Can we please talk about the 800-pound elephant that’s standing in the middle of the room? The room, in this case, is the Village of Oak Park, and the elephant, obviously, is this problem with abandoned blue bicycles.

Come back here! This issue is not just going to go away if we ignore it. As we all know, it started with one blue bicycle, leaning year after pathetic year against the sign on Pleasant Street, just west of Ridgeland Avenue. It’s showing its age now, its seat decomposing, its shiny fenders dulling with the constant onslaught of weather and the cruel, cruel ignominy of public shame.

Has anyone bothered to ask questions? Does no one care enough to extend a hand to its rusting handlebar?

No. We have looked the other way; we have continued driving around in our minivans and sports utility vehicles. And now, sure enough, the problem has doubled. Another blue bicycle has joined the rolls of the forgotten. Tethered to a sign on Ontario Street, just west of Elmwood Avenue, this hapless bicycle is younger; we can tell by its lighter color. Abandoned only half a block from Oak Park and River Forest High School, perhaps this humble machine was betrayed by a teenager not yet ready for commitment.

We’ll never know unless we ask. So come on, people. Maybe this week you don’t need to spend your discretionary funds flinging yourselves recklessly around Oak Park and River Forest in a desperate attempt to find diversion. Maybe it’s time we took a moment for the blue bicycles, trapped and hopeless, that threaten to give the lie to the happy face of Oak Park. It’s time to give a damn!

Join the discussion on social media!