I gave up owning a car 15 years ago, and I walk from home to bus stop or el station. It was a wise move to save money and for a greener planet. However, in this bizarre freezing ice of a winter, it is clearly safer to walk down the street than to use sidewalks. We pedestrians, taxpayers who decide to walk, are risking our lives on sidewalks that could be shoveled clean by some altruistic homeowner. 

The crosswalks are the walker’s worst nightmare — frozen and slippery stacks of overgrown ice that threaten to put any pedestrian in the hospital. The village of Oak Park plows the streets to make driving a little safer in this frozen tundra, but what about the sidewalks where we pedestrians now fear to tread? 

I have slipped on sidewalks, village parking lot walkways, and crosswalks. We are paying for the same snow removal for drivers as we pay for walkers. Imagine the outrage if parts of Lake Street had three feet of ice blocking access to an intersection, or if Ridgeland Avenue were too slippery to drive, causing cars to smash into houses. The protest would be never-ending. 

I admonish pedestrians concerned about safety to walk down the street they paid for. The sidewalks in Oak Park are not a viable walkway until the massive glaciers melt, or the village lives up to its taxpayer-funded obligation to clear village sidewalks. Clearly, the village has put walkers on the lowest priority.

Andrew P. Acosta

Oak Park

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