I am pleased to see that the Oak Park Village Board isn’t amused by the idea of spending $10,000 of taxpayer money for an ill-defined “sustainability incubator feasibility study.” A board should sweat every nickel of taxpayer money. While the Wednesday Journal editorially characterized $10,000 as “peanuts,” Oak Park has proven that they can fritter away millions of dollars’ worth of peanuts, a few peanuts at a time.
There’s no point in incubating sustainability when the citizenry won’t buy into shackling the sustainability elephant in the room, namely autos. You’ll know the community is getting serious when slow streets are embraced rather than quietly disappearing, when segregated bike lanes a la Madison Street replace painted icons on the pavement, when we celebrate rather than bemoan the paucity of parking spaces, and when drivers yield the right of way to pedestrians even when a patrol car is not visible.
As far as hiring a consultant, I suspect $10K will barely be enough to help you figure out what you even mean by the term “sustainability incubator.”
Bob Stigger, Oak Park