Upgrades on the way for Oak Park Arts District

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

Cosmetic changes are in the works for Harrison Street, which could bring new life to the burgeoning Oak Park Arts District.

Village hall plans to install colored, tiled crosswalks along Harrison this summer at the intersections of Ridgeland, Lombard and Lyman. Made from pre-formed plastic that adheres to the street, Village Manager Tom Barwin said the crosswalks have been used in other countries to liven up business districts.

"We've taken a situation that is just a crosswalk — plain, reoccurring, simple, every intersection has one — and shown how, with just a little flair and creativity, it can be made something special," Barwin said.

Oak Park is redoing the crosswalks as part of a resurfacing of Harrison this summer, said Village Engineer Jim Budrick. They hope to award a contract in May and finish the work by July. Materials for the new crosswalks would cost about $18,000.

Village hall is also repaving the north-south alley, just west of Lombard, this summer. Barwin said Oak Park is exploring whether Briejo Restaurant wants to rent the alley for part of the summer to allow outdoor seating.

"We're trying to bring people into the district and add customers, color and options," he said.

Briejo's owners could not be reached for comment on Monday.

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Donna from Oak Park  

Posted: April 6th, 2011 3:05 PM

I would prefer that Oak Park address the current red brick crossings over roads. I believe these are intended to be crosswalks, but it is hard to tell, with no identifying features such as stripes. Even as a 5yr old my daughter was savvy enough to point this out. Chicago Avenue is far to busy a road to have any doubt allowed.

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