Electric cars get free parking

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

The village board voted 5-2 Monday to give free parking for the next two years to anyone driving an electric vehicle. Officials hope the incentive will encourage people to think green the next time they buy a car.

Oak Park is offering free vehicle stickers and free parking in public lots and garages to anyone driving an electric car. Oak Park will lose little in revenues, and they hope the move will lead to increased investment in the community.

Trustees Ray Johnson and John Hedges voted no. Oak Park has a multi-million dollar deficit in its parking fund, and people who can afford a $40,000 electric car don't need free parking, they said. Plus the feds are already offering a $7,000 tax incentive to buy such vehicles.

The program will start Jan. 1 and end sunset Dec. 31, 2012.

Reader Comments

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Tom Scharre  

Posted: November 17th, 2010 11:13 AM

Just wondering...if I replace my gas snowblower with an electric model, will the Village give me an extra 24 hours grace period to clear my walkways? Because sometimes I have the temerity to be out of town or ill during a snowfall and the current ordinance has not contemplated that.

john murtagh from Oak Park  

Posted: November 17th, 2010 11:01 AM

Couldn't agree more with Ray Johnson and Hedges. We need local government to return to solving local problems and not concentrating on global, national, and not spending time and energy on metropolitan area problems. Let's do great things in OP first.

Elizabeth Rees from Oak Park   

Posted: November 17th, 2010 10:27 AM

It seems to me that many villagers who would love to buy an electric car for a cleaner environment cannot afford to do so because of things like extraordinarily high property taxes. So much as we might love to take advantage of free parking for electric cars, we will never be able to afford one as long as we live here!

Ray Fan  

Posted: November 17th, 2010 9:56 AM

I guess the electric cars can park on Marion Street next to the mysteriously powered heated blue stone sidewalks. Krazy. Thanks Ray and John, we need more common sense on the Board, not less. BTW, a lot of electricty comes from a coal plant on South Pulaski not windmills and solar panels.

Chris Donovan  

Posted: November 17th, 2010 9:52 AM

Sunday's Tribune featured an article on the Tesla electric sports car with a base sticker price of $119,000. I'm sure an owner of one of those will be grateful that he can park for free in Oak Park. Thanks Ray and John!

Lori Malinski  

Posted: November 17th, 2010 9:44 AM

Thank you, Ray Johnson and John Hedges, for being voices of reason on this silly, counterproductive initiative!

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