What happens to POW/MIA tollway monument after O'Hare oasis teardown?
What happens to the POW/MIA monument located at the O'Hare oasis when workers tear down the glass pavilion overhanging the Tri-State Tollway? Reader Jim Bruckman wants to know.
Just four years ago, the memorial to servicemen lost in action was uprooted from the Des Plaines oasis after a similar demolition and planted at the O'Hare facility.
Veterans like Bruckman who attended a rededication ceremony in 2014 want to ensure the tribute entitled "Illinois Remembers" has a secure resting place.
"There are a lot of Vietnam vets that are still missing," said Bruckman, who served in the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War in 1966 and 1967.
A tollway spokesman says the memorial will stay put. It's not in the soon-to-be-razed glass pavilion but a short distance away. Though the pavilion's fast food offerings and retail kiosks will be gone, gas stations and 7-Eleven marts will remain along both sides of the tollway.
"The monument will be fenced off and protected while the oasis pavilion is removed, then reopened to the public next year after that work is completed," spokesman Dan Rozek replied.
There are actually two monuments next to each other at the oasis. The original honors local servicemen reported missing in action during Vietnam and World War II, and a newer one commemorates all who have served in the military.
The tollway took down the glass pavilion at the Des Plaines oasis in 2014 to make way for Jane Addams Tollway widening. The O'Hare oasis pavilion is vanishing to allow for the addition of one lane in either direction on the Central Tri-State between Rosemont and Oak Lawn.
When the dust settles, just five full-fledged oases on the system will be left, although the Hinsdale oasis's days are numbered, as it lies in the path of the Tri-State redo.
Bruckman isn't the only reader with a question this week. Palatine's Mike Kennedy took a walk on the wild side and enraged some cyclists while strolling in August on the Busse Woods multiuse path in Elk Grove Village.
Kennedy learned in drivers ed classes years ago, "when pedestrians and vehicles are sharing a roadway without a designated sidewalk -- pedestrians should walk facing oncoming traffic to be aware of it."
So, he shifted to the left side of the path, but "this absolutely outraged several cyclists. (They) insisted I was on the 'wrong' side and that 'this isn't Europe,'" Kennedy wrote. "Stubbornly, I continued for a ways but not one single other walker was on the left side. Despite my conviction that I was logically and legally correct, I crossed over to the right."
What's the rule, Kennedy asked? The Active Transportation Association's Kyle Whitehead explains that "trail users must walk or ride on the right side of the trail," according to the Cook County Forest Preserve District.
"I don't think this is unique to CCFPD," Whitehead added. "I've never seen a set of trail rules that says otherwise. If you look at trail etiquette standards, pedestrians have the right of way. Bikes are supposed to yield to them and only pass when safe."
Commuter Julie Erbe is intrigued that Metra intends to move the SouthWest Service to its LaSalle Street Station, easing train and passenger congestion at Union Station. "Any idea when this will happen?" she asked.
"We have no estimated date for that, but it's a long way off," Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said. The railroad obtained federal funding to design a bridge channeling SouthWest Service trains to LaSalle Street, but "we'd still have to secure construction funding."
Finally, the Daily Herald's own Scott Morgan was chagrined that O'Hare International Airport's people-mover train wasn't operating at 11 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27, and that he had a lengthy wait for a bus to get from Terminal 5 to Terminal 2 to catch the CTA. It "was not at all quick or convenient," Morgan said.
As of June, the Automated Transit System, or people-mover, stopped operating between 5 a.m. Monday and 5 a.m. Saturday. The ATS is being revamped and will offer new cars and track connecting to a consolidated car rental center opening later this year. Buses are accommodating weekday travelers in the meantime and run frequently, Chicago Department of Aviation spokeswoman Karen Pride said.
It's National Drive Electric Week. You can test an electric vehicle from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, at the Naperville Auto Test Track, 1720 W. Jefferson Ave. Organizers include Midwest EVOLVE, a seven-state coalition encouraging the use of hybrids and electrics.
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