Capping the Ike? No, not a dormant idea but apparently a dominant one. As we foolishly continue to seek funds to “study” capping the Ike to create more park land, when we can’t take care of the parks we have now, the wheels of government grind away in the background to widen the Eisenhower.

It’s the classic case of the chairs on the Titanic. Who cares what the chairs look like after the ship sinks? When – if the Ike is widened – tens of thousands more cars every day move slowly (yes, slowly – studies prove that if you build it, many more cars will come) through our town producing tons of air pollution and noise; when a major part of historic Columbus Park is covered by the new westward off ramps in addition to the demolition of homes in the Barrie Park neighborhood for the easterly off ramps; or, alternately, when Lombard or East Avenue become the new north-south route leading to and from new off ramps; and when, in order to build a cap and widen the road (one won’t happen without the other), we lose the land that might have been used to extend public transit rail to the west as far as it can go?

Is this what our new VMA board considers “sustainable” and “green”–more cars, bigger roads, more pollution, and trust me, no cap? What “responsible” government funding body would buy little old Oak Park it’s very own cap when that money could be used for roads? Let’s start fighting the expansion of this highway now – let’s not continue to be diverted into seeking a pie-in-the-sky cap.

Julie Samuels
Oak Park

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