View Ideas

Thanks for sharing, Park Ridge!

Ideas submitted via the “share ideas” tool that were (1) noted as wanting to be posted and (2) embrace the posting guidelines are included below. Insights are grouped by the following topic areas:

  • Activities + Events
  • Business + Economic Development
  • Infrastructure + Sustainability
  • Lifestyle + Housing
  • Mobility + Safety

Posting Guidelines: Act with maturity and consideration for other users. Don’t use ALL CAPS. Stay on topic. Help make this an intelligent place for discussion and it will be. Note: Any input that names specific people will be filtered from public posting.

Call-to-Action

“I’d like to see additional support and encouragement welcoming businesses considering investments in Park Ridge. There has been solid growth over the last few years and it has been mostly positive for the community. Being a commissioner on the Planning and Zoning committee I really appreciate this project and hope that many others share their opinions. We want to hear from residents and people who want to see improvements as it will allow us to better understand the community wishes and goals for the future.

In the many P&Z cases that I have heard over the last two years I’ve often heard and watched commissioners a bit conflicted trying to find that delicate balance between allowing development vs restricting uses that could conflict with our community goals. Your comments here will assist our board in finding that correct balance. Share this link and encourage your friends and neighbors to join this forum!”

Activities + Events

  1. Maybe start a way to have the park districts have a pick up option for your child that is in activities that you would obviously need to pay extra for.
  2. I love that Park Ridge is a vibrant community with residents that are connected and care about what is happening.
  3. I think more people than ever have dogs in Park Ridge, yet we lack, and may lose with the new Oakton Park plans, our only dog park. My idea is to create a “dog park or dog run” in as many of our different neighborhood parks as possible. Nothing fancy or costly—use an existing grassy area and put up a chain link fence. I think dog owners would welcome an area within walking distance of their own house to play fetch, and let dogs socialize and run a bit. It would eliminate the problem of some dogs running off leash, and I think be inexpensive yet highly used since close proximity and convenience is what many people want.
  4. I love our parks and splash pad. It would be great to see more parks with the wood chips replaced with the soft foam. It would also be great to see a children’s garden or a musical garden!
  5. Really like the idea of a playground in Uptown that people have mentioned and in general a green space that feels like people can sit and gather, maybe by closing off a small area as a pedestrian plaza.
  6. More drop-in events or story times at the library on the weekend.
  7. An indoors farmers market in the winter months.
  8. Add a more inviting dog park.
  9. I wish there was more effort in making the woods by Devon more friendly for families. If there was more people out walking the trails it wouldn’t feel so lonely. Maybe nature signs, fairy trail for kids etc. promote a great area to go for a walk or a quick family cycle.
  10. Community Gardens!
  11. More green spaces / play areas near uptown.
  12. Community-wide events are usually successful and fun – keep them coming!
  13. Park Ridge Park District fees have increased exponentially. It’s cheaper to participate in programs in neighboring towns even with non-resident fees.
  14. The town center would attract more people in if there was a small playground area, like Edison park has an area beside the tracks. Also I feel Summit Ave and south park area playgrounds badly need updating for the kids living in these areas.
  15. The centennial gym area is really small and the AC is bad and equipment is old. The pool is very cold. Can resources be put into improving our community gym.
  16. Some park ridge summer camp programs are really expensive compared with Chicago park district.
  17. A play space for kids in town – by the side of the library would be ideal. Community gardens!
  18. Continue doing the summer activities I think that is awesome for the city and Indian Princess is a great organization to be part of to fund those. Perhaps look at more permanent structures like a pavilion.

