agreed to keep Meigs operating for up to 25 years, has handily beaten court challenges waged by Meigs' supporters after the airfield was demolished on March 31. Picnics and Ping-Pong may soon replace the Pipers and other aircraft that formerly landed on the single runway on Northerly Island.

In the six-county Tribune survey, 60 percent of Chicago voters disapproved of Daley's midnight raid on Meigs. Opposition was markedly higher among suburbanites.

Disagreement with the mayor reached across party lines and transcended race, sex and income.

Among Democrats, 57 percent disapproved of Daley's action, as did 74 percent of Republican voters polled in the metropolitan area. Sixty-eight percent of white suburban women said Daley did the wrong thing.

Seventy percent of voters surveyed in the six-county region said there was no greater chance that a terrorist attack would occur in downtown Chicago because of Meigs. Only 17 percent of Chicago voters and 16 percent of suburban Cook County voters said Meigs created a greater chance of an attack.

Seventy-three percent of white voters in the poll and 62 percent of black voters said the existence of Meigs did not pose a greater terrorist threat. Most men (75 percent) and women (65 percent) polled said Meigs did not increase the chances of terrorism, though more women had no opinion on the issue.

Disagreement with the mayor's contention that Meigs heightened the prospect of terrorism was highest among voters ages 18 to 35, at 79 percent.

The findings of the poll, which was conducted June 5 through 9, were based on phone interviews with 544 registered voters in the sex-county metropolitan area. The survey was conducted by Market Shares Corp. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

This summer will be no different than past summers on the Northwest Tollway (Interstate Highway 90), which seems to be perennially under construction. A project to resurface all lanes and the shoulders of I-90 from just west of the Elgin toll plaza to just south of Rockford begins Monday. Lane closings and delays will result. The 3-inch pavement overlay will be replaced with a 4-inch surface, according to the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. A number of ramps also will be resurfaced, including the Illinois Highway 31 ramps in Elgin. Completion of the work is scheduled by November.

Transport notes

- Resurfacing of Broadway between Foster and Devon Avenues in Chicago will start Monday, with temporary daytime lane closings, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. Work is scheduled for completion by mid-September. Broadway will be closed for sewer work at Glenlake Avenue from 9 a.m. Monday to 4 p.m. Thursday. The work on Broadway begins just days after a three-month sewer project was completed on nearby Sheridan Road between Devon and Hollywood Avenues.

- Temporary bus stops have been set up near the CTA's 95th Street terminal at the Red Line station to accommodate reconstruction of the bus turnaround. The temporary stops, which affect CTA and Pace routes, are on adjacent streets within two blocks of the terminal and will be in effect until September, the CTA said.

- On Monday Van Galder Bus starts daily motor coach service to O'Hare International Airport from McHenry, Crystal Lake and Elgin. One-way tickets are $16, roundtrip $28. Schedule information is available at 800-747-0994 or at www.vangalderbus.com

- The 2003 RTA system map--showing all Metra rail lines, CTA bus and rail lines and Pace bus routes in the six-county region--is available. Free system maps, as well as a visitors map showing transit service in the Loop and special routes to museums and other attractions, can be obtained at transit stations and the RTA's public service office on the second floor at 175 W. Jackson.

- Resurfacing begins Monday on Ogden Avenue from Illinois Highway 83 to the Tri-State Tollway (Interstate Highway 294). Temporary lane closings will be in effect until mid-August.

- Preparations for Taste of Chicago will begin Friday, closing Columbus Drive from Monroe Street to Roosevelt Road and Jackson Boulevard from Lake Shore Drive to Michigan Avenue and Congress Parkway from Columbus to Michigan.

- - -

Daley opposed on Meigs

Most Illinois voters disapproved Mayor Richard Daley's decision to destroy Meigs Field.

MEIGS FIELD

Mayor Daley ordered the destruction of Meigs Field runways. He said this was to safeguard downtown Chicago from possible terrorist attack. Did you approve or disapprove of his action?

Disapprove:

 

 65%

Approve:
 

 24%

No opinion:
 

 12%

Do you believe that the chance of terrorist attack in downtown Chicago was greater because of Meigs Field, or was it not greater?

Not greater:

 

 70%

Greater:
 

 17%

No opinion:
 

 14%

Results are based on a poll of 544 registered voters in the six county Chicagoland area, conducted June 5-9.

Margin of error is +/- 4 percentage points

Percentages may no add up to 100 due to rounding.

Source: Market Shares Corp.

Chicago Tribune

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Contact Getting Around at jhilkevitch@tribune.com  or c/o the Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611. Read recent Getting Around columns at www.chicagotribune.com/go/gettingaround .

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