New Oak Park Traffic Pattern Means New Risks

Proposal to open up Bittersweet to in and out traffic for Taft Annex

Collisions Being Reported due to Increased Traffic.

Local Area Individuals reached out to Dunning News to increase awareness about the dangers of the new traffic pattern on Oak Park Avenue, South of Forest Preserve Drive and North of Irving Park Road.

So far in the last few months it is reported that there have been 2 collisions when drivers are exiting the Read Dunning Hospital lot headed North on Oak Park Avenue.

It appears that during rush hour between the hours of 5pm-7pm there is a bottleneck which backs up traffic on Oak Park from Irving Park past the Read Dunning Hospital entrance.  It is reported that headed South on Oak Park during these hours take 3 lights to cross Irving Park.

Some drivers are deciding to ride the center turning lane to get to the Irving Park Light to proceed left and by pass the bottle neck.

It is because of this maneuver that collisions are being reported.

Currently the Dunning Read Hospital is the only facility relying on Oak Park Ave for it’s in and out traffic, but that is soon to change.

On March 15th, Dunning News reported from City Hall after a Planning and Development meeting that due to concerns by local businesses whom feared for the safety of future Taft Annex Students the access for the Taft Annex would be adjusted.

The previously proposed traffic pattern which was feeding traffic to the annex from Forest Preserve Drive via Normandy is proposed to be changed so all the annex’s in and out traffic would then be directed on to Oak Park Ave via Bittersweet Pl.  Since there is not currently a road at Bittersweet Pl it was suggested by the businesses that TIF money be used to build the access road to the Taft Annex.

Additionally the new Veteran Long Term Care Facility will also be feeding all their in and out traffic on to Oak Park Ave.

Some area residents predict that due to the annex being a 7th, 8th, and 9th facility we will see a large increase in traffic since these children will most likely be dropped off by parents as there is not convenient public transportation option.

There have been concerns about the Oak Park Avenue traffic pattern since the beginning of the Taft Annex Development by neighbors who’s one way residential blocks feed on to Oak Park.

Dunning News previously reached out to the Chicago Department of Transportation requesting traffic studies for Normandy & Forest Preserve, Oak Park and Forest Preserve, and Oak Park and Irving.  We were told that there were no traffic studies on file.

The 38th Ward Alderman has been notified of the issue along with other public officials.  Area individuals are concerned for the safety of those who access Oak Park Ave and would like to see actions taken to ensure that.

We will continue to update the community on this issue.