Construction on Madison Street will begin on April 15th and conclude in the Fall of 2019. According to a letter from the Village of Oak Park sent to residents, the first six weeks of work will focus primarily on removing medians and replacing them with pavement. Residents and businesses on the west end of Madison will have limited exposure to construction activities until the end of May.
The main goal of this improvement is to improve safety and economic viability. The main mechanism chosen to achieve this is called a “road diet”. According to the master plan presentation, “A road diet is a lane reduction and roadway reconfiguration to improve vehicle and pedestrian safety. Traffic-calming measures are added to the roadway with the intention of reducing vehicle speed. The Madison Street improvements project includes a road diet, which will convert the existing four-lane street to a three-lane street. Two through lanes and a center, two-way left-turn lane will be marked.” This results in reduced vehicle speeds and allows for safer street crossing and biking. Curb bump-outs, marked crosswalks, bike lanes and posted bus stops are all part of the plan.