Parking rate hikes eyed for Oak Park garages

Village trying to close a $3.8 million deficit in its parking fund

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

he hour of free parking in Oak Park public garages might disappear in 2012, as part of a package of parking rate hikes village hall is considering.

Rates would remain untouched at meters on streets and in parking lots, according to Village Manager Tom Barwin. But those who buy quarterly parking permits would see an increase of up to $17 each month, if the proposal moves forward.

Under the new plan, motorists would pay $1 for the first two hours of parking in public garages — located at Harlem and Ontario, Lake and Forest, and on North Boulevard near Oak Park Avenue. Barwin believes that shoppers may have been rushing to get out before the first free hour ended, and thinks the change may encourage people to stay longer.

"Then maybe people won't be in such a hurry, and instead of hitting one store, they might hit two. Or instead of just inhaling a sandwich for lunch, they'll stop and buy a book or check out the jewelry store," Barwin said.

Oak Park re-evaluates its rates every year around July, as it works to put together a budget to present to the village board in the fall. The village's parking fund is still running a $3.8 million deficit, which Barwin said stems from years of costs outpacing revenues.

Charges at garages would remain unchanged after two hours. Meanwhile, quarterly parking permits would go up by between $5 and $17 each month, the highest increase being for 24-hour permits for nonresidents in high-demand areas.

Village hall informed the business community — including reps from Oak Park's three major shopping districts — of the possible hikes last week, as part of a committee that helps advise the village on parking. Mary Jo Schuler, head of the South Marion business association, admitted that she's not happy about increased fees, but prefers them to higher property taxes or privatization of garages.

"Those funds need to come from somewhere," said Schuler, who owns two businesses on South Marion. "We all have an interest in our local government functioning in the black, or at least in a break-even manner."

Pat Zubak, head of the Downtown Oak Park business association, wants more information on how many parkers will be affected by the changes. She's leery of using parking fees to pay off debt to build garages, but thinks $1 for two hours is still reasonable.

"It's not just trying to gouge everybody who lives or works in town. That's not the situation at all," Zubak said.

The last time Oak Park raised its parking rates was in January, when parking permits went up by an average of $9 per quarter, and the village hiked fees for those parking their cars in garages longer than four hours. Barwin estimated that about 20 percent of people who park in local public garages stay for one hour or less.

All together, the changes, coupled with $50,000 in unspecified cuts, would raise an extra $400,000 for the village each year. The hikes are far from finalized, and will be discussed by the village board as part of budget deliberations this fall.

Reader Comments

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mmds from Oak Park  

Posted: July 21st, 2011 10:23 PM

To Oak Park and Lake (et al.): Precisely!


Posted: July 19th, 2011 10:46 PM

The article says fees will go up between $5 and $17 per month not per quarter. The comment about $50,000 in unspecified savings is bothersome. How can that much money be unspecified? Maybe that is part of the problem. A crumbling garage, broken elevators, $3.5 million in debt, who is running this show?

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: July 19th, 2011 5:08 PM

Please be specific, B. What steps do you propose the Village take to "get tough with unions"? You are talking about bargaining units for police, fire, clerical, and public works employees. Tell us what you expect residents would gain by adopting this hardline policy?

Oak Park and Lake from Oak Park  

Posted: July 19th, 2011 4:38 PM

I already pay $174 each quarter to park in a village lot and that's already a ton of money to pay because Oak Park is really No Park and you can't park on any streets. $17 a quarter hike means I pay nearly $800 a year for parking, and it's not even covered, plowed promptly, or monitored. This is is completely ridiculous.


Posted: July 19th, 2011 3:12 PM

I can't believe I am saying this -- but our Village needs to watch what Emanuel is leading in Chicago. Taxing (raising parking rates) people is not the solution; need to get tough with unions, tough with corruption, entice business. Emanuel is really awesome; I hope he keeps it up as this will bode well for our Village.

Epic Putz  

Posted: July 19th, 2011 2:11 PM

@S. Oak Park: The fact that you focus on the one definition of the word that is "unseemly" says more about you than anything else. As for the rest of your criticism, if you define Epic calling those s/he disagrees with "fat and lazy" as "adult discussion," that says a lot about you too....

S.Oak Park  

Posted: July 19th, 2011 1:44 PM

You offer an empty excuse for your bad behavior and tell me to relax! Rather than using an offensive word as a screen name and attempt to take a backhanded slap at Epic Lutz; how about acting like a grown up? Adults are trying to engage in a discussion and you think to contribute with vulgarity. Disagree with Epic Lutz. People do. But they don't stoop to being crude and rude.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: July 19th, 2011 1:33 PM

Let's knock off the talk about going to downtown is walk friendly. It is not if you live at Division and Ridgeland or Harvard and Austin. I do most of my shopping in small centers -- OP Ave and the Ike, RF side of Madison, the Art district. You can get in and out of there fast. Not so with downtown congestion and parking hassle. My favorite bagel is Einsteins. I get them downtown once or twice a year. Too much of a hassle. I love downtown OP, but not as a shopping destination.