Business + Economic Development

  1. Dunkin Donuts please or a Donut/Coffee Shop. Something different from Starbucks. Corner Bakery would also be nice. Thanks.
  2. A playground or park developed in one of the many abandoned strip malls alongside northwest highway just south of oakton.
  3. The burned down gas station at oakton and northwest highway cleaned up and removed.
  4. I would like the Dee Road Metra stop to have some improvements: a walkway from the depot building to the center track median (like the Park Ridge Station has) so that you can wait for your train without being exposed to the extreme weather, and a coffee cart inside the depot. These two improvements would make the station MUCH more user friendly.
  5. Please create a way to have your water bill on auto pay. Directly pulling from your bank account. The way it is currently is horrid, it is the number 1 thing I dislike about the town. Such an inconvenience.
  6. Let’s keep the bars and restaurants coming with less banks and nail salons.
  7. Park Ridge should open a city-owned and operated co-working space (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coworking ) to encourage work-at-home professionals and startups to consider Park Ridge as their base of operations. It should be near the Metra station in Uptown to maximize its visibility and convenience. We can be one of the first suburbs in Chicago to move in this direction. If there’s a lot of space available, we could offer an adjacent space specifically for startups–an incubator space
  8. More dining options / restaurants: BBQ, Seafood, Craft Sandwich Shop
  9. Brewpub / Sports Bar
  10. It would be helpful to have a freestanding quick drive-through car wash in town
  11. Uptown Boutique Hotel / Banquet
  12. Uptown structured parking with retail at grade
  13. The South Park area is really charming. I’d love to see it look more vibrant. Maybe some streetscape updates or a facade renovation loan program.
  14. Allowing a microbrewery in town would be great.
  15. Dee Road Metra Area – Change the zoning within a 1/4 mile of train stations to B1 and reduced parking requirements
  16. Amend B1 to allow for a ground floor accessible dwelling unit, not facing primary street or set-back X distance from primary street (10-15 feet for privacy?)
  17. Please include all of Park Ridge in the Comprehensive Plan – I’m thinking of the area on the northwest side of town by the Dee Road Metra Station.
  18. Road diet for Dee Road (and Busse Hwy and NW Highway). The City should be very serious about this, and hire a transportation consultant to help get it implemented. 
  19. What is the deal with the electrical equipment on the east side of the Dee Metra station parking lot? Is that destined to be there for eternity?
  20. What is the deal with the property at the corner of Dee Road and Busse Hwy? This is a prime site that has sat vacant for years. Is the City doing anything to get this developed? As was noted in the 2004 Plan, and continues to be the consensus to this day: the neighborhood would love to see this become a coffee shop or restaurant or some kind of neighborhood amenity like that, instead of another muffler shop or industrial use.
  21. It would be great to see some city planning for development on the northwest side of town by the Dee Road Metra station.
  22. Things I’d like to see: more uptown restaurants and bars, a South Park Starbucks.
  23. Lets let small businesses put more signage in their windows/on the buildings or in front of the business. I’m not talking about making the town look like Vegas but it’s incredibly hard for small business owners and increasing their visibility would do so much – there are people who own businesses and live in this community and would do nothing but benefit to be seen more!
  24. Enforce property maintenance and beautification on commercial and/or unoccupied parcels; there are some real eye sores in town.
  25. Would welcome additional business coming to the South Park area, drive thru Starbucks?!
  26. Better business development of the businesses in town – both current ones and attracting new ones. No more banks, opticians or mattress stores.
  27. More healthy / vegan / vegetarian restaurants in the area.
  28. South Park area needs some love. Uptown has a thriving restaurant area, but all South Park has is Subway and two small local restaurants. Also I know a child care facility was rejected in this area and that’s a real shame for the community. So many young families are moving in to the area and a variety of facilities are needed to provide child care. You should reconsider allowing one in the South Park area.
  29. The downtown area needs more restaurants like holts. It is always overcrowded and the wait time is sometimes an hour to be seated . It’s so popular and successful because it’s the only one around. Another option in the downtown like this which appeals to all ages would be wonderful.
  30. Utilize the buildings on Main Street and Prospect for more food/cocktail places. I live at (address omitted), and would eat more local if we had more places to go.

Infrastructure + Sustainability

  1. There should be more opportunities to recycle electronics. Once or even twice a year is not adequate given the amount of electronics most household have. Undoubtedly, because of a lack of readily disposable opportunities, hazardous materials are being put out with garbage.
  2. Have a community composting area! Where everyone contributes there food scraps and we use it for our gardens! Also a butterfly garden, similar to the one that is in niles next to the police station, by the centennial pool. There is that sewer cap with the wild flowers and I feel that putting a pathway on the other side, where the hill is, will promote education and help increase the butterfly population! Lastly, putting up dog poop stations around our local parks! I see too much trash and dog feces that could be resolved with having these stations put up!
  3. I would like to see our city do more towards sustaining the environment. It would be great to get curbside commercial composting. It would be great to have the city invest in saving green spaces and preventing them from being developed.
  4. It would be great to have the city help residents cost share in flood control systems, as flooding is still a large problem in Park Ridge
  5. Keep planting and caring for our trees.
  6. More bike lanes
  7. Improve Hinkley Park landscaping
  8. How much stormwater volume could be retained by utilizing existing parkways as retention? (make them lower than the curb instead of higher) you’d have to work-around existing trees, but I think there would still be a tremendous impact.
  9. We need curbside composting and incentives to increase sustainable practices (free rain barrels, tips on reducing water usage and runoff, etc.)
  10. More recycling programs for residents – Styrofoam collection year-round, reduce or ban use of plastic bags in shops.
  11. We would appreciate if you can pave our alley (500 Higgins) it’s dirty, dangerous and very difficult to drive through the year round.
  12. Things to improve: lessen airplane noise, mitigate flooding.
  13. When will Park Ridge convert to LED street lights? In addition to the cost savings from the lower energy usage of LEDs, the city can save even more money by including intelligent controls, adding the ability to schedule, dim and be practically notified of outages and issues without relying on us to report it or crews driving around looking for lights that are out. There are grants and guaranteed energy savings contracts out there that can help fund the project.
  14. Commitment from residents to individual efforts towards sustainability and stormwater control. The city is committed but it can’t happen without resident involvement.
  15. Would love to see local restaurants recycling more often.
  16. More green infrastructure or a play space for kids in town – by the side of the library would be ideal. Community gardens!
  17. Start thinking of smart options like smart LED lights and such to deploy throughout the city since this is a long term plan.
  18. Need to come up with a plan that requires the planting of significant trees (over 4”) when a new home is built. Too many new homes are being built and they have no trees in front and often times include removal of existing trees.
  19. Desired Improvement: Our commitment to Sustainability needs to be part of our Comprehensive Plan (including our desired outcome, short and long term objectives, and a way for us to measure progress and success).

