Driving off the 290 into Oak Park

The Eisenhower is now under construction and limited to three lanes, going to downtown Chicago. So why is it that the lanes going west to Harlem Avenue takes over twenty minutes to navigate from the Laramie exit of the I-290? Is it that the residents of this area, the village of Oak Park, IL just that feeble when it comes to driving that going the speed limit is just something that is impossible to achieve? As I drive through Oak Park, IL I see a lot of crappy driving and not because people are driving and texting at the same time.

The issue really is the driving skills of the average person in the area, distracted and slow, it is a low worse than the south suburb drivers I dealt with years ago.  In that area, the people really do not have anywhere to go when in comparison to Oak Park, IL and the surrounding areas. Plus, with the amount of access to various ways of transportation to events, places, and landmarks you would think that these bad drivers would be a thing of the past. The village is always trying to push a bike or walking initiative. Events to celebrate the village’s past and present, group activities, etc., etc., all of these things should make the drivers who exit I-290 going into Oak Park, IL a little bit smarter, efficient and faster.

However, that is not true, and these drivers just annoy the shit out of me and others on the road who can easily reach the 55-mph speed limit. You know those drivers who can navigate the expressways with other (similar) drivers in the metro area and beyond to get from point A to point B and vice versa without trouble and in a timely manner. Who the hell are these other drivers who need more driving classes or maybe to have their licenses taken away from them and in exchange are given a bus or CTA pass? Why can they not just get the hell out of the way?

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Do not be disabled and try to get around downtown Oak Park, IL

So now there is limited disability access to Oak park’s downtown, the construction downtown has become an obstacle for many trying to navigate the area. The intelligence of Oak Park officials at work here, has both sides of sidewalks for Lake and Forest closed not only for pedestrians but for those with disabilities as well. Unfortunately, now everyone has to walk in the streets and nearly get hit by passing cars due to the fact Oak Park, cannot manage simple project management implementation.

The yearlong project in this area has about a couple more weeks to go, with signs informing the public are “clearly marked” sounds like a complete standard cop out. Administratively the village has done the bare minimum as required by law, and that is all that can be expected. I am not sure why anyone can believe there will be anything more from this village administration. Total scrooges the lot of them. Thinking that they will give any resident the time of day to give input or have their concerns be listened to.

As I always said the machine that is Oak Park, IL and their construction plans all over and amongst the village is inept. Why does it surprise anyone that you need to risk your lives to merely cross the street? Only in Oak Park, Il is the greed of the few overweighting the needs of the many.

This is the article discussing the issues at Lake and Forest in downtown Oak park, Il: https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/06/14/construction-in-oak-park-creates-added-obstacle-for-residents-with-disabilities/

Oak Park, IL has to fix bridges haha

Amazing enough that Oak Park, il has to pay for something that is traffic related but falling concrete is a worthy cause. Having this happen at such a major intersection is totally insane. The only thing I can think of is that local construction may have added in the cause of falling concrete. The cause and effect of new construction’s impact to existing structures is not something that is readily thought of.

But as old as some of the structures are in oak park, il this should not be an afterthought. Safety concerns and all that to residents, tourists, pedestrians and drivers alike who use this thoroughfare as a means of travel. From point a to point b, there is a lot of thought put into aesthetics but not into practicality. Hopefully this is a wakeup call to head future projects into that line of thought, need over want.

https://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/4-2-2019/Oak-Park-to-patch-failing-bridges/

Oak Park, IL: the Connelly’s Public house letter

Meanwhile as I was ranting and raving about how Oak Park, IL does not take care of the local businesses in its downtown area. I believe I forgot to post the letter that Connelly’s Public house (that’s the name!) posted to their door when they closed slamming Oak Park, IL for their business failing due to the construction of the nearby condos in the area on South Boulevard.

The posted letter is damning, funny and altogether true, Oak Park, IL does forget local businesses in their village and does not promote them the way they should.  Because unless you physically walked in the are you would not have known that Connelly’s Public House was there or that the Chinese restaurant before it was replaced by it! Oak Park, il is sure quick to remember its “history” but not to promote its present commerce bodies in the area.

