About a year ago, I asked the village of Oak Park to put up a crosswalk sign on a busy intersection by my house. The intersection could be quite dangerous and because I cross it a few times a week and have small children, I felt more safety measures needed to be added. After a few months of calls, emails to the village, and even an editorial op-ed piece in Wednesday Journal, the crosswalk was installed. I was thrilled.
My first step in the cause for safety was taken because I felt safety was a topic everyone in Oak Park could agree upon.
Apparently, not everyone agrees with the safety cause.
The elementary school district has proposed eliminating bus service for elementary and middle schools in Oak Park. This is highly concerning because this significantly puts students and carpoolers at a safety risk. More children will be walking to school, and many parents will be carpooling. From my experience with proposing one crosswalk sign, I have legitimate concerns that there may be more intersections without proper signage that many students will be crossing and that many carpoolers will be ignoring.
No alternatives have been suggested by District 97, but after speaking with some fellow Oak Park parents and residents, I compiled a list of alternatives to share:
Carpool with families that I do not know.
Ask the New York Stock Exchange if they can open about 30 minutes later so I can take my children to school without missing the opening bell.
Have my 5-year-old child walk on Harlem Avenue at 6:55 a.m.
Fire my nanny of two years so I can find one who can come earlier to take my child to school.
Ask my employer if I can come to work 45 minutes later for the duration of my career.
Buy another car.
Hire more crossing guards (but they need $15/hour minimum).
Find a realtor.
Obviously, there are many more suggestions, but I think the point is that this will not only be inconvenient for parents, it will also have an impact on the community.