Winter storm dumps 11 inches of snow on Oak Park

Public Works Department working around the clock to clear streets

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Parking bans in Oak Park remain in effect while Public Works Departments work in overdrive mode to clear streets, sidewalks and access points to public transportation, according to village officials.

David Powers, a village spokesman, said that by roughly noon the village had already received 11 inches of snow and more is on the way. He said village public works crews have been working 12-hour shifts round-the-clock since New Year's Eve to remove the snow. He said 10 workers are out working eight snow plows to clear streets and two smaller plows to clear sidewalks and crosswalks.

"They usually do school crosswalks first, but because school is not in session, they are focusing on public transportation access points," he said.

He said snow plows are first focusing on main streets and then moving to arterial neighborhood streets. He said crews would eventually plow alleys.

"We're trying to clear the residential streets during the daytime," he said.

The public works department is enforcing the parking ban, which prohibits parking on streets posted as snow routes.

Parking is restricted on residential streets to one side from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Drivers must park on the odd-numbered side of the street on odd-numbered days and the even-numbered side of the street on even-numbered days. Parking is restricted in designated commercial areas from midnight to 8 a.m.

Powers said village parking enforcement officers are out ticketing, but added that he had not heard of any cars getting towed due to plowing efforts.

"I think that parking enforcement officers use a certain amount of judgment if the roads have been plowed," Powers said. "They are not out just looking for people to ticket."

Warming centers also are up and running at the following locations:

  • Oak Park Village Hall, 123 Madison St., from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon.-Fri., 708-383-6400

  • Rush Oak Park Hospital, 520 S. Maple Ave., from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, 708-660-2211

  • West Suburban Medical Center, 3 Erie Court, from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., seven days a week, 708-383-6200



Reader Comments

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Briles from Oak Park  

Posted: January 9th, 2014 5:11 PM

Surprise, surprise! We finally received mail at 1630H this afternoon. As one would expect, there was quite a bit of it. And yes, my book was included in this delivery.

Phillip Briles from Oak Park  

Posted: January 9th, 2014 3:54 PM

We live on North Hayes Avenue and have not had mail delivered since 3 January. I was supposed to receive a package on 1/7 which, of course, never came. Today I noticed that my package had been 'Delivered'. Right! Little wonder USPS cannot make ends meet. Years ago I began paying all of my bills via the internet because I simply do not trust the USPS to do their job.

RLopez from Oak Park  

Posted: January 8th, 2014 6:54 PM

In SE Oak Park we didn't get mail Monday or Tuesday. Today we received about 4 pieces at 8AM. Nothing at our usual (?) Delivery time of anytime between 3 and 7 PM. Crazy.

Chris from OP  

Posted: January 8th, 2014 6:46 PM

Of the 9 or so towns I travel back and forth through everyday, OP is second to worst. I find it incredible that they can't even keep Harlem from icing over and its been 3 days since snow.

38-year residnet from OPRF  

Posted: January 8th, 2014 5:54 PM

No Mail since Jan 2. Alleys not plowed and some of the highest taxes around. Let's put more electric heated streets like the ones on Marion: that's practical (not). What's the matter with this town's government? I agree with Violet, other towns have much better services for what we pay.

Violet A. from OPRF  

Posted: January 6th, 2014 1:19 PM

@Resident: Huh?! Who is mentioning Christmas? We are discussing this 11-inch storm from after the new year. It appears to me that OPers just go along with the program, no matter what. Meanwhile, all your surrounding 'burbs are clearing off their side streets and making life easier for residents.

The Brad from OP  

Posted: January 5th, 2014 10:16 PM

Where are the plows in the alleys? Snow has stopped. Our alley is impossible to navigate with a non SUV vehicle.

jed from Oak Park  

Posted: January 5th, 2014 10:13 PM

We got two mail deliveries on Saturday, Jan 4th. One at 0750 that was huge, and another one later in the afternoon that was 4 or 5 pieces of mail. Neither delivery was our regular postman. Wonder what went wrong?


Posted: January 5th, 2014 9:46 PM

The plow drivers do not make their own schedule and give themselves double time. They do as they are directed to do. I am sure many of them would have rather spent Christmas with their families. If you have a complaint put the blame where it should be.

