Destroying Marion St. mall would destroy our uniqueness

Opinion

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As the village board considers tearing up the Marion Street mall, AAA's Margaret Weier pens "Distinctive Oak Park," in its November-December 2005 issue. She discusses the Marion Street pedestrian walkway and its selection of one-of-a-kind stores. She refers to our "small-town grandeur" and downtown's eclectic shops and unique restaurants. She talks about arriving or departing from the train or "L" and using our free trolley. She also says there's ample parking in well-marked lots and garages.

Weier writes about the National Trust for Historical Preservation's recognition of Oak Park as one of 2005's Dozen Distinctive Destinations. And she says that we owe much of our popularity to our history.

Shall we tell this journalist to come back when our uniqueness is replaced by a car-catered Marion Street with pedestrians shunted to narrow sidewalks? How about attracting more interesting stores that residents and tourists want? How about saving what we have?

Jean Heyes
Oak Park

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