A proposal to rename Chicago’s Ryan Expressway the Obama Expressway is being met with criticism from the family of the expressway’s namesake.
Chicago mayoral hopeful Bill Daley, the son and brother of two Chicago mayors, proposed renaming the city’s Dan Ryan Expressway after the 44th president as part of his campaign, and local news reports the proposal was immediately met with criticism from the Ryan family.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Ryan Expressway was named after the former Cook County board president Dan Ryan, who spearheaded the construction of the expressway. The former board president was a close ally of Daley’s father, former Mayor Richard J. Daley.
When Ryan passed away before the expressway he helped champion was finished, the elder Daley suggested naming the expressway after his long time political ally, and the suggestion was approved.
Now, 56 years later, the junior Daley proposes renaming the expressway to honor former President Barack Obama.
After hearing about Bill Daley’s proposal to rename the expressway his grandfather helped create, Dan Ryan III told local media the decision was met with “shock” and that he was “hurt” Daley did not contact his family.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported:
So it came as a “shock and disappointment” to Daniel B. Ryan III on Friday when Bill Daley — the son of Chicago’s legendary boss — proposed removing his grandfather’s name from the highway after 56 years and renaming it in honor of former President Barack Obama.
“I’m hurt. I feel bad that he didn’t try and contact us to see what we would think,” Ryan III said. “We feel very honored to have this named after our grandfather. Why would you take an honor away from one man to honor another?”
Big League Politics attempted to contact the Daley campaign to ask whether it was aware of the connection between the families, or whether it had any plans to alter the proposal to rename the highway after former President Obama, and did not immediately receive a response.
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