What's with the new signs around Oak Park?

Directional placards put up as part of village's bicycle plan

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

Little green signs have been popping up all over Oak Park recently. But what's their purpose, and who is putting them up?

According to Village Engineer Jim Budrick, the placards are part of Oak Park's village-wide bicycle plan that was completed in 2008. About 140 of the signs have been placed all over the village, pointing cyclists to major attractions such as parks, libraries and historic sites.

The signs were installed in June by West Chicago-based Traffic Control & Protection, at a cost of about $14,000, according to Budrick. Most of that was covered by a grant from the state of Illinois.

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Teresa Powell  

Posted: July 21st, 2011 12:37 PM

One commenter asked why some of the signs were needed to remind people that bikes have full use of the lane. This may be clear to some but not to all, including drivers, as comments were raised after the lanes were marked but before the signs were installed about how intersections were handled. This signage may help.


Posted: July 21st, 2011 10:40 AM

Jim you obviously have no practical experience in any of the issues you whine about here, this being yet another. If you've ever had the responsibility to cost out a sign you might realize the cost isn't that dramatic. Instead, you once again try to raise red flags where there is no pole. Leave it alone. The signs are attractive, purposeful and serve the community which as all you should care about.

O P Resident  

Posted: July 21st, 2011 7:48 AM

Maybe the VOP has the ability and does make good sound financial decisions regarding the financial health of our Village. Just maybe.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: July 21st, 2011 2:02 AM

Steady now, OyVeg! An open bidding process is an effective to control costs and avoid the appearance of favoritism. What's not to like? You should stop waiting for me to comment on a wacky scenario. I'm puzzled by the attention.

O P Resident  

Posted: July 20th, 2011 11:56 PM

Whats your function?!


Posted: July 20th, 2011 11:21 PM

My lord Jim, everything to you comes down to open bidding. I'm waiting to hear you suggest the high school kids should have done it in Art class or some other wacko comment as you've made in the past.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: July 20th, 2011 8:09 PM

Good point.Dooper. A follow-up question is in order.


Posted: July 20th, 2011 8:05 PM

Jim Coughlin: It doesn't make sense but over the years I have learned to question what is not clearly stated. Maybe Mr. Stempniak can ask Mr. Budrick if that was the total cost.

kitty from oak park  

Posted: July 20th, 2011 5:41 PM

The signs are overkill and a waste of money. However, since we are now paying for them, I do hope they last longer than the yellow sidewalk paint that directs us to schools, the same paint that is wearing off after 1 winter.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: July 20th, 2011 1:00 PM

That doesn't make sense, Dooper. I sure hope the company was not charging $14K just to install these signs. That certainly could not be their primary business function. More likely, $14K covered production and installation. Still seems a bit steep. I do agree with Christine that we're about maxed with all of the signage around town.


Posted: July 20th, 2011 5:30 AM

Eye pollution! It's the new ozone. It is everywhere! Every block, every alley, every pole. It's there, even on the sidewalks. Signs, lines, letters and arrows. You cannot get away.


Posted: July 19th, 2011 10:36 PM

Jim Coughlin: Mr. Budrick said the installation cost was $14,000 and was mostly covered by a grant. He did not say how much the signs cost.

David Hammond from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 19th, 2011 7:54 AM

Kids should be able to ride on sidewalks, Tom, but wouldn't you agree that "if you're over 9 years old, there's no reason to ride on the sidewalk"?


Posted: July 19th, 2011 7:34 AM

Kids should be able to ride their bikes on the sidewalk. The street is much too dangerous. The signs are fine. What a bunch of complainers.


Posted: July 18th, 2011 9:18 PM

These little signs are clearly part of someone's obsession with bicycle lanes. The lanes on Division and elsewhere are fine, but the sign overkill is comical. When they end at a big intersection, there is a big $200 sign that says Bicycles Can Use Full Lane. Like anyone needs to be told that. It is already the law. As for all the stupid little signs, why bikers need directions to every piddly park in Oak Park, I do not know, but greenie bureaucrats do not think like I do.

another OP resident from Oak Park  

Posted: July 18th, 2011 5:32 PM

I like the new signs - very appropriate for a tourist town. Now if only the trees would be trimmed enough to be able to see them (and the stop signs) before you get on top of them!

