The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

A Bridge Too Slow: Tribune Weighs In On Tourists

By Marcus Gilmer in News on May 31, 2010 5:45PM

Photo by corydalus
There's been a lot of talk about tourists as of late. A few weeks ago, the story of the "Tourists" lane in New York made the rounds. Today, as summer unofficially kicks off and more tourists will be flocking to our city for summer vacation, the Tribune wades into the tourism debate. Columnist Barbara Brotman has written up her "rules" for tourists to the city who may clog up pedestrian traffic over the Michigan Avenue Bridge. And while we have our own issues with seems much ado about nothing.

Sure, it can get frustrating dodging gawking visitors as we weave our way around the loop, scurrying around doing errands on our lunch hour. And, yes, we admit to having grumbled "Stupid tourists," under our breath on more than one occasion. In fact, yes, on a daily basis during the summer. But when talking about them, we can't muster more frustration than a "whatcanyado" shrug. Those visitors are but one of the inconveniences we know we have to deal with when living in a city as big and as popular (and as beautiful) as Chicago. At least we leave in a city people want to visit. And anyone who doesn't expect any part of Michigan Ave. to be a clogged clustermess at any point during the summer...well, you should know better by now. Still, while we can't get as worked up as Brotman, maybe those "tourist" and "local" lanes aren't such a bad idea after all.

Bonus holiday read: for a bit more reading about the corner of Michigan and Wacker, check out the aptly named essay, "Michigan and Wacker," by renowned writer - and former Chicago resident - Sarah Vowell.