I have been biking the lakefront from Hyde Park and swimming at the Point for about 45 years.
I risk assassination in saying this, but I think the new concrete revetments from the loop to Hyde Park look better than the old limestone -- in its best days.
The concrete is definitely more user friendly -- to sit, walk, or bike on. Returning from the Loop on my bike, I can now ride comfortably around the revetment that leads from the Aquarium to the Planetarium, and then pick up the delightful new path in Northerly Island (formerly Meigs Field). I look longingly at the ladders installed on the revetment between the Planetarium and the 12th Street Beach, to allow easy exit from the water. All the way south from the Loop, there seem to be many more people sitting and walking on the new revetments than in the past. The lakefront in general seems much more attractive and inviting.
The new revetments do, of course, have their downside. For one, they would force out the hordes of rats that live in the gaping cracks in the limestone at the point. (Rats have rights, too, you know.) Concrete revetments would also make it too easy to sit, stretch out on a blanket, or stroll around the point without breaking an ankle. (We don’t want the revetments to actually be used.) And concrete revetments would make breaking beer bottles late at night less fun since there would be no cracks to hide the shards that now get into the feet of unsuspecting walkers and swimmers emerging from the water.
When I go to the Point and look at the revetment, I wonder what it is that the limestone crowd is trying to save. I think I know the answer. I have been stopped several times at the entrance to the Point by SAVE THE POINT petitioners. I never recognize them as frequent users of the revetments. I suspect many people who signed SAVE THE POINT petitions were also not frequent users, but were simply fooled by a good slogan.
To vote on this one, maybe one should be able to show evidence of the cuts and bruises that regular users of the limestone revetments accumulate over the years.
Eugene F. Fama