Bike Walk Oak Park Questionnaire

1. Oak Park is a community where people of all ages frequently walk, bike, or ride public transit. How much do you walk, bike, and use public transit in your everyday life, especially for any of the trips listed below? Please circle.


Walk: Go to work          Bring child to school          Errands         Recreation         Other

Bike: Go to work          Bring child to school          Errands         Recreation         Other

Transit: Go to work          Bring child to school          Errands Recreation         Other  

Comments:    I work from home, so no transit required!  

2. Currently the Village of Oak Park does not set aside any funding in its annual capital budget for pedestrian and bicycling projects. Instead, funding comes from a patchwork of state and federal sources. Would you support the establishment of an annual $200,000 budget line for pedestrian and bicycling projects as outlined in the 2015 Neighborhood Greenways Plan

  • Yes*

  • No

Comments:  

As a matter of fiscal responsibility, I would need to understand the number and what is behind it more explicitly, in terms of what projects we’d specifically be prioritizing that were outlined in the plan.  I agree with the plan as it extends on the 2008 original study, and details out a defined strategy for how we can go about improving the walkability and bike-ability of Oak Park. I would also want to evaluate the plan through a racial equity lens, and ensure the proposed plan is providing for all residents in an equitable manner.


3. Studies show that people who don’t bike are uncomfortable riding in busy traffic. These studies also show that bike lanes calm traffic by minimizing speeding and weaving. Chicago has installed more than 140 miles of bike lanes since 2011 to create safer, calmer conditions. This has reduced crash rates for everyone - not just cyclists, encouraging many more people to bike and walk. Do you support establishing new on-street bikeways in Oak Park over the next four years, including protected bike lanes?

  • Yes

  • No

Comments:

I am one of those nervous bikers!  I agree that more people (and especially people biking with children) would bike in Oak Park if they felt safer doing so.  As a South Oak Parker, I can also comment that crossing 290 on a bike (even via the Home Ave. bridge) is a challenge.

4. Adding walking, biking, and transit infrastructure to urban streets contributes to safer, healthier, and more sustainable in cities across the U.S. Municipalities often add infrastructure like pedestrian refuge islands or protected bike lanes with a modest increase in travel times for cars and trucks. Do you support prioritizing safety, equity, public health, and the environment above travel times when designing streets?

  • Yes

  • No

Comments:

The reality is that our streets in Oak Park are currently very navigable for drivers.  Outdated 290 ramps cause more issues than nearly any other factor. As a small town - a village - we can prioritize alternate means of transportation with minimal inconvenience for drivers.  With the number of youth that walk/bike/transit to work and school, safety should be a top priority.


5. Do you support achieving the goals of the 2015 Neighborhood Greenways plan with transparent community engagement as well as internal and external professional guidance, as appropriate?

  • Yes

  • No

Comments:

I believe active community engagement should be solicited from a wide variety of stakeholders.  Too often we host a small handful of Town Hall conversations and call it a day, instead of seeking out the perspectives of our full village.  We can engage our community more intentionally by using multiple methods for feedback, leveraging existing groups and meetings, and publishing the feedback in an accessible place so that it is transparent.  

6. From July 2015 through June 2018, Oak Park Police data recorded 281 crashes involving pedestrians and/or bicyclists and vehicles occurring at 169 locations (not including on private property). That’s an average of one crash every four days involving motor vehicles versus pedestrians and/or bicycles. Assuming you agree that pedestrians and cyclists being hit by cars once every four days is unacceptable, what measures can the Village Board and appropriate Village departments take to bring this number down, ideally to Vision Zero (no crashes are acceptable)?  What ideas would you bring to the table?

Comments:

Agreed, this number is completely unacceptable.  However, I am opposed to increasing punishments or policing as a deterrent to these issues as it presents an equally troubling racial equity problem.  As a Village Trustee, I would encourage a communications and education campaign about safe driving and the preponderance of pedestrians/bikers in our community.  I believe a PSA campaign, if executed correctly, can make drivers more aware that OP considers itself a “walker and biker-first” town. Creating community pride and conversation can help unsafe driving become taboo, without the threat of police intervention or action.  I think the village can also help promote biking and walking by keeping the focus on transit-oriented development, which centers the use of public transportation and bike/walk-friendly communities.

Arti Walker-Peddakotla