Oh for heaven’s sake! Is anyone in a decision-making capacity currently listening at all to the voices of residents and home owners in this village? I agree 100 percent with last week’s contributor to Wednesday Journal warning that the “road diet” decision on Madison is a losing proposition for those residents who value quality of life near Madison Street.
And if losing two lanes, one in each direction, and creating gridlock that drivers on Madison will want to escape is being touted as a way to increase economic development, I say let’s go on record and tell the decision-makers that the cost is too high. The traffic that will inevitably spill onto other quiet roads nearby will be an absolute given. No one is listening or seems to care about this. This is a big deal.
Notwithstanding the impact on the residential community of spillover traffic, there is another issue that also contributes to resident’s quality of life here in town. It is being able to move (or not move, as is often the case) in a car, from place to place within and, dare I say it, outside the boundaries of our town. I love Oak Park but really, one does occasionally need to exit the village to get to work or go downtown! Has anyone done a study on how long it takes to do that? Why eliminate the capacity of one more east-to-west, major through street in our town? Try asking a driver on Lake Street how long it takes to drive from Ridgeland to Harlem for example on any given day. Better have a book on tape cued up in your car!
Driving anywhere in Oak Park has become a headache. How long does it take to move from your residence to the expressway, or north to Galewood, or south to Berwyn right now? Just for fun, put a folding chair up on Madison and count the cars in two lanes filling the road on any given day so that walking across turns into an Olympic sport. Where will these cars go instead?
Madison should remain a through street and should not be put on any “road diet.” The definition of a through street is: “a street on which the through movement of traffic is given preference.” Where indeed is the movement of traffic in this village given preference and what will be the outcome when it is not?
You read it here: It will not be a good thing.
Lynn Grogan is a resident of Oak Park.