CHICAGO – A northwest side alderman took matters into his own hands in an attempt to stop a billboard from being built along the Kennedy Expressway.
Ald. John Arena and residents in the 45th Ward say city officials have not been forthcoming with information regarding the new billboard.
A road was closed as part of installation of an electronic billboard and residents say they were never informed the closed road was never going to reopen.
The billboard is to be installed in the middle of busy Lamon Avenue at Wilson.
Residents say construction and closures began overnight with no warning.
“We’ve had no communication from the mayor’s office, from CDOT, from the water department about the work that’s going on here,” Ald. Arena said.
Ald. Arena parked his car in front of a bulldozer to stop construction.
The city says there’s a public safety aspect here. Mike Claffey of the Chicago Department of Transportation released a statement saying in part, “There is a history of excessive speeding on Lamon and Wilson due to cut through traffic, and this change is designed to enhance safety…”
A billboard for this general area was approved in 2012. This particular plan has been in the works for eight months, which is why the alderman finds it strange he’s just hearing about it.
The city says it will talk to residents before this goes any farther.