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: July 18th, 2011 5:29 PM

$100 each seems like a steep price to pay for "little green signs". Was there an open bidding process?

Bob Kane from Oak Park  

Posted: July 18th, 2011 3:05 PM

I think the signs are a great addition and helpful to walkers,bikers and drivers.

David Hammond from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 18th, 2011 2:09 PM

I can't tell if you're serious, Epic Putz, but just because there's market demand for a product does not mean that the product is a good thing. Let me be more clear: cars will be with us for a long time to come, but if we can reduce our usage of them, there would be beneficial results for many of us (though not, of course, the oil companies, for whom I do not weep).

Epic Putz  

Posted: July 18th, 2011 1:36 PM

If we all used bikes instead of cars, anyone ever think what would happen to the economy? Just ask the common Chinese citizen if they would rather trade their bike for a car.....guess what they would say (and are saying, based on their demand for cars....) Let's get rid of planes, TV, radio, cell phones while we are at it too....

David Hammond from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 18th, 2011 1:19 PM

If we all used bikes instead of cars, the world would be a better and cleaner place. I believe that. But many bike riders I share the road with (and I ride a lot; I don't own a car)are a danger to themselves and others. Eric, I'm with you: cars are much more dangerous. That's no excuse for cyclists to assume the laws of Illinois and physics do not apply to them.

Eric from Oak Park  

Posted: July 18th, 2011 11:39 AM

Wow, I don't understand people who think cyclists are reckless and dangerous to share the road with. Maybe you should take a look at the 5,000 pound box of steel that your careening down the road in at 30 mph?? That's really safe, huh? Great for the environment, too. http://www.peopleforbikes.org/ Join the movement and get rid of that impractical gas guzzling crap.

epic lulz  

Posted: July 17th, 2011 8:40 PM

"I might have this wrong" No "might" about it. You are indeed wrong. Even if that were the case (that roads were only and solely maintained by funds paid by automobiles) cyclists do pay in almost equal relation to the amount of wear and tear they have on the roadways (ie, practically nil).

Jim Mariner from River Forest  

Posted: July 17th, 2011 8:12 PM

Totally agree with David Hammond. I am an avid walker and cannot tell you how many times I've been sideswiped or almost hit by bicyclists riding down the sidewalk. It's called a sideWALK, not a sideBIKE.

David Hammond from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 17th, 2011 7:14 PM

I'm a constant bicyclist myself, Sylvia, and I think I understand your point. Bicyclists seem to believe standard rules of the road do not apply to them. My feeling is that if you're on a bike, you need to stop at stop signs and traffic lights, as well as yield right of way, and if you're over 9 years old, there's no reason to ride on the sidewalk.

Sylvia Argo  

Posted: July 17th, 2011 5:00 PM

How many tickets have OPPD issued to bicyclists YTD?

Brian Slowiak from oak Park  

Posted: July 16th, 2011 3:20 PM

I might have this wrong, but the roads are maintained by the motor vehicle fuel tax, and we pay the tax at the pump. If a bicyclist wants to share the road with a motor vehicle, the bicyclist should pay their fair share of the tax to gain access to the road. Also, the traffic code applies to all vehicles using the road. Traffic citations should be issued for cyclists who improperly use lanes and dont stop at stop signs and red lights and equipment offenses.

Brian Crawford from Oak Park  

Posted: July 16th, 2011 2:16 PM

Dooper is right. We all need to recognize that the roads don't belong only to motorized vehicles. Motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians all have a right to share the road. Sadly, this is an easier concept to understand than to put into action. http://www.bikeleague.org/action/sharetheroad.php

Dooper from Oak Park  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 9:26 PM

My best guess as to why we're seeing these new biking signs throughout Oak Park? The village/park district wants to give the appearance that Oak Park is biker-friendly when, in fact, anyone who has tried to safely bike here knows... Oak Park is anything BUT biker-friendly. It takes more than spray painting some poorly placed bike lane designations and throwing up a few street signs with pictures of bikes on them to make a village 'biker-friendly'.

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