Lifestyle + Housing + Community Character

  1. Encourage external painting of dated brick (yellow, etc) buildings to modern gray/black/white to increase curb appeal of older commercial spaces in South Park and uptown. Recently a new nail salon O B Design did this, as did the computer repair store next to Dairy Queen and it elevates the look of not only the business but the entire business district. If a critical mass adopted this low cost improvement in South Park the whole business district would be more attractive.
  2. Revise code to allow 6 foot fences. Fences are installed for privacy and with the current code being 5 foot tall fences you do not receive the privacy desired. Many residents have to put in additional screening such as shrubs to increase privacy on there current 5 foot fences.
  3. Revise Building Codes for street numbers. Homes that do not have a front door facing the street instead facing the side of the home should be required to put there street number and mailbox on the driveway side. These homes are hard to sell because potential home owners to the area do not want to live next to another home who has the mailbox and street number on the same side. Delivery drivers gets lost and can not figure out which home to deliver to. This would increase the beautification of the community and home sales.
  4. Please limit the “new teardown” homes! Harder to sell old homes and no character with the newer homes.
  5. Continue to encourage improvement of Maine South. That is why people move to the suburbs- it’s all about location and schools.
  6. More public art
  7. Uptown could use some brighter lighting. In the winter especially, it looks “closed” even on busy weekends.
  8. Many people, including myself, live in a single family home in Park Ridge. While that is certainly common for suburbanites, we are an inner ring suburb with three kinds of public transit (CTA, Pace, and Metra) that put us a convenient distance from downtown Chicago and several other nearby job hubs in the region. This transit access is a community amenity, and thus we need to ensure more dense developments can be created close to these transit connections. Specifically, the area around the Dee Rd, Uptown Metra, and Cumberland CTA stops need to support apartments and multifamily housing. This is largely already true for Uptown and Cumberland, where many of the city’s condo/apartment buildings are located. However, significantly lacking is the multifamily housing nearby the Dee Rd station.
  9. Can we regulate placement of portapotties? I’m going on my 2nd summer with one right on my property line. It’s separated by a construction chain link fence. When working in my garden I can even smell the chemicals. Down our block at another construction site another one has been on the front lawn for months.
  10. Things I love: small town feel, though there are still plenty of things to do. All of the summertime activities: concerts in the park, taste of PR, craft beer fest, even the car shows. Beautiful homes that are well cared for make it fun just to walk and explore. Pickwick, the library, Hodges Park.
  11. I like the small town charm and welcoming character of our community.
  12. Discourage condo/multifamily home development and encourage green space.
  13. I believe the housing market in park ridge only appeals to higher upper class (homes from $600,000 or more ). It is becoming unaffordable for millennials and young families to find a home with the sq footage they need within an affordable and medium to upper class income.
  14. Some things need to be assessed and changed if park ridge wants younger families to grow with the community and stay. I personally own a home in park ridge right now, but need more space. The options for housing under 600,000 are minimal compared to surrounding suburbs. Small businesses and younger families are being pushed out of the community due to these issues.

Mobility + Safety

  1. Improved traffic flow and/or signage along Prospect Ave near the railroad crossing and intersections of Summit, Courtland, and Vine Avenues can reduce confusion of drivers at these chaotic intersections, improving safety to both pedestrians and drivers. Better pedestrian safety and “walkability” here could further the value of Hodges Park as a community gathering place
  2. We absolutely need a safe elevated crossing at Talcott for Maine South students.
  3. Safer access to the Forest Preserve trail by Sibley and Talcott.
  4. Encourage more walking and biking in town by making it safer.
  5. Bike lanes would be great.
  6. There’s plenty of parking if people walked and biked more.
  7. Silver dog bowls throughout the city are unsanitary, unsightly, unsolicited, and even hazardous (an elderly person tripped over one today after the parade). Ensure sidewalks are free of debris and miscellaneous trip hazards.
  8. Things I’d like to see: a crosswalk at Dee and Devon (to get to forest preserve)
  9. We need ‘stop signs’ installed in all neighborhoods. If there is a intersection without a stop sign and someone is visiting who is not familiar with that neighborhood, the chances of a car crash increase tenfold. It’s time to get in the 21st century and show that we care instead of avoiding this issue further.
  10. Add designated biking lanes.
  11. Many Drivers speed on Touhy when passing through town, I would welcome a mandatory slow down driving through park ridge for safety etc 20/30 mph.
  12. Jaycee Park needs a safer crosswalk. Many people speed down Washington along the park and there is no official crosswalk from the neighborhood to cross Washington (heading East). There also is not enough sidewalk to walk around the park.
  13. Fix pot holes / repave streets along Northwest Hwy and Touhy Ave.
  14. Would love to see a parking garage put up in Uptown Area.
  15. Rethinking the parking polices in town – it’s off putting – in only 3 hours people can’t come see a Movie and then eat out. – maybe a parking structure it would encourage people to come eat here etc – good for business.