Elections have consequences.
Oak Park is going to watch as the impact of its newly elected village board begins to show on a range of issues.
Here’s an early indicator: This board will make climate and sustainability a priority. Trustees Susan Buchanan and Arti Walker-Peddakotla chafed on the last board as climate initiatives were given short shrift. Recently elected Trustee Ravi Parakkat served on the village’s sustainability commission.
The return and possible expansion of last summer’s Slow Streets program is back on the table. This was a hastily rolled out project designating specific streets which were focused on allowing outdoor recreation with limited auto traffic. Now its main proponents, the Bike Walk Oak Park advocacy group, is pushing its return and the implementation of the full Greenways initiative that has been discussed since 2015.
There’s going to be push and pull, but a turn toward making Oak Park more walkable, more cyclable, less auto-focused is underway.