Why not use the Mohr concrete company on Harlem in Oak Park for the Marion Street mall sidewalk? How much more total cost is bluestone, imported from out of town, out of state, out of the Midwest, using an enormous amount of energy and TIF to transport tons of stone from N.Y. or Pennsylvania? Remember: “think globally” about the impact on the planet, and “act & shop locally” to reduce dependence on oil and reduce emission of CO2.
What will be the increase to the village’s annual operating expenses for heating the sidewalk, especially using more unsustainable energy compared to other means of clearing snow? Remember: dirty polluting coal is used in the generation of electricity. The goal is to decrease our use of energy. In snowy weather, will people drink & eat outdoors because the sidewalk is warm?
There have been plenty of acknowledgements that global warming is real, with our car culture as a major contributor, so why encourage more use of cars? The village shuttles provide pleasant relaxing rides without parking hassles.
Many people at the Marion mall don’t know about the plan to restreet and asked if the buildings were coming down, too. As more condominiums are built in our village, will Marion Street be lined with tall condos needing water and sewer upgrades? What water and sewer infrastructure changes are in the restreeting plan?
When all the anticipated new people, attracted by the new cobblestone street, drive down Marion Street, see the stores and want to shop, where will they park? A local resident who is a civil engineer asked, why aren’t we providing parking first, then see if the business situation improves, before opening the street?
On March 10, a visitor from Ithaca, N.Y., told me Ithaca has a fine prosperous outdoor mall. Has the board or DTOP inquired on why that one is successful?
The Marion Street mall has existed while a whole generation grew up (over 25 years), both visitors as well as residents, making it part of the essence of Oak Park.
I urge the Oak Park village board to be wise and change their minds, before living breathing trees are soon killed.