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  October 16, 2020

Meetings scheduled for next week:

  • Monday, Oct. 19:
    • Village Board Regular Meeting, 6:30 p.m., via GoToMeeting
  • Tuesday, Oct. 20:
    • Citizens Police Oversight Committee, 7 p.m., via GoToMeeting
  • Wednesday, Oct. 21:
    • Board of Fire and Police Commissioners, noon, via GoToMeeting
    • Housing Programs Advisory Committee, 7 p.m., via GoToMeeting
  • Thursday, Oct. 22:
    • Board of Health, 7 p.m., via GoToMeeting
  • Friday, Oct. 23:
    • No meetings scheduled

Slow streets pilot ends – The slow streets pilot program launched in August has ended today (Fri. Oct. 16) pursuant to the ordinance creating the program earlier this year.  All barricades and signage have been removed and the online survey about the program will close. At last review, the survey had attracted nearly 900 responses, some 97 percent of them who said they are Oak Park residents. Support for the program was strong, but 25 percent of the respondents indicated they did not support the effort. Nearly 70 percent of respondents reported they lived on or near a designated slow street. Respondents also offered more than 770 comments and suggestions that have not yet been reviewed. The Transportation Commission will review the impacts of the pilot program and likely provide a report to the Village Board.

Early voting begins Monday – Village Hall will host early voting beginning Monday (Oct. 19) and continuing through Nov. 2. The polls will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday – Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Voting booths will be set up in room 101, with some booths in the Council Chamber if needed. Voters will enter Village Hall via the Madison Street courtyard entrance, lining up outside to allow for proper social distancing. A mail ballot drop box will be located in the courtyard as well, but available only during voting hours to ensure ballot security as required by the county. Voters who park in the main lot will be required to walk around the outside of the building to enter from the courtyard. Ample signage will be posted. Village Hall is not a polling place on Election Day Nov. 3, and will be closed per state law. Details on early voting are posted on the Village website at www.oak-park.us/election2020.

Census count officially closes – After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the White House could end 2020 Census data collection before October 31, the Census Bureau said in a news release the count would end yesterday (Oct. 15), including online, by telephone and the door-to-door effort. Forms returned by mail postmarked Oct. 15 will be counted. The latest Oak Park self-response rate is 74.2 percent, which is similar to 2010. The participation level is likely to increase when the results of the door-to-door enumeration follow up are tabulated.

Lake Street update – The traffic signals are now operational at the intersection of Marion and Lake streets, and should be functioning at the Forest Avenue intersection by the end of next week. The pavement binder layer is set to be installed next week between Forest and Kenilworth avenues in preparation for final paving after crews have removed and patched problem sections of the old pavement. Work on the new decorative curbs, crosswalks and sidewalk base course continued this week between Oak Park and Euclid Avenues, and replacement of the sidewalks along the building frontages is set to begin next week. The intersection of Lake Street and Oak Park Avenue remains on schedule to reopen to traffic before Halloween. The latest project updates are posted on the dedicated project website, www.betterlakestreet.com and questions accepted via email to info@betterlakestreet.com.

Lake Street celebration – The Downtown Oak Park business association is hosting activities through the weekend to celebrate the new look of Lake Street. A dedicated webpage at downtownoakpark.net/lakestreet invites visitors to stroll the street in person or opt for a virtual experience via business videos, promotions and virtual events. In-person activities will include free pumpkin patches, storytelling and live music performed from a pickup truck as it travels through the district.

Fiber optic ring update – Crews began placing fiber optic cable into completed sections of the new conduit ring this week, as conduit Installation wrapped on North Boulevard between Forest and Maple avenues. Lateral conduit installation to a few remaining sites including the South Fire Station will continue next week, while crews also restore areas disturbed by the work.

Miscellaneous construction updates – Local street resurfacing projects are set to begin next week and continue into late November. Blocks to be repaved include Greenfield Street from Linden Avenue to Columbian Avenue; Superior Street from Harvey Avenue to Lombard Avenue; and Austin Boulevard from Lake Street to Chicago Avenue. Work also will include upgrades to corners at various intersections to bring them into compliance with the American’s with Disabilities Act. AT&T still is relocating communication infrastructure on Euclid Avenue between Jackson Boulevard and Madison Street as part of the preparation activities for the redevelopment project planned for the 700 block of Madison. ComEd will be installing underground conduit on Euclid Avenue from Randolph Street to South Boulevard and on Randolph west of Oak Park Avenue. The ComEd work, which is intended to improve capacity, is expected to continue through mid-November. Activities set to be completed by the end of the month include installation of a new water main on Austin Boulevard, the annual sidewalk replacement program, pavement microsurfacing and final median landscaping and irrigation fixes on Madison Street.

Telecommunicator honored – West Suburban Consolidated Dispatch Center (WSCDC) veteran Maureen Kozak has been named a 2020 Telecommunicator of the Year by the Illinois Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO). Kozac joined the WSCDC in 2017 after 20 years as a dispatcher with the Forest Park Police Department. The awards recognize individuals who perform in an outstanding manner throughout the year. Telecommunicators are more than dispatchers. They have been trained to help callers deal with a variety of police, fire and medical emergencies while help is on the way. The WSCDC dispatches police for Elmwood Park, Forest Park, Oak Park, Park Ridge and River Forest, and fire and emergency medical services for Elmwood Park, Forest Park, Oak Park and River Forest.