Open Letter to village board and staff:
This letter is on behalf of 151 neighbors and residents of Oak Park whose names are attached below.
We urge you to prohibit the overnight operation of gas stations in Oak Park to reduce the opportunity for violent criminal activity in our community. We appreciate the time and attention that you have given to the safety of Oak Park residents. We especially want to thank you for taking the affirmative step of moving forward to create a barrier to limit the use of the Taylor Avenue driveway at the BP station at Taylor and Chicago. We believe that this will be an effective start in addressing both traffic and safety issues.
Back in 2017, Northeast Oak Park neighbors organized to address violent crime at the BP gas station at Taylor and Chicago. Five years later, the violence continues, including the murder in June of recent OPRF graduate Jailyn Logan Bledsoe and we are still asking the trustees to take action.
We are pleased that the owner has installed outdoor cameras and voluntarily limited his overnight hours. We have learned, however, that ensuring public safety is the village’s job and we cannot rely on voluntary or short-term measures. Moreover, even though the Chicago and Taylor gas station is the most violent in Oak Park, we know that other 24-hour gas stations in the village are also the site of violent crimes and that the residents near those stations also do not feel safe.
We urge the village to act to enact a village-wide prohibition on 24-hour gas stations in Oak Park. For the past several years, the village has committed an inordinate amount of tax dollars in the form of police surveillance to these overnight businesses and still, the violence has continued. One of the most important actions you can take at this time to reduce the opportunity for violent criminal activity in Oak Park is to prohibit overnight operations of gas stations.
The residents are relying on the trustees to act. We cannot wait another five years.
We are asking you to choose safety by prohibiting overnight operation of Oak Park gas stations. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Rhoda Bernstein, Allan Bernstein, Victor Ottati, Barbara Shulman, Dan Lesser, Carolyn Newberry Schwartz, David Schwartz, Sylvie Schwartz, Diane Ratekin, Thomas Yates, Karen Burke, Sophia Burke, Brad Farris, Laura Smith, Sean Smith, Georgina Swanson, Denis Roarty, Karl Leonard, Kristi Osga, Beth Clark, John Gagliano, Carmelita Nicks, Melvin Nicks, Hilarie Terebessy, David Terebessy, Kathleen Bokar, Mike Bokar, Gregory Danko, Katherine Danko, Jerry Delaney, Susan Abbott, Lynn Heald, Gina Gleason, Maureen Stratton, Tim Bannon, Geoff Swanson, Cheryl Terhorst, Burt Constable, Dan Knight, Sarah Knight, Helene Swanson, Ceal Bacom, Barbara Kahn, Tom Warzocha, Joseph Yates, Molly O’Connell, Michael Baldwin, Karen Baldwin, Christine Fenno, Patrick O’Shaughnessey, Susan Warner, Jennifer Alten, Lourdes Nicholls, Diana Alder, Nathan Aydelott, Scott Webb, Shauna Webb, John Norton, Clare Roarty, Pat Healey, Tamara Witzl , Karen McMillin, Emily Gage, Donna Oswald, Atlan Arceo-Witzl, Ed Malone, Jan Wright, Peggy Hyrnko, Gale Liebman, Ixtla Arceo-Witzl, Tom Morrison, Nancy Hess, Norm Amos, Aaron Stigger, Jay Valaitis , Emily Valaitis , Nadia Jaeger, Frank Jaeger, Lucinda Vriner, John Vriner, Ted Lawrence, Myra Lawrence, Todd Morgan, Irene Morgan, Lise McKean, Didier Marin, Rebekah Levin, Sophie Kaluziak, Joia Kopelow, Dan Kopelow, Paula Spring, Andy Tousignant, Taylor Kula, Pedro Rodriguez, Ben Conley, Laurie Conley, Nancy Hoehne, Chuck Hoehne, Justin Witte, Olivia Schreiner, Tammy Adkins, Margaret Klemundt, Anne Devaud, Laurie Volz, Stephanie Small, Mike Bingaman, Jennifer Vianello, Lenora Polhman, Leslie Weiss, Sideeka Ryan, Kathy Villasin, Rene Villasin, Lindsay Heidi, Therese Tencate, Jim Jepsen, Joe Darrow, Elizabeth Darrow, Shane Keane, Anne Wakely, Pamela Penney, Eric Penney, Megan McLean, Matt McLean, Bruce Robbins, Debbie Robbins, Cate Maidlow, Mark Maidlow, Helen Wei, Nancy Giangrasse, Erin Slack, Jasan Slack , Rudolph Robinson, Sabrena Robinson, Katelyn Turner, Dee Dee Parnell, Karl Lauger, Mark Fisher, Paul Henrys, Christine Fisher, Kim LoDolce, Anne Bowhay, Jeff Hanneman, James Kula, Maryelizabeth Kula, David Manno, Candace Durham, Mark Deaton, Dawn Deaton, Kim Phillips, Christina Darley, McKenzie Kula, Jeff Mason, Bradley Bruno, Steve Nasralla, Lynn Duschene, Dave Duschene, Tonya Hamilton