|(Chevanston stock photo of Howard/Paulina)|
This morning at 9:30 am there was a crowd of youth hanging at the intersection of Howard and Paulina (just to be clear, the youth are not pictured above, that is a file photo from Chevanston's archive). Five or so were on the north east side and the same number on the south. They were yelling at each other. They weren't trying to cross the street. Just hanging on the corner (911 was called).
This is the gateway to Chicago proper from Evanston. Would you want to walk past two gangs yapping at each other ? Standing at the Howard L stop and looking down, would you want to walk down below to explore the "new Howard"? Probably not. You are at a disadvantage; outnumbered.
"Say hello to a brand new experience. Welcome to Howard Street." Howard streetscape, new fencing at Howard and Ashland, new businesses like Sol Cafe, and increased police presence has made a difference. But judging from the loitering at Howard "L" stop there are still some major obstacles to overcome before that sentiment (brand new experience) can be taken literally.