Oak Parkers who have been vaguely aware of streetscaping changes along Madison Street this year, likely had their attention focused by the installation last week of nearly a dozen large white planters in the median strip from Austin Boulevard to Oak Park Avenue.
The planters, with chiseled designations for Oak Park and Madison Street on each facing side, are part of a $300,000 streetscaping project undertaken by the village with the involvement of the Madison Street Business Association.
Although currently without foliage and rather large-looking, members of the business association are raving about the planters. Bill Planek of Greenplan Management called them a “very important part of the street-scape. They look great, they give some character to the street,” he said. “It’s going to make them a lot different than the islands that were there.”
Linda Sahagian, a past president of the business association agreed, calling the planters beautiful, and praising the hard work that association president Dennis Marani did with the village. “We’re excited about the further development and growth along the Madison Street corridor, because we’re poised and ready,” said Sahagian. The planters are going to change flowers with the seasons, and each has a built-in watering mechanism.
With the new planters, improved brickwork, and Christmas decorations, Loretta Daly, Oak Park’s business services manager, calls the entire product “beautiful.” When asked if the planters looked a little big, Daly pointed out that they’re currently empty: “What everyone needs to keep an eye on is they’re seeing the planters without the planting.”
The village has also recently hired a consulting firm charged with creating a master development plan for Madison Street. That plan is expected to be completed in early 2006.