Epic Putz  

Posted: July 19th, 2011 1:26 PM

@S. Oak Park: Relax. While I appreciate your Yiddish knowledge, the term has taken on additional meanings over the years (even in Yiddish)....

Epic Putz  

Posted: July 19th, 2011 1:23 PM

No Epic, I got what you were saying in your post (where you insulted those who do not do not want to turn Oak Park into Beijing as being "fat and lazy"). Great line: "there is no need whatsoever for able bodied people to drive from one point in OP to another"...Who the hell are you to say that? My point stands (especially since the 311 bus schedule ends before 8PM every night). If you want to ride your bike, fine, go for it. Stop moralizing to the rest of us who chose 2 live in the 21st Century.

M on Ridgeland from Oak Park  

Posted: July 19th, 2011 12:24 PM

Great idea! Lets really kill any kind of shopping in the Oak Park area! What the heck is going on in this Village!

another OP resident from Oak Park  

Posted: July 18th, 2011 5:57 PM

Increased parking expense sends the message that you need extra money to do anything in Oak Park. It blatantly ganks the middle class.


Posted: July 18th, 2011 5:56 PM

epic says: @mmds, people with garages pay property taxes on those garages, which those without garages avoid Epic,of course. Their garages are real property, which we tax here. They are an asset. I have one car and own a condo. I pay the same world-class property taxes--tripled over the past 10 year--as everyone else in OP. House owners are immune from the horror of people parking in front of their house, even by day in many places.It is the equivalent of giving them exclusively a public asset

epic lulz  

Posted: July 18th, 2011 4:52 PM

As those who can read at an 4th grade level will note, I did not say that it is "easier to live in Oak Park without a car". Instead I wrote, "going without a car is no easier anywhere in the burbs than Oak Park," the point being that if you can do it anywhere outside of the city, you can do it here. I suggest that the appropriately named Epic Putz take a remedial reading course before next making an attempt at conversing with the literate.


Posted: July 18th, 2011 4:50 PM

For the life of me I will never understand why Oak Park is doing it damnedest to stop people from shopping or living in Oak Park. People are correct. Why shop in Oak Park when you can park for free in LaGrange, Oak Brook, Yorktown, etc.? This is insane. You should be adding an additional hour of free parking to entice people to shope after a movie or dinner, NOT chasing them away. Please reconsider this. And if everyone else has to pay to park, so should village officials. What's right is right!

Carol from Oak Park  

Posted: July 18th, 2011 3:45 PM

EpicP, I've been taking public transportation with my two small children (well, one is not so small anymore) since my oldest was 2. Yes, even in the middle of winter. I always found it much easier than trying to pack them into car seats and then find parking. I don't think it's quite fair to say that someone is "clueless" for thinking that public transportation is pretty great.

S. Oak Park  

Posted: July 18th, 2011 3:25 PM

Change your screen name to "Brick Wall", please. A number of Village employees hold pass cards they can use to park for free in the garages. No staff is required to purchase a monthly permit to use the lot at Village Hall or on the surrounding streets. They park for free all day. People who use those same slots overnight buy a permit. What's the difference? One group gets special treatment while the other follows the rules. How is that fair? Why are you defending the practice? are you dense?


Posted: July 18th, 2011 2:42 PM

Village employees that live and socialize in OP pay all the fees that everyone else pays. If Mgr Barwin wants to go to a movie at the Lake, he has the same parking options as we all do? If he or any other Village employee wants to eat at Avenue Ale House, they have to find parking just like the rest of us. Confused how they dont pay?

S. Oak Park  

Posted: July 18th, 2011 2:16 PM

The crude screen name you chose detracts from the content.

Epic Putz  

Posted: July 18th, 2011 2:02 PM

@EpicLulz: No, it is not easier to live in Oak Park without a car, especially if you have small kids and live in South Oak Park. yeah, I am going to wait at Roosevelt and Oak Park Ave for the bus so I can go to the Lake Theater with 2 small kids in the middle of December. Incredible how clueless some people are around here....

Frankly Speaking  

Posted: July 18th, 2011 1:37 PM

I agree residents are due relief from escalating fees and fines. The parking rate increase would not be necessary if the trustees ended the practice of providing free parking privileges at Village garages and required staff to purchase parking permits for the Village Hall lot and surrounding neighborhood streets. It's simply unfair and unaffordable.

