After reading the flurry of articles about the new "superblock" in downtown Oak Park and the new mixed-use buildings planned, I have to ask, "What about parking?" Oak Park should be embarrassed that they have on the website several times about the parking problems within the village. The village knows it has a problem, yet won't do anything substantial about it.
Why don't people shop in the village? No parking?#34;it's as simple as that. When I lived by the mall, I saw the police being brought in to resolve parking space issues ... unbelievable.
I recently purchased a condo in a renovated building and was told that parking would not be a problem in the area of Lombard and Chicago avenues. I was told that by the Pealtor and the parking office in village hall.
Chicago Avenue (the only street where permit overnight parking is allowed, south side only) is so clogged with cars that if you arrive any time after 6 p.m. your chances of finding a space even relatively close to your home is nil. One owner was mugged on her way home from a parking space several blocks away.
We who own condos in the area are taxpaying residents just like everyone else and want to know when is the village going to remove this archaic 1920s law about not parking on streets overnight. This law, so I'm told, keeps crime down by having empty streets. Have you read the police blotters lately? I have had the police escort me home because I had to park four blocks away.
We pay extremely high taxes, and it is our right, and should not be a "special privilege" to park, of all places, on the street and have to pay for it too.
The village lets the developers convert buildings to condos, but no one supplies the buyers/owners with reliable, close, safe parking. I don't think parking is even considered. I should not have to let parking rule my life, but it does. As one of my neighbors stated before the Parking Commission, she feels like a "prisoner in my own home." Yes, we have petitioned to get more overnight parking. The commission approved our petition but we must again trudge to village hall in January to see if the village board will approve the recommendation. The parking saga continues.
One person bought in this building only to find out that there were "no more parking stickers available" for this area and suggested the old dangerous standby of the parking office?#34;"park on Austin"?#34;which is four blocks away. The owners are constantly being ticketed because we park in front of our home because there is nowhere else to park. Are we being targeted for ticketing? We certainly feel like we are.
I think the village board and the parking police, etc. need to get parking stickers (if any are available) and drive in our shoes for a month, preferably in January or February. Perhaps their ideas about opening the streets for parking would change.
Our neighborhood wants stickered resident parking on Lombard. Everyone signed the petition, but we are told that it is a "public" street and cannot be opened for parking. Are we not the "public?"
In closing, at the end of October I wrote to the village president, addressing the parking problem in my neighborhood and as of December I have yet to receive any response from him.