Parking ticket ruined a nice evening in OP

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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I dined last week at Avenue Ale House with my wife, daughter, and four grandkids. We had a great meal and a great time ... until we left. With no street parking available, we parked in the convenient village lot, east of Oak Park Avenue. Our fine evening was ruined by a $30 (!) parking ticket, for we stayed a bit too long at dinner — until 8:15. 

While your village has fine shopping and restaurants, your focus on squeezing parking revenue from visitors makes for an unfriendly welcome — and, it would seem, a poor climate for local businesses. In the future, we'll stay home in Berwyn or, perhaps, head for LaGrange, a town which maintains a lively downtown without confiscatory parking regulations. 

Jerry Rokosz 

Berwyn 

Reader Comments

14 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Connie from River Forest  

Posted: June 17th, 2014 2:28 PM

We walk over to restaurants in Forest Park. We park in Oak Park as little as possible because of the parking problem and hard to decipher signs written by engineers.

Dan Haley from Wednesday Journal Wednesday Journal Employee

Posted: June 17th, 2014 6:22 AM

Changing out most of the 15-minute meters on Lake St. east of Oak Park Ave. to open-ended meters was on the agenda at last night's village board meeting. The Hemingway District, the business association previously known as The Avenue, has been working with the village for a while to make this happen. Will certainly be better for restaurant customers. However, there will still be a few 15-minute meters to speed people into the Starbucks, dry cleaners, Peterson's Pharmacy and the new Fresco coffee/juice bar at the corner.

Feel sorry for them  

Posted: June 16th, 2014 11:01 PM

Try parking on Lake street east of Oak Park Avenue. 15 min meters....who can go to dinner with a 15 min meter. Poor restaurants, feel sorry for them. I never go to those business anymore. It is not worth getting a 30$ ticket!

Brian Slowiak from Westchester  

Posted: June 16th, 2014 8:36 PM

Never pay one parking citation, especially if the double fine is less than $100,00, and you only have one. It costs more for the village to hunt you down than it is worth. Pay or handle all parking citations for parking in a handicapped zone. If you don't, the drivers license of the registered owner will be suspended.

Jim from South Oak Park  

Posted: June 16th, 2014 8:22 PM

@it's not. Good businesses work hard to deliver good customer service. A dining experience includes the parking. Government, on the other hand, sets one-size-fits-all rules. Parking is a horrible example; meters and rules started to help businesses by "turning over" spaces. That morphed into a "revenue center," with government's concern that it raise revenue. The answer "obey the rules" sounds like a government employee. I favor Forest Park, too. Easier parking.

Al Gater from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 16th, 2014 4:14 PM

Excellent parking advise. Has anyone tried the Cuban Cafe on North west of Harlem?

Oak Park Diner  

Posted: June 16th, 2014 3:19 PM

I think people are missing the author's point. He admits that he overstayed the lot. He's pointing out that excessively zealous parking enforcement makes it easier to go elsewhere. OP is known as a community where parking is hard. That is not a draw for people looking to shop or dine.

Foomer  

Posted: June 16th, 2014 3:04 PM

There is nothing really confusing about this lot, you cant park there after 8:00 unless you have a permit, if you thought there was any chance you would stay later then you should have found another spot

Scott from Oak Park  

Posted: June 16th, 2014 2:51 PM

I've gotten this same ticket from the same lot while eating at Ale House. Guess what I found out by reading the signs in the lot and the meter.....very clear language that you can't park there without a permit after 8pm every night. All cities have the same silly parking rules, but you have to actually read the signs. Know I do agree that the ticketing timeframe can be a complete joke. OP has initially refused to drop the late fee even after I showed proof of paying in time.

Oak Park Diner  

Posted: June 16th, 2014 2:41 PM

To "It's Not..." - I hear what you're saying, but smart communities make it easier to park legally. I can always find reasonably convenient, legal parking in Forest Park or LaGrange, so I tend to drive to those communities. I spend money there instead of here, because they make it easier. People avoid dining and shopping in OP because we, as a village, make this a hard place to dine and shop. I live here, and I avoid dining and shopping here. It doesn't need to be like that.

It's not that hard  

Posted: June 16th, 2014 2:13 PM

I love when people complain about getting caught when they break the law! Hilarious. Park legally and there is no ticket to whine about.

Resident of Can't Park, IL  

Posted: June 16th, 2014 1:52 PM

Be aware fines nearly double pretty quickly. A $30 parking ticket fine mailed two weeks after being ticketed will not suffice. 21 days after check clears, VOP mails notice to pay another $20 because ticket paid, just not fast enough. And took them three weeks to get that mailed!

Oak Park Diner  

Posted: June 16th, 2014 12:06 PM

Here is what my wife and I say on the way out to a casual dinner - "We'll check Lake Street, and if there's no parking we'll head over to Forest Park." We eat in Forest Park 2 times out of 3. Both communities have some good restaurants. Parking is the final determiner.

gatuso  

Posted: June 13th, 2014 5:49 PM

Had a similar experience about two years ago. Parked on Harrison St., had a wonderful dinner at Trattoria 225, only to discover an f'in ticket when we left. (10 p.m.) We haven't been back since. Too bad for the restaurant, but I refuse to worry all evening about whether my car is parked in some twilight zone of danger. How many others just avoid the hassle and go to places that welcome biz, like Lombard or Elmwood Park or Forest Park?

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