Tuesday, June 26, 2012

50 Wards in 50 Weekdays: The sixth ward's turn...

CJ Whitney is a night nurse at a psychiatric hospital who had this to say about 79th Street. Especially the fact that Chatham is geographically divided when it comes to crime:
And that brings us to the other part of Whitney’s timing problem. He takes buses to his job at the hospital on the Near West Side. At night, the intervals between those buses are just too long, he says.

“I shouldn’t have to wait an hour from one connection to the next,” he says. “That’s very dangerous standing out on 79th Street waiting on a bus.”

Dangerous enough that someone might worry about getting robbed.

“I was robbed like that,” Whitney says. “I was just standing [at] the bus stop, waiting on the bus. Two guys walked up behind me, one had a gun. ‘Hey, empty your pockets.’ […] Showed me the gun, and the other guy just started going through my pockets. Took everything.”

When it comes to crime, he says Chatham is divided in half.

“Once you get [south of] 81st it gets real neighborly, real nice. But this area [we’re standing on 79th Street], no, it’s not safe,” Whitney says. “Once the sun goes down it’s not safe.”

His block, with lots of longtime, elderly neighbors, is in the area he considers safe. His bus stop is not.

That robbery happened about three years ago, when Whitney first moved to Chatham. Before then, he lived three years in the South Shore neighborhood, and before then, he was in Englewood. That’s where he grew up.
Worlee has noted a need to change the character of 79th Street which starts with better lighting.

You can read more about this project here!

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