The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 | village@oak-park.us

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Village Manager's Weekly Report

Week Ending Aug. 18, 2017

Meetings/events scheduled for the next week

  • Monday, Aug 21:
    • Transportation Commission, 7 p.m., room 201
  • Tuesday, Aug 22:
    • Plan Commission Special Meeting, 7:30 p.m. room 201
    • Board of Health, 7 p.m., room 102
    • Liquor Control Review, 7:30 p.m., room 124
  • Wednesday, Aug 23:
  • ZBA Special Meeting, 7 p.m., room 201
    • Community Design Commission, 7 p.m. room 101
    • Disability Access Commission, 7 p.m. Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake Street
    • HPC Architectural Review Committee, 7:30 p.m. room 215
  • Thursday, Aug 24:
    • Congressional Town Hall Meeting with Congressman Danny Davis, 7 p.m. room 201
  • Friday, Aug 25:
    • No meetings scheduled

Parking pilot study forums – Four public forums to help prepare for a parking pilot program are scheduled for 4 and 6 p.m., Tues., Aug. 22, and 7 and 11 a.m., Wed., Aug. 23. The forums will be held in the Village Hall Council Chamber. Information gathered at the forums will be used to help develop a pilot project to test new parking approaches and technologies in one of the Village’s most in-demand parking areas - South Boulevard to Madison Street and Harlem Avenue to Oak Park Avenue. Individuals who live, work or park in the pilot project area are especially urged to participate in one of the public discussions, but the meetings are open to all. More details about the forums are posted on the Village website.

Congressional community meeting -- Congressman Danny K. Davis will host a gathering for constituents of the 7th Congressional District, which includes Oak Park, at 7 p.m., Thurs., Aug. 24, in the Council Chamber of Village Hall. Agenda topics include the Affordable Care Act, jobs and the economy, education, immigration, international issues and other constituent concerns. Constituents may call 708.345.6857 or 773.533.7520 for more information.

Drivers urged to take extra care – With the new school year set to begin next week, Oak Park police are urging motorists to stay alert – especially when driving in school zones. Police are asking motorists to avoid distractions like talking on cell phones, to come to a complete stop at intersections and to not block crosswalks. Drivers also must obey the signals of crossing guards and should never attempt to pass a stopped school bus with lights flashing. To protect the many students who typically trek along Oak Park streets to their neighborhood schools, police will step up their presence with additional enforcement efforts at key crossings and along walking routes.

New traffic signal – Preliminary site work is set to begin next week for a new traffic signal at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Wisconsin Avenue. Extensive underground and above ground work must be completed before the light is installed and activated, which most likely will be in early to mid-November. The project also includes dedicated turn lanes on Washington Boulevard, which will eliminate several on-street parking spaces along the street. Construction barriers could go up as early as Monday, but traffic will be permitted to pass through the zone throughout most of the project. Work will be coordinated with a resurfacing project on Wisconsin Avenue. Letters have been sent to residents who will be affected by the work. Washington Boulevard actually is an unmarked state highway.

Corn roast record – The Health Department is reporting that the annual Farmers’ Market corn roast held this past Saturday may have set a sales record. Based on sales of $2 each, the Market Manager estimates that more than 1,000 ears of corn were sold between about 9 a.m. and noon. Profit from the popular annual event helps fund market programs and activities.

Construction project updates online – A new feature added to the Village’s GIS-based construction web page includes the latest information regarding construction projects underway and planned in Oak Park. Visitors to www.oak-park.us/construction can click the project updates tab at the top of the page to see the latest updates on specific projects underway across the community. The site also includes interactive maps residents can use to track major construction projects proposed through 2021.

