There are four alternative plans from the Illinois Department of Transportation for the eventual rebuilding of the Eisenhower Expressway through Oak Park and the near west suburbs. Each of those plans includes adding a fourth lane in each direction. Each plan calls for containing the expansion of the Ike within the existing ditch in Oak Park. Each plan includes extension of the Blue Line el out to Mannheim Road.
Two of those results — the ditch and the el — represent notable victories for Oak Park's intense efforts to steer this planning process. And the third — the fourth lane — was and should be a foregone conclusion. Oak Park deserves to be satisfied with this result and we need to start working, somewhat skeptically but more collaboratively, with IDOT to bring the exit ramp proposals more under control, to influence the final choices on how the added lane will be used — HOV, toll, and to press hard for notably wider bridges at Austin, Oak Park and Harlem that will accommodate buses, bikes, drop-offs and pedestrians.