City of Oak Forest receives state grants to fund sidewalks surrounding train station
The City of Oak Forest has received 100 percent funding through the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) to connect east and west sidewalks from 155th Street to 158th Street from Lamon Avenue to Long Avenue. The RTA’s Access to Transit Improvement Program and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grants will cover the total cost of the project, which is $564,887.
“This initiative to create a safer walkable neighborhood that is conducive to the average commuter and promotes this area as a commuter destination is extremely important to the City of Oak Forest,” said Mayor Hank Kuspa. “We have worked with the RTA in the past to bring new life to our Metra train station and we hope to continue this productive relationship further. With these improvements and our own programs to spur development, we can promote Metra ridership and transit systems by creating a true transit-oriented neighborhood that is inviting to cyclists, pedestrians and motorists alike.”
Once the sidewalks are in place, the city will seek additional improvements to the area, including wayfinding signage to provide direction to the train station, ADA accessibility points to existing infrastructure, and new pedestrian lighting to ensure safe walkability of the transit-oriented neighborhood. The city will be eligible for another round of RTA grant funding in two years.
Three national retailers coming to Oak Forest in 2016
The City of Oak Forest is pleased to announce that three national retailers will open stores in Oak Forest in 2016. The retailers are Family Dollar at 5400 W. 159th Street, Ace Hardware at 15426 S. Cicero Avenue, and Starbucks at the northwest corner of 159th and Cicero Avenue. Starbucks will be joined in the Gateway Development by ATI, a nationally-recognized physical therapy provider.
“Oak Forest has a lot to look forward to in the New Year,” said Mayor Hank Kuspa. “I know I will be first in line to welcome these businesses to our community, especially the Ebel family at Ace Hardware. It feels a little like a homecoming to have Ace back on Cicero Avenue.”
“We realize that residents have been anxious to see some progress at many of these locations,” said Community Development Director Adam Dotson. “Development can be a slow process, but we believe that we are picking up momentum and that more good things are in store for our community.