When you think of the tax revenue alone that is lost by failing businesses in the area as residents, it does make you sick to your stomach. In the photos I got of the area during construction, you can see it is a nice sunny day, however there is no traffic, car or foot in the area. However, if you go a block north there was tons of traffic. Oak Park, iL must do better in promoting and acknowledging that businesses are in the area for them to flourish and help us care the immense tax burden that the village officials like to heap on everyone here. Hell, to even bring in tourists and local shoppers or even establish a better night life scene Oak Park, IL has to do better by looking out for businesses like the Connelly’s Public house before the entire downtown area becomes a ghost town.

Bar Louie closing in Oak Park,IL

I recently heard that the Bar Louie in downtown Oak Park, IL is going out of business following the Five Guys basically across the street. Almost a year ago the brew house that replaced Szechwan Beijing went out of business as well. The Commercial corridor that Oak Park, iL believes their downtown to be is a literal wasteland of empty storefronts and revolving door businesses. The main issue involved with that is the problematic parking that sucks the oxygen of any dinner plans tourists may have.

I loved the letter that the ill-fated brew house left on the door of their business as they closed, they felt that Oak Park. IL did not assist them when there was the new construction for the condos down the street which played a heavy part in their low foot traffic. Also, I think the fact the business was on the other side of the green line track and “removed” from the initial downtown area did not help either. I took a photo of the letter for your enjoyment, I hope you can read it.

Being away from the downtown area and away from any type of parking also helped in destroying the foot traffic going to this business and probably the old Szechwan Beijing restaurant too. The parking in downtown Oak Park, IL does not in any way allow the customer to freely relax and take their time to shop the various stores in the area. Unfortunately, the parking garage and other various parking alternatives rush one out of the area as soon as possible. A basic “get In” and “get out” travel plan, this does not allow any business in the area (established or new) to grow or even cultivate current clientele or attract new ones.

Although Bar Louie was not a favorite of mine, I will be sad to see another business gone because of a bad location and a village that does not have the business sense to really develop the areas they say they are developing’ but that is Oak Park, IL

Here is the link alluding to the closure

https://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/2-7-2019/Bar-Louie-space-on-the-rental-market/

The mismanagement of Oak Park, IL

The intent of having management or people to manage is to take care of the body or organization it is made for however this is not the case in Oak Park, IL. I went to a restaurant in the Lake and Harlem area on my lunchbreak and the area was basically deserted. As if people (residents, tourists, etc.) Gave up on going through the area, as if the traffic combined with the past construction in that area has left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

There was literally four people (me included) walking the streets there were even no homeless people on the street asking for money, and it was unusually warm out Tuesday. I am not sure if those managing the village are equipped with handling this type of issue. They are simply following the ethos of “build and they will come…” however the combination of less traffic (foot, car) the increase of for rent signs, and empty store fronts says otherwise.

In other words that this strategy does not work people are being deterred by all this busyness and are seeking other places to shop and other ways to traverse the area. Which is terrible for the overall plan or the application of this theory to this particular area of Oak Park IL. Like stubborn children those who manage Oak Park IL are not interested in these facts and rather fail than admit defeat or failure.

Although it is great to be the only one in line during the lunch rush and to have all the attention on you because there is no one else in the restaurant I just hope that this occurrence is not wide spread or happens too often. I would hate for some of my favorite restaurants to go under due to the simpleness of a very few.

Warning going down Harlem avenue south of Lake street.

 I have not gone down Harlem near Lake street for a while, due to all the construction that goes hand in hand with congestion. However, I went down Harlem to Washington via Harlem avenue and OMG What a shit show that Oak Park, Il has put on for everyone who goes through this area the traffic is immense and chaotic.

Going under that viaduct which got turned into on lane for the holidays was painful and just stupid. It is amazing that the city planners put an “okay” to this project and let it go on during the winter months when traffic will be at its most complicated. Just a warning to anyone who has thought to use Harlem avenue going northward or even southbound via Harlem and Lake street: Just don’t. At least for the time being.

Albion, Albion, Rush Oak Park, Albion, and Albion some more..

