A PACE bus departs from the Forest Park Blue Line Station off of Des Plaines Avenue in Forest Park. | ALEX ROGALS/Staff Photographer

Forest Park Village Council tentatively agreed to pay an extra $3,814 for the new bike parking facilities at the two CTA Blue Line stations that serve the village – though it will need to vote separately to make it official.

In late October 2021, Forest Park received an Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) grant to erect bike racks near the Harlem Avenue and Desplaines Avenue stations. ITEP grants use federal and state funds, with 80% of the funding coming from the state and 10% coming from the federal government. The village is required to cover the remaining 10%. 

Illinois Department of Transportation is handling the bids and the logistics. The lowest bid, which was submitted by Bridgeview-based Vixen Construction, came in at $139,900 – more than $38,000 higher than the originally estimated $101,250. While IDOT agreed to pay 90% of the increase with state and federal funds, it asked the village if it was interested in covering the 10%.

While the commissioners at their March 27 council meeting raised no objections to it, they will still need to vote on it. Administrator Moses Amidei Amidei said that it would most likely be on the April 10 meeting agenda. 

Amidei told the council that if the village wasn’t willing to pay its share, IDOT wouldn’t proceed with the project. Amidei wanted to get the council agreement so that IDOT can award the contract.

Both bike racks will include benches and extra lighting. The Desplaines Avenue terminal bike rack will be built at the south end of the village-owned commuter parking lot at Van Buren Street. The Harlem Avenue bike racks will be built near the northwest corner of the Harrison Street/Harlem Avenue intersection. The idea behind the project is to provide safe places for CTA riders to park their bikes, instead of having them resort to chaining their bikes to trees and light poles.