We're not getting all of the facts before we make downtown decisions

Opinion

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Do we really need another North Boulevard parking garage [All we want for Christmas is ..., Our Views, Dec. 21]?

Some Oak Parkers seem to think there are 400-500 parking spaces in the area between Forest and Harlem and South Boulevard and Ontario. The lots and two garages contain 1,615 spaces and on-street parking amounts to 149 spaces.

Additional spaces result from Taxman's 100 spaces adjacent to the Shops of Downtown Oak Park and 38 in Community Bank's lot. All totaled, this is 1,902 spaces. Most of these numbers came from a 2003 village-DTOP survey and my observations. I actually spent time counting spaces.

As I understand it, Taxman's vision for the garage near his Shops is retail on the first floor, parking garage over this and 90 condos on top. Is he talking about 12-13 stories? Who will the garage serve, condo owners, Metra and CTA riders, employees or shoppers? Most women shoppers dislike garages and want on-street parking.

Did you know that Oak Park has 2,373 condos, 375 townhomes and over (10,000) rental units? No one could answer the questions, how many condos or townhomes are for sale or being rented and how many rental vacancies exist? How many of these units can we support?

Trustees need facts before they make financial decisions which impact taxpayers.

Barbara A. Mullarkey
Oak Park

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