Holy shit so after reading this article (“Oak Park Plan Commission issues findings on Albion, Rush”) you are telling we will be hearing about this Albion crap in about two years?? Again? First off, I am glad that the village is expanding the Rush Oak Park Hospital, it is practical well thought of and ideal if the village wishes to expand its population base. Expanding the population base also expands the tax base too, so I know the village is drooling over the thought of all those additional tax dollars with the different high rises they are trying to push through. It is the same crap in Chicago, Oak Park, Il is no better. But the idea of expanding the hospital to me makes sense and I am glad it is out of the reasonable decisions made by the village board.

However, with this Albion crap they have just gotta let it go. Stroll down to the comments and the majority of the people commenting don’t want the friggin thing so why not listen to the people or put it to a ballot to end to this nightmare. Why not ask the people what they want or have a bunch of designs and put those designs to a vote, either through ballot (paper) or online. I just do not want to hear about it for the next two years, well, hopefully I won’t be trapped here that long! Then I can really crap on Oak Park, IL! (LOL) I am glad that most of my favorite places are back in the “trendy” places in the Chicagoland area, and the ones that I do like in the Oak Park, IL area are on the borders so I do not have to put up with the traffic problems.

I mean let’s be realistic an 18-story building is going to bring a lot of traffic to that area, and the plans provided do not have any ideas realistically to deal with that influx. What a parking garage? If that was a solution then why doesn’t Oak Park, Il not have dozens of parking garages all around the village then to truly help the residents? Because there is no money in that type of thinking, with that type of logic you know that the story of the Albion development if defeated in the next couple of months will just “pop” back up in two years’ time. Hey, everyone loves a sequel right? Ugh.

Here is the article talking about the dreaded Albion development rising from the dead like an extra from a George Romero movie:

http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/9-26-2017/Oak-Park-Plan-Commission-issues-findings-on-Albion,-Rush-/

Other developments in Oak Park, IL like Albion are in full effect.

This “Jupiter project” was opposed successfully however once the opposition blinked the village board made their move, much like the Albion development. The Mayor stated that the village can walk away from the deal but how much is that true when the village board purchased the deal after the opposition waned? The argument that other village boards tried to do the same is just a childish explanation, but one that the residents of Oak Park, Il buy into.

The project or multiple projects that the village is planning to use this parcel of land for is probably extensive, if Plan A does not work then they will try and try again even if it means defaulting all the way to Plan F or Plan Z.

The village board is relentless in trying to make these new “high rise” development projects work and become reality. Their resolve is fantastic and for that you must tip your hat at, the fact that the residents cannot do the same, nor remember these moves when election time comes around is part of the problem.

The plans for redeveloping the area go back to at least September 2016 however stated dates are usually not the fact of the matter. In other words, planning for developing this piece of land has gone back most likely farther than I care to Google it. As the old saying goes: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me…” however the residents will “turn the other cheek” until they are taxed or have the taste slapped out of their mouths.

I love how the village is redeveloping the main streets of Oak Park, IL with high rise developments to stay off increasing taxes (as the argument goes). But I am just wondering when will the high-rise developments come to the inner parts of Oak Park, IL? Is that when the opposition to these projects be unrelenting or will it be too late?

Here is the article discussing new acquisitions by the village board in the name of the taxpayers:

http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/9-12-2017/Oak-Park-buys-Car_X-land-for-$1.3M-/

Google Plus photo collections for Oak Park, IL

I saved some more photos to a Google Plus collection for public use.

“The Forest Park, IL various photos collection”: https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/84YWJE

“Construction in Oak Park, Illinois” various photos collection: https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/wgeVJE

The First collection is my first photo dump of Some of the things in Forest Park, IL nothing really major, just some of the stuff I have talked about in the previous blogs, like FP police, Bed Bath and Beyond, but now including the Repainted Forest Park Circle Avenue bridge next to the Ferrera Pan factory. I took most of the photos travelling through the suburb so they were taken quite quickly, I am just glad they were in focus!

The second one is a photo dump of the Construction near Lake Street and Harlem Avenue, especially near the Marion Avenue side street and adjacent parking lots. Just took a bunch of pictures as I walked through one day onto my way to Jerusalem Café which I talk about in my Yelp reviews.

Again, I took the photos for public consumption use anywhere or anyhow that you may. Bitches.