I’ve lived in Oak Park over 20 years and have become accustomed to all the laws, rules and regulations that are imposed on us by Big Brother. For the most part, I don’t mind since many are not enforced. I am still able to smile when people refer to Oak Park as the “People’s Republic of Oak Park.”
However, the snow-shoveling law just passed by the village board is just too much. I live on a corner and shovel my walks. I believe it is my civic duty and responsibility. I think it’s important in our town because so many people walk as opposed to the outlying suburbs where no one walks and everyone drives everywhere.
I don’t need the village to tell me what I already know and 90 percent (as I read in the Journal and have personally observed) of people already do. If 90 percent of people are already in voluntary compliance, why pass a law? How many more are going to shovel their walks? I would say very few.
I sympathize with disabled people having a problem in snowy weather, but this law will do nothing to help them. Even with 100-percent compliance, they still won’t be able to cross streets or alleys because of the plows dumping the snow back onto the sidewalks. The law does not address this issue. After shoveling, should we put out old dinette chairs so that the plows don’t push snow onto cleared areas at crosswalks? Sort of an Oak Park version of Chicago’s “dibs.” What’s the point of passing an ineffective law other than to make a few people feel like they’re doing something about a problem?
How will the new law be enforced? After a citizen informs on his neighbor, is the village going to dispatch an employee to come out and verify the violation and then issue a ticket? If so, why doesn’t the employee just bring along a snowblower and actually fix the problem? We already have enough laws that are disregarded such as blowing stoplights and stop signs and the requirement to buy village stickers for cars (which I assume is voluntary, judging from how few people get them). Another ineffective, non-enforced law will be of no use.