I agree with the memories Ken Trainor wrote about the Marion Street mall in his May 2 column. Who could help but notice individuals, couples, people pushing baby strollers through the Marion street mall? If businesses weren’t making money from pedestrians, it certainly isn’t the fault of the foot traffic. The customer base was there, but it requires good business know-how to know what people will buy.

What better place to sit down and do some people-watching while eating lunch or enjoying a nice evening? It made a nice place to have family activities. The re-opening of Marion Street does include widening the sidewalks allowing people to still enjoy having a sandwich while noisy cars drive by.

Oak Park is never going to become the mega-shopping district it once was. Foolish past boards thought building parking lots was the answer. Now there is talk of building another parking garage on North Boulevard.

What really amazes me, is the idea that citizens in Oak Park think they actually have a say-so on what goes on in Oak Park. They get their five minutes at a village hall meeting, and the board members can’t even show a little interest in what people are telling them.

Has anyone ever applied for a building permit to remodel their kitchen or other projects in their home? There are several processes to go through, but somehow, while village board members were listening to citizens, another group had to be in the back room arranging things because the contracts were already approved and the demolition crew was ready.

I suppose the village can use the saying used on the Hill: History will prove if we were right or wrong. After all, they aren’t the majority who are paying for it.

Bill Maxwell
Oak Park

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