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July 15, 2014

Downtown Oak Park Updates

Dear Editor,

I had seen your article on the condition of the sidewalks on Lake Street and it reminded me of what I had noticed as I conduct my business on foot and on bike in that area. 

In this area I am approached almost as often by tourists looking for directions or recommendations as I am by panhandlers.  For the sake of the tourists I'd like to see Oak Park putting it's best foot forward. 

But what caused me to write is having a conversation with a friend's mom the other day.  She is a retired woman in good health who helps with the care of her grandchildren, lives, shops, pays taxes, walks all over the Village.  She was sporting a nice fresh bandage above her eye.  She had fallen, tripped up on uneven pavement on Lake Street in DTOP, and needed to be transported to the hospital by ambulance for stitches and observation.  Good thing she didn't have the kids with her or get a concussion. No one from the Village called to check on her, no one apologized to her, but it is a good thing she is not litigious.  How many others have fallen, might the next person be more seriously injured and / or profit minded.  Dear Oak Park, please come to your senses!

I'm glad to see that the electrical outlets have been taped over, but hope that this is a very temporary solution before some little kiddo gets hurt.  My property taxes alone would go a long way towards fixing up some of the other hazards.

Editor, please forward my letter to appropriate offices at Village Hall and sign me:

Long-time Oak Park Taxpayer

July 14, 2014

Downtown Oak Park Updates

I recently treated a friend to breakfast at Caribou Coffee.  I expected to spend a Down Town Oak Park Gift Card to do so.  Caribou is listed on the back of the card.  The employees had no idea what to do with it, and tho very polite, made no attempt to find out what to do with it, just saying there is no button on the cash register for it.  I was a bit embarrassed in front of my friend, but paid another way and thought that perhaps Caribou had opted out of the program, as the gift card was from Christmas. 

When I got home I checked a DTOP gift card I'd just gotten and sure enough Caribou is still listed on the back.  I then called DTOP to see if they could get to the bottom of it.  On the DTOP line the first two mail boxes I tried were full. I left a message to that effect and explaining my Caribou situation and requested a call back.  Since it was Fourth of July week I wasn't surprised not to get a call back right away, but now another week has gone by with no response.  This isn't really a big deal, but it does make me a little reluctant to shop DTOP or to give those gift cards that I used to love to receive!

Sign me Reluctant Shopper
(name withheld)

Lake Street Downtown Oak Park, Neglected and Dangerous.

This sunken sidewalk in the Heart of Downtown Oak Park, has been like this for years. People have gone to hospital after falling.
Suburban Journals of Chicago Inc. photo

Risk mangement, safety, pride, cleanliness, code enforcement, seem to be foreign concepts on Lake Street in Oak Park.  For years the Downtown district has been a gamble.  If you enjoy bums asking for your money, or avoiding other discomforts in the area, you'll want to come and visit.

It is beyond my imagination how something this neglected could exist, as it was in 2007, seven years ago.  Our report from that time shook things up and got things corrected in a short period of time.  Perhaps we need to do an annual check of the conditions in Downtown Oak Park, as we do with our restaurants.

If you are going into Bar Louie be careful of every step.
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This neglected sidewalk failure is perfect for falling and getting surprized on the sidewalk, several years of neglect here. 
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Just  few steps from the Dangerous Sidewalks these alternating current toys for your kids are always welcome to the youngsters, Code enforcement???
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Electricity can be played with at not just one location, but several on Lake Street. This style of safety goes back many years.
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Email all Oak Park Trustees, Village Manager, and Clerk with Concerns about fixing Downtown Oak Park.

2007 Downtown Slide Show

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