Construction project is déjà vu all over again

Conveniently, Mayor Anthony Calderone accepts the applause for the last Madison Street paving improvement project, but it wasn’t until recently that he acknowledged the lighting stinks and the cost was a million dollars over budget. Of course Goldilocks and Abbey Road were not responsible for that fiasco because it was all somebody else’s fault; other elected officials, engineers, an inept plumbing (sewer and water) contractor, and the list goes on.

Once again, Calderone is leading the glad-handers touting the new street improvement project parade. I wonder if Calderone feels a sense of déjà vu. The construction is being done by the same contractor who was the lucky low bidder on Madison Street. They hired an underground subcontractor who constructed new drainage structures that did not comply with The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago requirements. All of this under the watchful eye of our consulting engineer.

Let’s summarize – same contractor, more sewer problems and engineering questions. Yep, as Yogi says, “this is deja vu all over again.” The only people missing are the other elected officials. Who do you think Calderone will blame when the sewer has to be reconstructed? Lead Rehabber, Hosty? It’s his department! Or how about the engineer, Tellalian? Everybody blames Baby Bear. Maybe the covert Rehabber, Curry. If money becomes an issue, certainly Hoskins won’t feel too rosy.

Never fear, I am sure Abbey Road will arrive just in time to save the day!

Tony Sarley
Forest Park

A mirror would help

I meet the recent construction project on Jackson with both eagerness and apprehension. The curbing peninsulas at intersections will thwart selfish drivers who try to pass in the parking lane. This is a very welcome improvement. However, there is one item in this project I dread. It is the addition of a rubber speed bump in the alley between Thomas and Beloit.

I have lived at my current address for six years and can attest that speeding in the alley is not a real safety issue. Instead, it is the 6-foot privacy fence obscuring the sight lines at the intersection of the alley and the sidewalk. This conceals adult pedestrians and energetic children from a driver’s vision. A speed bump will not cause a driver intensely focused on a cell phone conversation to suddenly be aware of this hazard. Instead, a more helpful safety item would be the installation of a convex mirror that motorists could use to see conditions around the corner. A sign could be affixed to the post to warn about crossing children. The uniqueness of a bubble mirror is more likely to grab the attention of a distracted driver than an everyday occurrence such as a speed bump.

Not only will a speed bump do little to enhance safety, but it will impede drainage. In the winter, it will make plowing much more difficult as well as serving as a dam to melting snow. Backed-up water is likely to freeze when temperatures drop overnight, causing an icy inconvenience in the morning.

I implore the village council to consider the removal of this device as soon as their schedule allows.

Eric Shafer
Forest Park

At the car wash

The St. John Lutheran Church Youth Group would like to thank Zimmerman’s Funeral Home and Todd & Holland’s for the use of their parking lot and water source for our Aug. 1 car wash and bake sale. We would also like to thank the various members of St. John who baked wonderful homemade treats for us to sell, and for simply lending a helping hand at the car wash. We appreciate all of you! This support helped our youth as they work to meet their fundraising goals in order to attend the 2010 National Youth Gathering in New Orleans.

Marybeth Jones
Co-chair Fundraising Committee
St. John Lutheran Church, Forest Park

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