Perhaps it is time to pick a new name for the village of Oak Park. With all of the high-density buildings in process in central Oak Park, how about something along the lines of Gridlock, Illinois?
Let’s consider for a moment, what with the buildings in progress and the proposed high-density building planned for South Boulevard and Harlem Avenue, that we will have an estimated 2,000 new residents in less than one square mile. And that does not include another proposed high-density building (16 stories) at Lake Street and Forest Avenue (northwest corner)!
The village planners (using that term loosely) and the current administration have really created a monster, and future generations will be subjected to the resulting problems long after the current village government group is gone. Traffic alone will be a nightmare with any autos exiting from these new high rises heading onto local streets designed for only very light traffic. Not everyone can walk or ride a bike through this congested area, and forget about anyone coming from elsewhere to Shop Oak Park. Have you checked out Lake Street recently? Multiply that situation by 100 to get an idea of the traffic problems.
To make matters much worse, the “planners” propose putting Madison Street on a “diet” (cute name, terrible idea). What’s their rationale? Well, supposedly this narrowing of Madison will make for a better shopping district, and we have the word of the developers for that.
In fact, what the developer wants for Madison is mentioned at least three times in the explanation given by our good old planners. What about what local residents want? To that, village hall turns a deaf ear. If you reduce Madison, you will have zero main east-west streets to carry commuters and people just wanting to get from point A to point B. Where will the excess traffic go? It will just be more gridlock brought to you by our “planners” and the administration at village hall.
So let’s rename our once quaint village to something more indicative of what we are becoming. What’s your naming choice?