Eisenhower Expressway

I’m not sure what facts or figures the writer of the piece “Give up on ‘capping’ the Ike” [Viewpoints, July 13] uses to form the seemingly baseless opinion that “the portion of Oak Park south of the Eisenhower Expressway has not suffered a loss of equity due to the expressway.”

What level of success has the Eisenhower corridor had in developing and maintaining successful business districts? Just look at the strip mall and empty storefronts along Garfield, and volatility of stores along Oak Park Avenue, south of the highway. That “gap” breaks up the business district and has made it far more difficult for businesses.

Look at the statistics of violence and crime brought into our neighborhood and escaping from our neighborhood via the highway. Neighbors/friends only a block away seem much further when our children are forced to travel to and across busy village roads to cross the highway.

All in all, Capping the Ike, if proven viable in funding and engineering, is in no way throwing “good money after bad.” Additionally, the updates planned for the highway will only worsen the break within our neighborhood, with higher exit ramps and potential broad walls visually isolating us from each other.

The piece is little more than opinion without much fact to support it. I believe our village should do everything it can to improve all segments of Oak Park, and using available funding to regain a swath of land stripped away from our land-locked community would be a gain for all of us, providing great opportunities for development.

Michael Baldwin
Oak Park

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