Happy Friday! Check out the June 8th Farmers’ Market Idea Booth Recap

A HUGE thank you to all those who dropped by our pop-up idea booth on June 8th to share stories, wishes, and ideas for making Park Ridge an even more wonderful place to live!

Let’s keep the conversation going at the first community workshop, this Tuesday 6/25 from 6-7:30pm at the Park Ridge Library–RSVP today!

Market Highlights

It was 75 degrees and sunny, and the Farmers Market was alive with colorful fruits and veggies, tasty tamales, and sweet-smelling pastries! We strategically positioned our Idea Booth next to the baked goods tent and had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with droves of friendly Park Ridge residents.

The booth featured a comment map and idea posters, plus some lollipops to sweeten the deal. From jotting down and mapping some quick ideas to those who stuck around for longer conversations, the planning team learned so much from all of you—what you love about Park Ridge and want to preserve, and those things you’d like to see improve in the future.

In total we heard 180+ ideas, spanning various topics:

Main takeaway… Park Ridge is home to LOTS of happy residents.

We heard praise for Uptown, the Library, neighborhoods, parks, community events, and the overall character of the City. While many folks said, “I’m pretty happy with the way things are!” there were also plenty of ideas for making Park Ridge better. In addition to sharing their own input, booth-goers also had the opportunity to “up-vote” ideas shared by others by placing a sticker next to those insights they supported. Below are the ideas that were voiced and voted for most:

  • Casual, indoor hangout spots (for kids + adults! i.e. coffee shop, communal space)
  • Welcome open mindsets: fresh thinking, creative leadership, innovative business ideas
  • Focus on sustainability: widespread recycling/composting, reusable products (i.e. metal straws)
  • Innovative stormwater management: bioswales, native plants
  • Prioritize bikes + pedestrians: add more bike lanes and ped infrastructure
  • Kid-friendly shops and activities: toy/clothing store, indoor game / playspace, go-karts
  • Airplane Noise / Flight Pattern: extend reach of soundproofing program
  • Maintain quaint character: fewer teardowns that replace smaller homes with large mansions

“An indoor kids’ space like Little Beans in Evanston, but better. Some place where the kids can play, has Wi-Fi, parents can pop open their laptops, grab a cup of coffee and get a bit of work done – that would be great!”

“Innovative approaches to stormwater like bioswales, rain gardens, and native plantings could really benefit our community and reduce flooding.”

“The addition of educational signs or an eco-trail tour to teach children about native plants, pollinators, rainwater, why bees are so important, etc. would be a nice experience for kids and parents to enjoy.”

Other insights shared included a desire for:

  • Winter activities / events (i.e. indoor farmers market, maker space for kids and adults)
  • Nightlife / evening activities (love music at Hodges Park, more of that!)
  • Open a local dispensary in 2020 (“embrace the law”)
  • Tree care: plant more, trim those that cover stop signs, maintain roots
  • Governmental transparency is key
  • Shared parking for new businesses
  • Connections to nature: opportunities for education on sustainable practices
  • City Identity / Marketing: Improve communication between residents and City

We heard lots of comments focused on the kiddos:

  • Indoor space for kids and parents (as noted previously)
  • Full day kindergarten (no more busing, please)
  • STEAM programs
  • More kid-spaces at the Library
  • Sunday and evening programs / classes for kids

Several folks had specific, place-based ideas including:

  • Show the Dee Road Metra area some love
    • Improve safety and reduce traffic congestion
    • Add pedestrian crossings (“ppl dart across traffic all the time”)
    • Attract new development (coffee shop would be great, something other than industry)
    • Increase density around the Metra station, look to zoning updates
    • Add bike parking on west side of Dee Road
    • Road diet opportunity
  • Activate Uptown
    • Increase businesses that cater to walking / dining / experiences
    • More events, shopping, and restaurants
    • A small, local greengrocer would be nice
  • Traffic / Pedestrian Improvements
    • More direct pedestrian access to Cumberland Metra
    • Better pedestrian crossings / traffic calming in Uptown
    • Pedestrian bridge on west side of Metra tracks at Touhy
    • Some neighborhoods are void of stop signs – this is unsafe, please install
    • Traffic calming for speeding cars along Cumberland Avenue, Northwest Highway
  • Address flooding along neighborhood sidewalks (off Talcott Road)

Next Step: RSVP for the Visioning Workshop

Comprehensive Plans come about every 10-15 years… so NOW is the time to share your ideas and input. Join us for the first of three community workshops to share input and help shape the future of Park Ridge. Our first public workshop will be held this coming Tuesday, June 25th at the Library from 6-7:30 pm. Click here to RSVP.

Five Simple Steps to Get Involved:

  1. Enter your email via the Follow button to subscribe to project updates
  2. Take the latest poll (Poll #1 is closing next Friday, 6/28)
  3. Share ideas
  4. Use #ParkRidgeWonderful on Instagram and Facebook
  5. RSVP today for the upcoming Community Workshop: June 25th from 6-7:30pm at the Library