Forest Park to share $1.3M grant for Madison upgrade

Streetscaping planned between Desplaines and Van Buren on towns' border


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By Jean Lotus

Forest Park Review Editor

Streetscaping on Madison Street in Forest Park and River Forest will get a boost west of Desplaines Avenue thanks to a $1.34 million grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation's Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) and IDOT, the two villages announced yesterday.

The funds will be used to spiff up Madison between Desplaines and the railroad tracks, making the streetscape feel continuous traveling west and, hopefully, attracting more businesses on both the Forest Park and River Forest side, said Forest Park Village Manager Tim Gillian, who applied for the ITEP grant, with the help of Forest Park's part-time lobbyist Matt O'Shea, who served as Forest Park's second village administrator from 2000-2004.

"If anyone questions the value of our lobbyist, Matt O'Shea did a lot of the work," Gillian said.

The ITEP is a federal grant for streetscaping that incorporates elements encouraging bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

IDOT received 328 applications requesting ITEP federal funding, which totaled nearly $327 million, the Village of Forest Park said in a press release. Gillian said only 53 municipalities got the funds.

"Forest Park was the lead agency on this," said River Forest Village Administrator Eric Palm. "We appreciate all the hard work. For half a million in local investment, we leveraged $1.3 million."

Palm added, "This type of collaboration shows local governments responding well to challenges and cooperating to do things differently."


Reader Comments

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Gary Sullivan from River Forest  

Posted: February 12th, 2013 9:31 PM

For the record I will no longer respond to those who are using aliases in their identity. You are not real people.You have your opinions and I have mine and I won't change your mind and you won't change mine. Have a nice day.

RF Achievement  

Posted: February 11th, 2013 10:07 PM

Mr. Sullivan - noted you addressed another poster who - like you used name calling. Indeed not good by either of you. Can you reply to my comments, or did you want to say the debt figures are not accurate?

Jim Wisuri from River Forest  

Posted: February 5th, 2013 10:05 PM

Just read this item and, in particular, the comments. Reminds me of the graffiti one of my best friends in high school once wrote. "Is there intelligent life on Earth?" "Yes, but I'm just passing through."

Gary M Sullivan from River Forest  

Posted: February 5th, 2013 9:35 PM

In response to that who wrote Gary Sullivan Is Still Here: You got my attention with the disgusting reference to my holding something you obviously don't have. Probably nice to wear pants that don't need a zipper you twit! Enough of my giving you press time; why don't we just meet at Pervert Park so I can beat the heck out of you. I am sure you can be found in the bushes leering at people. Not too political of me to respond like this but who cares anyway? I will even give you first punch buddy

More info from River Forest  

Posted: February 5th, 2013 9:54 AM

Danny must be another of these posters who took the Civics class at District 209. The grant for FP and RF was already established before Welch took office. But of course it comes as no surprise that Welch is trying to take credit for the work of others.


Posted: February 5th, 2013 9:42 AM

And this had nothing to do with Rep. Welch, despite what the trolls want you to believe.


Posted: February 5th, 2013 9:40 AM

Shade trees, planters, benches, trash receptacles, decorative cross walks, brick pavers, curb bump outs, pedestrian scale street lighting. Go to the 2010 Corridor Study on the RF website for an idea. Details may vary, but the overall theme will stay the same.

Danny from River Forest  

Posted: February 4th, 2013 9:11 PM

Thank Rep Welch

RF Achievement  

Posted: February 4th, 2013 6:05 PM

@FYI - if you know what is NOT planned, could you share what is planned. Thanks,


Posted: February 4th, 2013 5:59 PM

There are no bocce ball courts planned, JRM. And that bocce court was built by the park district, not the village.

JRM from RF  

Posted: February 4th, 2013 5:29 PM

Streetscaping?? Do we really need another bocci court (and it's ongoing maintenance)? Hopefully this money we are geting back from having paid federal taxes leads to at least $500.000 in new tax income so RF can pay down its debt.

Gary Sullivan Is Still Here?  

Posted: February 2nd, 2013 8:00 PM

Gary Sullivan, shill for Frank Paris and Chuck Biondo, member of the board that allowed Paris and Biondo to raid the pension funds, contributing to the current 20+million underfunding problem. After you lost the election you tried so hard to hold Frank's weenie for him but failed miserably, and this is just another one of those attempts...

RF Mischiever from River Forest  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 11:55 AM

Didn't Frank Paris refuse to accept a grant to buy that fire truck that we share with OP? I heard he thought that it was beneath RF to accept charity. And is it true that despite the fact that RF paid 50% of the purchase and operating costs, RF was only permitted to use the equipment 5% of the time? Heck of a deal....if you live east of Harlem.

RF Achievement  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 11:25 AM

Well....let's see, after 4 years of Paris being gone, we have folks who THINK his image is being tarnished, just a bit. Based on what we have seen on OUR tax bill -- debt of 7+ million along with Unfunded Pensions of 20 million -- President Paris should be commended from Hiding the Depths of the problems of River Forest for all these years - and playing a shell game with the Villages funds. Mr. Sullivan is right - best man to Lobby, Lobby, and Lobby?

Gary M Sullivan from River Forest  

Posted: January 31st, 2013 5:48 PM

It is great that Forest Park has a paid lobbyist that also helped River Forest in this project. Seems to me that our town had a non paid lobbyist who really improved our tax base, schools and did a lot of other good things. His name is Frank Paris who had one heck of a Village Administrator Chuck Biondo.

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