Jane Addams to the City of Chicago Board of Local Improvements, January 10, 1907

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CITY OF CHICAGO,
BOARD OF LOCAL IMPROVEMENTS.

 Miss Addams:

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Board: I only wish to speak a very few moments and to use those few moments to urge . . . the necessity of lessening the traffic on Halsted Street. The congestion seems to take place in the street cars themselves; not so much on the pavement or the sidewalks, not so much with the teams, but with the cars. That comes about largely because almost all of the people wishing to transfer are obliged to go south on Halsted Street. If the street car traffic could be divided and other streets could be opened up for the stock yards traffic, the congestion could be adequately relieved. I think one of our Trustees has submitted a plan to open up some other streets so that cars going one way could go on one street and the other way on another street, thus relieving the street car congestion. The Charter Convention has brought in another plan. This congestion has been brought about because no adequate provision has been made. I would like to say in behalf of Hull House that we have a group of ten buildings and it would practically destroy four of these buildings but, if I were convinced that for the benefit of the street and for the benefit of the west side this improvement were necessary, Hull House could survive without those four buildings and not be permanently put out of business, but we do not feel that we should be compelled to make a sacrifice until we are convinced that it is necessary. No one of us has yet been convinced as no alternative has as yet been considered, and the Board has considered this proposition without giving consideration to others. I thank you very much.