Wake Up People  

Posted: July 18th, 2011 1:13 PM

Hey, not everyone who lives in Oak Park is a freaking doctor or lawyer who can afford $500K homes (that have FREE parking by the way). Some of us don't make a ton of money and would like to raise kids in a decent environment without more and more of our paychecks going to the Village Of Oak Park. Show us your true Liberal Compassion and give us a break!

S.Oak Park  

Posted: July 18th, 2011 11:07 AM

Let's ask Ray Johnson if he is truly in favor of sharing the burden equally. As far I can recall, he has supported that position every time parking fees have been raised. But,he has skirted the issue regarding Village employees. Should the very people who set the parking fees for the rest of us be allowed to exempt themselves from paying a dime? Why provide them with free parking in a lot that tax dollars maintain? How can we afford to issue free passes to them for the Village parking garages?

Insulting from Oak Park  

Posted: July 18th, 2011 8:36 AM

I also find the comment "inhaling a sandwich" to be insulting. The comment is offensive especially because it is a blanket statement about people's eating habits and is based on no evidence (like the rest of his data).

Insulting from Oak Park  

Posted: July 18th, 2011 8:28 AM

Both village hall and school employees should have to pay for parking. It's an easy way to get extra funds. Both of these groups are not going to quit because there aren't any other jobs (especially 100k teacher jobs). They are the recipients of our tax dollars, and so should chip in like the rest of us. Also - I never use the pay box lots, but would rather spend more on meters. There's always a line, it's time consuming, and not convenient at all.


Posted: July 17th, 2011 11:36 PM

S. is in favor of more govt and more taxes???? Hmmmmm. Since when is anyone in favor of more taxes? S.trange

S. Oak Park  

Posted: July 17th, 2011 10:07 PM

Taxpayers are subsidizing parking at Village Hall. We pay for all the expenses. It's time to share the load, Mr. Barwin!

epic lulz  

Posted: July 17th, 2011 9:09 PM

Going without a car is no easier anywhere in the burbs than Oak Park, with quick an easy public trans to downtown. If you have occasional need for a car, there's iGo. In any case, there is no need whatsoever for able bodied people to drive from one point in OP to another, especially not during the summer. When ever I hear someone complaining about the high cost of parking, all I hear is, "I'm fat and lazy and I want government to subsidize my lifestyle".

epic lulz  

Posted: July 17th, 2011 8:55 PM

@mmds, people with garages pay property taxes on those garages, which those without garages avoid.

George Harrison from Heaven  

Posted: July 17th, 2011 8:06 PM

Let me tell you how it will be, There's one for you, nineteen for me, 'Cause I'm the Taxman, Yeah, I'm the Taxman. Should five per cent appear too small, Be thankful I don't take it all. 'Cause I'm the Taxman, Yeah, I'm the Taxman.

Rick from Riverside  

Posted: July 17th, 2011 6:27 PM

We used to go the the Lake Theatre on average once a week to see a movie. Spent around $25 for two with concessions. After the movie we would stop by the Book Table, antique shop, etc. But once they raised the parking rates we quit going. We now go to the Classic Cinema in Elmhurst, which is further away because it has 3 hours of free parking. 3 hours is enought time. Classic Cinema still gets out money, but Oak Park loses out on our sales tax and their local businesses lose out.

La Grange from Oak Park  

Posted: July 17th, 2011 5:16 PM

After my last surprise $30 parking ticket, I decided that LaGrange would get my previously OP patron dollars. Has anyone really studied the relationship between parking and ticket revenues and their effects on business revenues? Has anyone compiled the capital and operational cost of creating such a highly efficient parking ticket force? Anyway LaGrange is now working out just great as a consumer-friendly food and shopping destination.

Anne B. from Oak Park  

Posted: July 17th, 2011 5:15 PM

I completely agree with S.Oak Park - employee parking around the Village Hall should be metered and/or require parking permits. Why shouldn't village staffers be required to buy permits or feed meters for extended parking -- or risk getting one of those pricey tickets -- just like the rest of us?

mmds from Oak Park  

Posted: July 17th, 2011 2:24 PM

And again Oak Park residents without garages must bear a disproportionate load for Village financial incompetence. Public garages are not some luxury for us. We must park there. Stop the insanity.

S. Oak Park  

Posted: July 17th, 2011 12:30 PM

I take it you are a Village employee and don't feel any obligation to pay your fair share. Let the taxpayers pick up the costs for maintenance and plowing the Village Hall lot. No one else is getting such a sweetheart deal. Why would you try to defend a policy that exempts the very people who determine our parking rates from paying a dime? Barwin has stated that the increases paid by the rest of us generates $400,000. If we stop supporting a freeloader system; the rate increases can be reduced.

