Think capping the Eisenhower Expressway is a foolish idea? Even if you don’t, you might like its foil, www.paveoakpark.com. The site reuses many of the graphics from www.captheikestudy.com,  but with some notable changes.

For example, the Village of Oak Park’s traditional people-who-look-like-a-tree icon has been replaced with the Soviet hammer and sickle.

And the only link on the site is to a map of how additional eastbound and westbound lanes would look running across the village. A McDonald’s is proposed for Rehm Park, and Fenwick High School is a “Proposed Site for Nuclear Power Plant,” clearly flouting posted signs declaring the village a “nuclear-free zone.”

Click on the map and you get an animated look at how traffic would flow much smoother after the proposed expansion of the Ike to a 32-lane superhighway.

“This improved lane configuration, an incidental benefit to paving Oak Park, will produce improved traffic flow and reduce the incidence of vehicular collisions due to congestion.”

We wonder if they’re paying lobbyists as much as Oak Park is paying theirs.

Donut mutiny at Farmers’ Market?

What’s up with the Farmers’ Market donut operation? Lines have been extending all the way to Scoville Avenue and normally mellow browsers are grousing about spending so much time waiting.

Seems to be a case of supply and demand. Recently, Chicago Magazine named Oak Park’s Farmers’ Market donuts the best in the Chicago area. No surprise to Saturday patrons, but it may be increasing demand-though it’s hard to believe people are jumping on the Green Line and coming in from the city to sample them.

However, there also seems to be a problem on the supply side. The real pros in the Saturday donut operation are the members of Pilgrim Congregational, the host church, who have the most experience. One member of Pilgrim is supposed to be on hand each week to help the well-intentioned, but not always donut-aggressive volunteers to work the fryer. Apparently, not all the Pilgrim “captains” are pushing the fryer to its capacity. One Pilgrim veteran discovered last Saturday they were operating at less than half of capacity with each batch. So demand is far exceeding supply.

Something must be done to head off an impending “Donut Mutiny!”

‘A grand game of chicken’ over Colt?

We spoke to Village President David Pope last week about the July 11 public input meeting at which Oak Parkers discussed the three proposals for a restored Colt building. That’s the meeting where villagers criticized the proposal known as Scenario C, which includes the addition of three floors of condos to the existing Colt.

Pope was sympathetic to the concern expressed by many at the meeting about the lack of economic projections for each scenario-“It’s a little … challenging that [an economic analysis] wasn’t on the table at the time,” he said-but Pope was most intrigued by the dramatic reaction to Scenario C, which he believes came from two very different quarters.

“It’s very interesting from a political standpoint … one group is [objecting to Scenario C] because they want to preserve the building with no consideration to economic feasibility. Another group is doing this because they want to see the thing come down and are not interested in making [a restored Colt] an economically viable building.”

Pope said he wished there were a middle ground that allows for “increased density on the site” and thus, a better chance at economic viability.

He expressed doubt that adding a planned-but-never-built east wing on Westgate would help the Colt building’s economic viability and wondered if that was why one group objected to Scenario C. If that scenario is the only economically feasible option and the village board were forced to reject it, perhaps, they might be thinking, the board would have to scrap Colt building restoration altogether and decide to demolish and rebuild on the Colt site.

Whatever the strategy, Pope finds it “intriguing to hear both sides against it. It seems as though they’re in the middle of a grand game of chicken.”

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