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 August 7, 2020

Meetings scheduled for next week:

  • Monday, Aug. 10:
    • No meetings scheduled
  • Tuesday, Aug. 11:
    • Transportation Commission, 7 p.m., via GoToMeeting
  • Wednesday, Aug. 12:
    • Farmers’ Market Commission, 7 p.m., via GoToMeeting
  • Thursday, Aug. 13::
    • No meetings scheduled
  • Friday, Aug. 14:
    • No meetings scheduled

Testimonials on policing – The two virtual community listening sessions on policing in Oak Park held this week attracted 11 speakers, four on Wed., Aug. 6 and seven on Thurs., Aug. 7. The sessions were not intended to be interactive discussions, but focused on personal experiences with the Oak Park Police Department. Another 10 individuals have so far chosen to share testimonials privately via email to Assistant Village Attorney Rasheda Jackson who moderated the listening sessions. Information on the meetings was widely disseminated in advance via multiple enews and social media posts, a dedicated webpage in a question-and-answer format and a news release that generated stories in both the Wednesday Journal and Oak Leaves. The sessions also were promoted via a paid boost on Facebook to all users within a three-mile radius of Oak Park who don’t follow the Village Facebook page. The meeting videos are archived online at www.oak-park.us/boardtv.

Slow streets pilot launch – This week’s launch of the first phase of the Slow Streets Pilot Program generated more than 160 and counting responses to a survey about the program. The program also has gotten considerable attention on social media with both proponents and opponents weighing in. The pilot program is being implemented in phases to allow for just such public review and consideration of potential impacts prior to any expansion. In this initial phase, Van Buren Street is a slow street between Kenilworth and Harvey avenues and Kenilworth and Harvey are slow streets for a three-block stretch between Madison and Van Buren streets. The planned second phase would expand the network north to Thomas Street, which would become a slow street between Kenilworth and Harvey. More information about the program is posted on the Village website.

Farmers’ Market note – Shoppers at tomorrow’s Oak Park Farmers' Market are being urged to take a moment to remember one of its founders, Marge Gockel, who passed away in July. Patrons are asked to check out this VOPTV video from 2012 where Marge talks about the first market, which she jokingly called the farmer market because only one farmer was there. The market is now in its 45th season. More information on the Market, including a map of the pandemic-driven layout, is posted at www.oak-park.us/farmersmarket.

Lake Street progress – The Forest Avenue and Lake Street intersection is closed for reconstruction similar to the Marion Street intersection including crosswalk improvements and brick pavers. Allowances have been made for local business pickups, access to parking and well-marked traffic detours are in place. Installation of the bluestone sidewalk along Lake Street continues from Marion Street to Forest Avenue and installation of new lighting and traffic signals has begun between Harlem Avenue and Marion. To the east, the final surface pavement and markings are scheduled to be installed next week from Euclid Avenue to Austin Boulevard. While the project field office remains closed due to the pandemic, questions may be sent via email to info@betterlakestreet.com. More detailed information is updated regularly at www.betterlakestreet.com.

Madison/Euclid pre-development construction – Preparation activities began this week for the water and sewer relocation project required for the 711 Madison Senior Living, LLC development on Euclid Avenue near Madison Street. The water and sewer main on Euclid Avenue between Madison Street and the alley south of Madison will be relocated onto private property at 725 Madison St. The property owner has granted the Village a utility maintenance easement.

Miscellaneous construction – Nicor has begun sidewalk repair east of Euclid Avenue and restoration of the north-south alley north of Lake Street and east of Oak Park Avenue.  Installation of conduit for the Village’s new fiber optic ring continued between Beye School and the Public Works Center. Deteriorated concrete was removed and replaced this week in the northbound lanes of the East Avenue bridge over the Eisenhower Expressway. Replacement of the water main began this week on Austin Boulevard near West Suburban Medical Center. An additional pedestrian crossing beacon was installed this week on Madison Street at Scoville Avenue. Nicor Gas is performing routine inspections from Flournoy Street to Jackson Boulevard, and Scoville Avenue to Austin Boulevard.

Employee news – Following the retirement of MaryAnn Schoenneman in June, Christina Waters has been promoted from a position in the Human Resources Department to Deputy Village Clerk. Christina joined the Village in 2017 as an Executive Secretary in the Development Customer Services Department.