Oak Park tries to tighten up parking signs

Village discusses on-street-parking signs at special meeting

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

The Oak Park Board of Trustees continued its comprehensive review of parking issues at a Monday night meeting, this time discussing a plan to consolidate the jumble of signs directing residents when and where to park on residential streets throughout the village.

The consolidated sign proposed by Parking and Mobility Services Director Jill Velan aims to simplify and consolidate the sign design.

Velan said as many as 10 municipalities – Columbus, Ohio; Washington, D.C.; Sydney, Australia; and Montreal, Canada; among others – have adopted various versions of the sign presented to trustees.

She said the parking department plans to place the signs in a couple of places around the village to see if they work.

"We still need to look at reducing our restrictions," she said.

Trustee Jim Taglia, newly appointed to the board, asked how the village would determine if the pilot program was successful.

Village Manager Cara Pavlicek said the village already has posted the sign online and is receiving comments from residents. But she said if tickets increase in the area where the pilot-program signs are posted, then the village will know they aren't working.

If residents appeal parking tickets and say, "I saw the sign and the sign said I could park there," Pavlicek said, "then we know the sign is not communicating properly."

Trustee Colette Lueck said she was not sure the proposed signs were clear and understandable. She said the village must "be vigilant" in observing people trying to park where the test signs are placed to determine whether they are working.

"I like the idea of getting rid of one more sign if this works," she said.

Trustee Glenn Brewer encouraged Velan to promote the new sign designs on social media to give residents a chance to provide input.

Trustee Bob Tucker suggested displaying large cardboard versions of the signs at Village Hall to solicit visitors to take a survey about the signs' effectiveness. He said a lot of residents would be visiting Village Hall for early voting over the next few weeks, and it would be a good opportunity to solicit more opinions.

 

Future parking meetings will address:

  • Parking on and near Austin Boulevard and Harlem Avenue (April)
  • Parking on and near North Avenue and Roosevelt Road (May)
  • Parking near CTA Blue Line, CTA Green Line and Metra stations (June)
  • Parking on and near Madison Street and Washington Boulevard (July)
  • Parking on or near Chicago Avenue and Division Street (August)
  • Comprehensive ordinance amendments (September)

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com

Reader Comments

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Doug Kittredge from Oak Park  

Posted: March 15th, 2017 11:57 AM

Frankly, it sounds like they are working on the wrong problem. While the current signs may not communicate well the real problem is the parking rules are too complicated - too many zones for permit parking, too many differences when you go block to block. I expect this grew up over time but I think it is time to start from scratch. How about one rule for metered parking and one for non-metered other than the street cleaning day?

Robin Vitucci from Oak Park  

Posted: March 15th, 2017 10:38 AM

I find this more confusing than the current sign. Just tell me when I can't park somewhere, not when I can. And as another poster commented, it will need to be huge or the print will be illegible unless you are right on it. OP needs to overhaul parking restrictions, not just give us pretty new signs. In future articles can you include the actual dates of the meetings, not just the month?

Kline Maureen  

Posted: March 15th, 2017 9:20 AM

ok, here's my suggestion: the TIMES should be in the middle, with an arrow pointing to the left and-or the right depending on which schedule it applies to. And there needs to be a time (6 AM) at the bottom so it's clear that the restriction is from 2:30 AM to 6 AM. And as Josh says, in a larger font.

Josh Vanderberg  

Posted: March 14th, 2017 10:40 PM

Only problem is that the fonts are tiny. Unless this sign is huge, you are going to have to walk right up to it to read it.

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