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)