Downtown construction update – Work on the sidewalk, curb and roadway continued along Lake Street, the new section of Maple Avenue and on Westgate Street as part of the Emerson redevelopment project. The sidewalk and parking lane on the south side of Lake Street remain closed from the new section of Maple Avenue to the east side of the development site. Crews have begun installing street light poles on Maple Avenue at Westgate Street. One lane of Westgate is closed for reconstruction, but pedestrian access has been maintained from Marion Street and flaggers are making sure vehicles have access to drop off patients by the doctors' offices during work hours. Staff is maintaining close contact with affected businesses, keeping them informed of construction activities and helping address any issues they may encounter as work continues. Both North and South boulevards were patched and the area prepared for the weekend beer festival on Marion Street.

South Boulevard redevelopment – The water main on Maple Avenue to the Lincoln Property development site was scheduled to be cut and capped this week to allow materials on a portion on the development site to be removed. The water supply to residents south of the site will not be affected. The eastbound lane of South Boulevard remains closed between Harlem Avenue and Marion Street for materials staging and construction equipment. The official groundbreaking ceremony is set for 8:30 a.m., Thurs., Aug. 24.

Lake Michigan pipeline project – Worked resumed this week at Euclid Avenue on the water main to carry Lake Michigan water to the villages of Brookfield and North Riverside. Work related to the water main was temporarily suspended to allow installation of a relief sewer on Fillmore Street between Ridgeland and East avenues. Water main work will progress westward. The asphalt binder course was laid on Fillmore from Maple Avenue to east of Oak Park Avenue and from Ridgeland Avenue to Highland Avenue. The final pavement surface is not scheduled to be installed until mid-October, but these sections of the roadway are now open to traffic and pedestrians.  A project website managed by the engineering company provides the latest schedule information – click here to view

Street resurfacing – Removal of old pavement began this week on Humphrey Avenue between Division and Greenfield streets, and on Taylor Avenue between Berkshire and Greenfield streets. Concrete operations are scheduled to begin in these sections next week. Pavement removal will begin next week on other locations included in the current resurfacing contract, which require deeper repair and full curb replacements.

Sidewalk repairs – Crews continue to focus on sidewalk squares with larger trip hazards that require complete removal and replacement. The priority is to complete sections adjacent to schools before the first day of classes next week. Work is being staged to occur on one side of the street at a time to ensure a safe pedestrian travel route on the block.

Microsurfacing – Cracks were filled this week on streets scheduled to be micro-surfaced. Crews will resume microsurfacing the second week of September. This work, which is a one-day process, involves applying a thin layer of material on the street surface, which can extend the life of the pavement up to five years.

Miscellaneous construction projects – Remaining punch-list items were performed this week on Chicago Avenue between Harlem and Belleforte avenues as the project nears completion. Over the next few weeks, signs taken down during construction will be reinstalled. Alley improvement projects are substantially complete. All alleys are now open to traffic, and any remaining restoration and cleanup activities should be completed by the end of next week. Union Pacific crews are in the Village this week removing loose material from retaining walls where needed. Permanent repairs at these locations are expected to occur in the following weeks.     

Property tax appeals forum – Representatives from the Cook County Board of Review will be at Oak Park Township Senior Center at 6:30 p.m., Mon., Aug. 21 to host a forum for property owners considering appealing their tax assessments. Speakers will explain the appeal process and help residents file appeals. Property owners who cannot attend the meeting can call 708.383.8005 to set up an appointment with local officials who can help identify comparable properties and prepare the evidence to substantiate appeals. The deadline to file appeals of assessed valuations of Oak Park properties is August 30.

Public Works activities – Street Division crews repaired bricks at Austin Boulevard and Chicago Avenue, painted curbs, hydrants and no parking areas, and applied thermoplastic street markings at various locations throughout the Village. Water & Sewer Division crews repaired a water main break at Maple Avenue and Fillmore Street and a water meter vault at Austin Boulevard and Berkshire Street, and completed water service upgrades as part of the lead abatement program at 1150 S. Oak Park Ave. and 629 and 631 Gunderson Ave. Street Lighting Division crews replaced two broken street light poles on Erie Street, one across from Oak Park and River Forest High School.