Violet Aura from Nunya, USA  

Posted: January 5th, 2014 10:45 AM

So I rode my bike to SE OP yesterday afternoon before the snow hit and had to wheel it back later in the afternoon. The streets around Ascension were atrocious. Do any homeowners ever get on these people about this crap?! Do you even care?!

Kurt from Oak Park  

Posted: January 5th, 2014 10:40 AM

Plowing only east/west streets during a storm is brilliant! None of us lives more than 1/2 block from an east/west street. That gives us access to the north/south arteries. That saves resources to hit the rest of the village once the snow stops.

Chris from OP  

Posted: January 5th, 2014 6:04 AM

My impression is that OP just doesn't use salt. Harlem was a mess in OP long after it was bone dry in the Chicago stretches.


Posted: January 4th, 2014 6:45 PM

Alleys (esp.) and interior streets (both E/W and N/S streets) have barely been touched. I live in the Northeast corner of the village (near Taylor Park). It also seems the village ran out of their salt reserves by the time they hit my neighborhood. Ridgeland and Division look nice though, so kudos.

Paul from Oak Park  

Posted: January 4th, 2014 11:24 AM

Jed, I lived in south central Oak Park, and I've checked the mailbox as late as 10 PM some nights and there's nothing in it. But the following mornings, there is. (I checked at 11 PM New Year's Eve, and it was there, but not two hours before that.) Maybe the postal carrier has to cover extra routes and is running really late.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: January 4th, 2014 12:45 AM

For the first time in years, the DPW did not block our garage driveway with snow. Thanks, DPW.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: January 4th, 2014 12:43 AM

Adams and Oak Park Ave - I haven't seen the Post Office truck either.


Posted: January 3rd, 2014 8:53 PM

We did get a good size stack of mail delivered today.

Snowy from Oak Park  

Posted: January 3rd, 2014 7:41 PM

Live right next to the public works and our street remains largely unplowed, unsalted, and dangerous.

jed from oak park  

Posted: January 3rd, 2014 6:59 PM

So, on top of the unplowed streets, has anyone in the south side of Oak Park received US Mail in the last 4 days? Last day we got mail was 12/30. Nothing since. We certainly get enough magazines, etc, to get mail every day. I cannot believe that we have had no mail available for delivery since 12/30. We're in FAR south central Oak park and only saw a USPS van today -none since Monday.

da' plow...  

Posted: January 3rd, 2014 4:24 PM

alleys here still not plowed--N/S streets still have snow mounds at intersections on E/W streets--this is not plowing--it's haphazard--and the job right. use all equipment in that huge Public Works building that OP built...duh...

Not up to par  

Posted: January 3rd, 2014 3:29 PM

Perhaps an idea for the powers that be...all of us seem to be able to suggest problem spots. Put a map on the village website that allows us to drop pins at locations which need to be plowed. Holds the village accountable and gets the bad spots fixed--everybody wins. Hint: same idea would work for potholes! WJ, maybe you'd like to host it if the village won't?

Commuter from Oak Park  

Posted: January 3rd, 2014 3:10 PM

Side streets in the southwest corner of Oak Park were unplowed on Thursday morning and very unsafe for the back-to-work commute. Feared I would slide into another vehicle as I tried to make my way to Harlem Ave. Streets in Forest Park and River Forest were better.

Beyond Irritated from Oak Park  

Posted: January 3rd, 2014 2:53 PM

North Humphrey is a joke and a half. Doesn't help that the street was LOADED with cars 24/7 and not ticketed.I get it's the holidays but... Plows MUST be out DURING the storm NOT after. Also OP needs to address their parking procedures. the even/odd thing doesn't work & it's no enforced. PW also needs to learn how to plow/salt properly. Maybe Forest Park should teach plowing classes for extra cash..they know how to plow!

SN from Oak Park  

Posted: January 3rd, 2014 2:36 PM

What I don't understand is the snow ended almost 24 hours ago, yet driving from east central OP to the southwest corner; ALL the side streets were horrible, in particular streets such as East ave and Home ave. What is taking them so long to take care of these roads?

joe from south oak park  

Posted: January 3rd, 2014 2:04 PM

It's been a recurring theme for the last few years and there may be some method to the madness. Rather than plowing through the storm it seems that crews plow at the tail end. Thus, during the storm, with unplowed conditions, drivers are forced to drive slowly, avoiding higher speed accidents for low speed accidents. just be careful not to get your car stuck.

