Yes, I am one of those apartment dwellers who pays to park in a village-owned lot, but the frustrations, which led to this letter, are only partly due to that fact. I have three incidents that I would like to share.
The first incident happened when my license plate sticker was stolen. I filed a police report and was told that if anyone ran my plate they would indeed see that I had a valid license. I did not run right out to get a replacement sticker since I didn't see the need. Well I was ticketed while parked in my lot. I contested and did get out of that ticket but four days later I was given another citation and was told that I had had plenty of time to get a replacement sticker.
The second incident happened to a friend who was in the Marion Street lot. He was parked in a corner spot where there are two meters on a post and they are at an angle. The parking enforcement person observed him putting money in the meter. When he walked away he was ticketed because he had put the money in the wrong meter. Would it have been wrong for the enforcement person to make him aware while he was putting the money in?
The third incident happened while parked along South Oak Park Avenue. I was meeting a friend for lunch. It was early so we had our choice of parking spots. When we came out from lunch she had a citation on her car. Checking the meter we found time still remaining. She pulled the ticket out and found out she was parked in a handicap parking spot. What a shock! Neither of us would ever intentionally park in a spot reserved for persons with disabilities. I walked out on the street in search of a sign. Yes, it was there but it was posted parallel to the street so was not clearly visible when pulling in. I also noticed that it looked like someone had put tape and an arrow to indicate where the parking spot was. There were no markings on the pavement. Oh, the joys of parking in Oak Park!
Supporting local businesses is a priority but with incidents like I've encountered it is enticing to consider options outside of Oak Park.