We rightly think of Oak Park as the King of Cul-de-sacs. Try getting into Oak Park off Austin Boulevard or North Avenue and you will be blocked at nearly every turn. We can debate the reasoning for those roadblocks, but they are effective at blocking access to the village.

Meanwhile, on Oak Park’s southern border along Roosevelt Road, it is Berwyn that has installed cul-de-sacs on every one-way street heading into that city. You can’t get out of Berwyn on a side street but you can only enter at an intersection with a stoplight.

This comes to mind right now because of the Memorial Day shootout on Roosevelt Road and into south Oak Park as rowdy drinkers exited Mike’s Place, the long problematic bar on the Berwyn side of the street at Cuyler. Customers at Mike’s can’t easily park in Berwyn because of the cul-de-sacs, so instead they park in Oak Park with its ready access.

We’re not fans of cul-de-sacs and, 50 years in, we see the divisive impact those barriers have caused between Austin and Oak Park. But as Oak Park police and their counterparts in Berwyn pledge to meet to discuss enforcement tactics outside Mike’s Place, finding a way to keep those customers out of Oak Park has to be considered.

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