The Brad from OP  

Posted: January 3rd, 2014 1:19 PM

East/West streets on the NW and NE side of town had not been TOUCHED until late last evening. Thomas and Berkshire were not touched with one plow. Unreal. Meanwhile, we saw plows out for the dusting we got on Christmas night. OVERTIMEx2 ?

The Brad from OP  

Posted: January 3rd, 2014 1:16 PM

In response to ET: NO, plows were out well into the evening on the Holidays (Xmas was totally unnecessary and NY Day was overplowed), but they went home as soon as double-time pay ended at midnight and then we were screwed for the morning rush with most streets being dangerously difficult to navigate. Would love to know who made the call on this and if Wielebnicki knew of the gross misuse of OT funds by these drivers. Absolutely comical. Wife told me I should call someone. It's not worth it.

The Brad from OP  

Posted: January 3rd, 2014 1:11 PM

Wouldn't be concerned about this if we did not see the wastefulness of the drivers racking up major OT pay on these holidays, but then to not be able to navigate the streets to get to work after the holiday is unacceptable. Kenilworth, Augusta, Forest, Chicago, Marion (north of Lake) were untouched. Likewise, OP Ave going north to Division from the tracks was untouched. The plows should have been deployed early morning Jan 2 instead of eating up OT Pay on New Year's. Who made the call?

The Brad from OP  

Posted: January 3rd, 2014 1:07 PM

My major concern is that we witnessed snow plow drivers out on Christmas and New Years Day after snow events had ceased, meanwhile yesterday morning (1/2) Oak Park streets were so bad that we had a difficult time (no hyperbole) driving to the Metra station on Marion St. I mean, the streets had not been TOUCHED overnight. So, the drivers were paid, what, double-time to work the evening of NY Day and then just went home, and nobody was called in for early morning work? More...

ETphonedhome from Oak Park  

Posted: January 3rd, 2014 10:28 AM

This is my first winter snowfall in Oak Park and I'm really disappointed with the lack of salt/plows! I didn't see ANYT trucks out until yesterday (1/2/14), WOW, was everyone on vacation?? I moved here from Forest Park and I can say they are ALWAYS on top of their game with regards to snow removal. I witnessed SEVERAL trucks in FP within the past few days!!

Not up to par  

Posted: January 3rd, 2014 9:42 AM

As of yesterday at noon, the streets in our neighborhood hadn't been touched. Thank you to the private crews from local apartment buildings who are nice enough to plow the alley when they come to do the sidewalks. The village should be out making frequent passes every couple hours. Residents expect a basic level of service after a medium sized storm like this one. It wasn't a blizzard. Every street should have been touched within 24 hours after the first snowflakes.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: January 3rd, 2014 3:02 AM

Do you think that they do more east/west streets because there are less cars parked there. If they concentrate more on north/south streets than they will be plowing snow on cars parked there during the day. We also just finished a holiday parking pass for the streets which might have had an impact on additional cars on the street.

Chris Carrier  

Posted: January 2nd, 2014 10:47 PM

We had put a yardstick in the snow on our back deck and actually recorded exactly 11 inches. Regarding snow removal, it looks like OP prioritizes some E/W roads over N/S?

Oak Parker  

Posted: January 2nd, 2014 9:22 PM

Kudos to Oak Park! Our alley has been plowed and our street has been plowed several times. One complaint, people. I understand parking can be difficult in Oak Park. However, please have the decency to park in front of or behind the shoveled parkway sidewalk. We didn't clear the sidewalk so we could get to your passenger door. We cleared it for the mail carrier, firefighters, paramedics, or anyone else who may want/need easy access to the street or our homes.

Chris from OP  

Posted: January 2nd, 2014 7:58 PM

I have to respectfully disagree. As someone who drives through several suburbs daily going back and forth to work, OP/RF did poorly compared to others, even Chicago.

Paul from Oak Park  

Posted: January 2nd, 2014 5:18 PM

I echo what Suzette says. This was quite an event, lasting nearly 48 hours nonstop, leaving a delightful wintry white scene.

Suzette from Oak Park  

Posted: January 2nd, 2014 4:02 PM

The snow is beautiful and thanks to the efforts of the Village, we can all enjoy it safely. Thanks to all who help clear and maintain our streets. Glad to have a hill or two for the youngsters to enjoy !


Posted: January 2nd, 2014 4:02 PM

Nice job by the Village in clearing the snow from the streets!

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