Communication is key to easing growing pains

The Feb. 12 News article, “Waterfront residents trapped by street races want solution,” told the shocking story of city residents who were “trapped” in their waterfront condos for up to “hours” during summer road races. It is a terrifying picture: residents staring helplessly out of the windows of their luxury homes at hundreds of runners passing by, dripping with sweat and indifference. Their options? On one side, Lake Erie’s waters ominously feed into the mighty Niagara, on the other, also certain danger – or at least inconvenience. If they did not plan ahead, they might have to wait upward of an hour or two to leave, or bike or walk during those summer days. Imagine that! Having to bike, walk or use public transportation in a modern city. The mind reels.

If we are going to continue on our path toward greatness, we need to accept some realities of living in a great city. Among these realities: limited parking, traffic, delays, crowds. But a great city is built on the notion that together, we can do great things – things that benefit us all. With that come occasional inconveniences for the individual, but those are vastly outweighed by the benefits for the community as a whole, like the ability to attend a myriad of festivals that occupy most of downtown’s streets for weekends at a time (whether your interest is art, food or basketball), shop at a farmer’s market in the Elmwood Village, or run in a race on our beautiful waterfront.

A moratorium on community events based on the inconvenience of a few is the type of backward thinking we need to abandon in our move forward. Rather, communication among neighbors, here the race organizers and residents, is the easy and necessary solution to these growing pains.

Daniel J. Brady