The Village of Oak Park is trying to make sure everyone has a place to park their bicycles. Over the last 4-5 years, the village has been making an effort to install bike racks in all of the business districts and near the CTA and Metra stations, said Ellen McKenna, a civil engineer for the village and the point person for bike issues. Out of the 250 bike racks in Oak Park, more than half, about 130, have been installed in the last four years, she said. They have installed 14 so far this year and 20 to 25 more are set to be hammered in by the end of the summer.
As a board member of the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation and an avid biker herself, McKenna is open to requests for more bike racks. "Oak Park has been making an effort to have bike parking locations that are ideal for bicyclists," she said.
After meeting with representatives from the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation last summer, River Forest is also making an effort, said Gregory Kramer, the director of public works and village engineer. The business district along Lake Street is high on the agenda. By the end of the summer, they will add six new bike racks to the 14 already existing in River Forest, he said.
To request a bike rack in Oak Park, call 358-5720 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For River Forest, ask for public works when calling 366-8500. The engineers will check if the sidewalk is wide enough, measure the proximity to fire hydrants and talk to local businesses before they install the racks.