By Sally Stovall
Active Transportation Letter invites support for plans to narrow and improve Madison street: After years of outreach, public meetings and planning, Oak Park is moving forward with plans to narrow Madison and make it a more pleasant and safe street that is also more inviting for new development. The project has been approved, but a few residents are speaking out against the project and trying to persuade the village board to reverse course. It’s important for the village board to hear from us.
Please take action by clicking here to join OP Citizens for a Safe and Vibrant Madison and signing the letter below to the village board to demonstrate your support for these changes. The coalition will also work to ensure that the village makes the most of this important investment.
Also, please attend theJun 13, 7PM, Village Board meeting to show your support.
Why narrow Madison to 3 lanes (2 lanes plus a center turn lane) and redevelop it?
Safer: Madison has a high crash rate, and research shows that similar roadway narrowing projects reduce crashes 25-50%. There are 4 schools within 1 block of Madison. The fear of being hit while crossing and traveling on Madison is all-too real.
More pleasant for residents and inviting for development. Developers tell the village they want a narrower, more walkable street that is similar to most streets in Oak Park. Madison can become a vibrant street with new retail, residences and offices, rather than a mini-expressway marked by empty lots and underutilized/empty buildings.
Calmer traffic with little change in car congestion and diversions. Traffic volumes on Madison are similar to Ridgeland, a two lane road in Oak Park. Research from the Federal Highways Administration and AARP indicates that three lanes is adequate for the number of cars using Madison, and no appreciable change in travel times and traffic diversions are expected. Moreover, traffic will move at a calmer, quieter and more even pace.
Text of letter:
Dear Village Trustees: Citizens for a Safe and Vibrant Madison support your plans to narrow and improve Madison. Research from AARP and the Federal Highways Administration indicates that three lanes is adequate for the number of cars using Madison, and no appreciable change in travel times and traffic diversions are expected. At the same time, these improvements will lead to a much safer street with a significant reduction in crashes, a more pleasant street for residents of Oak Park, and more interest from developers. It’s time to create a Madison street where developers want to build retail, new apartments and office buildings with residents and employees strolling to local shops; where kids who cross Madison every day to get to four nearby schools can do so safely, and parents don’t worry that their children are biking and walking across a wide road with fast moving cars; a Madison Street where anyone, including senior citizens and children, can safely cross the street.