Just to add a note to your recent article, the RTA Cook-DuPage Corridor Study Citizen Advisory Committee was also disappointed that the third phase of the study has been put on “hold.” [Battle looms over wider Ike, news, May 27] We would very much like to see it reactivated so as to properly complete the study and all of the work put forth to date. There were many good ideas and alternate solutions developed as a result of the first two phases of this study, and it would be a shame if they were not fully analyzed for consideration as part of the solution to the congestion problems in the corridor.
This committee had good Oak Park representation, with myself and both Larry Christmas and Rick Kuner as committee members. It’s also worth noting that, in addition to the Oak Park representation on the citizen advisory committee and the policy committee, the technical committee for the study also included our own Rob Cole. So, in all, Oak Park was intrinsically involved in the Cook-DuPage Corridor Study.
I think it may be in village’s best interest if we collectively make an effort to avoid antagonist references, such as the word “battle,” when referring to our efforts in working with this very difficult, complex and enormous issue. To date the village, its citizens and consultants, while holding true to our community’s beliefs and standards, have been working very hard to navigate the very challenging political processes involved in this issue that require finesse in negotiating an understanding of all party’s needs and expectations.
Also, a point of clarification: The $955,000 is not part of the $4.8 million in federal money designated to Oak Park for cap-the-Ike-related issues. [Federal money to fund next phase of Ike Cap, news, May 27] About four years ago – as a result of many citizens, village staff and consultants – Oak Park was successful in obtaining federal funding via our senators and congressman from two federal sources: $955,000 from the federal appropriation bill (which required no matching local and state dollars) and $4.8 million from the federal transportation bill (which does require matching dollars and is not yet tapped into).
The $955,000 from the federal appropriation bill, which has only recently been approved and released from the state, is designated to continue the study of capping the Eisenhower based on the findings and recommendations as set forth in our 2003 feasibility study. This next round of analysis involves multiple specific studies that will enable both us and the state to determine how we can incorporate a “capping solution” over the Ike through Oak Park.
I am confident that the village will continue its efforts of keeping the citizens involved and apprised as to this next study phase process. Thank you for continued reporting on issues related to the Ike and the cap.
Fred Brandstrader is an Oak Park resident and chair of the Cap the Ike Stakeholders Advisory Committee and Cook-DuPage Corridor Study Citizen Advisory Committee.