Giving pause in Oak Park, IL

Obviously not everyone feels the same way about Oak Park, Il there are some people who do not feel safe who do not feel welcome even though they live here. Who feel that the lack of working towards diversity hurts the community instead of helping it. But that has always been Oak Park, IL’s MO always one of talk and doing the other thing. Hypocrisy at its best. Stating who they are not racist but turn a blind eye to social reform because it would mean they would have to look inward and do the work to make change necessary.

With the obvious lack of leadership on so many levels in the village of Oak Park, IL the village loses its luster and becomes another village that panders good tidings but has its racist overtones still in place. The writer in this article has stated their reservations about the “equity” initiatives in District 97 and District 200 and how they will its implementation will help present and future ethnic generations. They also touch upon how Oak Park, Il is changing in its architecture and its stored skyline faltering. The amount of traffic in these areas where the new condos are going up is staggering and will not change any time soon because the common sense is not there to make those changes.

Obviously, I am not the only person who questions Oak Park, IL’s bullshit and puts the place on blast. If you want to read another dissenting voice in regard to Oak Park, IL just go o the link and give a read:

https://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/9-17-2019/Things-that-give-me-pause-about-Oak-Park/

Oak Park IL is rolling out a website for its Lake Street construction project

The Village is pushing out a website, yeah, to showcase what they will be doing to improve Lake Street in Oak Park, IL. It has fancy project details what will be done on the street while construction is happening and hopefully what improvements that will be made. There are various improvements including and I quote: replacing and restoring water and sewer mains” which is always great, I mean who wants to drink water from old lead pipes right?

But the main improvements are of course those that are mandated by most local governments concerning access for those with disabilities. Meaning:  street crossings that people in wheelchairs can use and they will no longer be subjugated to riding in the streets, furthering the spotlight upon them.

Now without even dumpster diving into the website I noticed a huge issue that is not being addressed: parking. There is a link to maps for parking while the construction project is underway but nothing, I can see about adding additional parking to assist businesses their customers or even people with disabilities who need additional access or accommodation for parking. Therefore, this project I just a means for Oak Park, Il to finally update some shit like the water piping, street resurfacing while also following the common-sense laws we have in place everywhere else like giving access to the disabled. I rather say physically challenged but the website stated disabilities a few times, so I am trying to roll with that.

The plan has been in motion for awhile and it is interesting to see what residents think and how the village will effective roll it out per their own deadlines in completing it. With every project there are outliers and “bumps” in the road that will knock a project off course and in Oak Park, Il the pure fallacy that the village can pull something like this off without a hitch would be monumental. In other words, I would not allow the idiots in charge to watch a dead canary (no offense to the animal lovers!), because they would not be able to carry on the next step without some major fuck up.

With that said I am all for this project (surprise bitches!) and I am all about updating infrastructure and accommodating people so that we all have equal access and sanitation for all to enjoy. And yes, updated clean, working sanitation is a luxury. I am hoping that the village can complete this project by 2020 as they stated without the usual fuck ups involved so that they do not put out residents, businesses and those who now have hope to accessing some of the luxuries that the rest of us (without disabilities) take for granted.

Here is their basic website that they rolled out for the Lake street project:

BetterLakeStreet.com

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?

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/

Frank Lloyd Wright addition

Uh oh so they have decided to add on to the famous Frank Lloyd Wright home. Adding a visitor’s center to the area and an educational center now this sounds great for tourism however we know the underlying feeling of some people here in the village of Oak Park, IL.  It may “destroy” the ambience of the house that Wright built, they may say. But is it about time that the village start acknowledging the landmarks of the area and building proper facilities to handle the traffic, foot and otherwise.

As a resident of Oak Park, il it should be well known or publicized of such plans so that we know of how the village may plan to modify other high traffic areas as well. Surely property owners in this area and other areas in the village may want to take note in cases the village uses shady means to get their way in matters like this or even make decisions that can destroy the overall “vibe” of the village. Such as increasing property costs or giving way to structures that look out of place in the area, causing home values to go down due to the new ugly monstrosity sitting next to it or down the block. As we all know you cannot place a “for sale” sign on your lawn, you do not need a “visitor’s center” to further discourage buyers looking for a home to buy in the area.

Me? Thank god I rent. This type of issue is not a big problem in the way of home values, taxes, etc., however I did see something like this coming and more is on the way. In the village of Oak Park, there is so much improper city planning, it is not even funny. Something like this is highly likely to occur and become common place as the village smells the money to line its pockets there will be a lot more to come, in the ways of construction and other types of actions to ensure that Oak Park, IL will be changed forever. And not always for the better (i.e.: downtown), that “homely” charm that once existed is going the way of the dinosaurs and this construction of the visitor’s center near a Frank Lloyd Wright home is just the start.

The article talking about the construction of the new visitor’s center:

https://chicago.curbed.com/2019/6/17/18682203/frank-lloyd-wright-home-studio-oak-park-visitor-center

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.