Dave Coulter  

Posted: July 17th, 2011 11:42 AM

""Or instead of just inhaling a sandwich for lunch, they'll stop and buy a book or check out the jewelry store..."" Yeah! And maybe they'll be relaxed enough to ponder renting out one of the vacant storefronts.


Posted: July 17th, 2011 2:00 AM

If its all about the money, why not put in a toll booth on Madison or Lake St? When the deficits are in the Millions.....250K aint gonna get it done. ;-)

S.Oak Park  

Posted: July 17th, 2011 1:23 AM

How about a cool $250,000 a year? That's what parking permits for the Village Hall lot would generate annually. Crunch the numbers and add-in the on-street permits for the surrounding neighborhood. And don't forget the non-resident rate. That's $250,000! Name me another parking lot owned and maintained by the Village of Oak Park that provides free parking throughout the day. Everywhere else;everyone pays! And parking enforcement is out there making sure that you do. We can't afford to play favs.


Posted: July 16th, 2011 10:01 PM

The VOP parking lot is not a structure that has as high maintenance expenses. Simple. If you park in a lot/garage, someone had to pay for it.


Posted: July 16th, 2011 8:34 PM

Why is it so hard to grasp the concept of paying for parking?

S. Oak Park Resident  

Posted: July 16th, 2011 7:45 PM

Ray Johnson explained that high school students had to purchase monthly parking permits in order to help pay for maintenance of Village streets. People who work in downtown Oak Park have to buy passes. Residents have to pay to park on streets throughout the Village. We all have to pay! Only Tom Barwin and the staff at Village Hall are exempt from the policy. No explanation from Ray Johnson on why he thinks everyone should pay except the very people who determine the fee structure. That's unfair.

OP resident  

Posted: July 16th, 2011 6:18 PM

I'be been told the HS has free parking for its employees - not just during school hours but 24/7/365. Nice, but is it realistic or even necessary for 6 figure employees?

S. Oak Park  

Posted: July 16th, 2011 5:36 PM

It's a benefit that we can no longer afford, Editor. Everybody pays to park in Oak Park. The idea that Village employees are exempt is unfair. That's especially true for non-resident staff. How can the trustees justify ordering everyone else to fork over more money while letting people at Village Hall have a free parking lot and unrestricted parking on the surrounding streets? Encourage staff to walk, bike or car pool but charge the same fees we all pay.

Editor from Oak Park  

Posted: July 16th, 2011 4:37 PM

If the people who handle Oak Park parking garages handled Chicago's, they would be thrown out of town. I was at the Lake and Harlem garage the other day. 10 people paying at one area, because the other area's pay station was broke. 25 people stand in line at Lake and Forest to pay their parking fee when the movies let out. Oak Park Managemen, never have people wait when they want to give you money. Take it as fast as you can. No one feels like they are getting any benefit from waiting to pay you

Eidtor from Oak Park  

Posted: July 16th, 2011 4:34 PM

Parking must be an employee benefit. That's fine, it comes with the job. Doesn't seem like many people visit the parking garages in Chicago. If you had your way, a lot of them would be torn down just for cosmetic reasons. Raising parking rates will not keep the people who already shop here away. There isn't much to buy in Oak Park.

S. Oak Park  

Posted: July 16th, 2011 12:30 PM

Time to end the free ride for Village employees. We cannot afford this costly perk. Charge a monthly rate equal to the amount paid throughout Oak Park. There are a significant number of Village Hall staff who are not Oak Park residents. They need to be charged the non-resident monthly rate. A fee system at Village Hall would generate more than $250,000 annually.

Maggie from Oak Park, IL  

Posted: July 16th, 2011 12:09 PM

Another reason to not shop in Oak Park. Not only does Oak Brook have every store you could possibly want but so does Yorktown just a short ride from Oak Brook. LaGrange has free parking without a time limit and some pretty nice shops. When is Oak Park going to stop raising the price of every thing? 49 year resident of this VILLAGE.

S. Oak Park  

Posted: July 16th, 2011 11:53 AM

Barwin still parks for free! Not only have Oak Park taxpayers provided him with a new vehicle; he gets to park for free in the lot at Village Hall. In fact, it's the only free lot in Oak Park. Nobody pays! We're billed for resurfacing and plowing but the costs are not shared. And don't forget a number of VOP employees and associates are also provided with pass cards they use to park for free in Vilage garages. The folks who decide how much we all have to pay; don't pay a dime. That's not fair.

Dan in OP  

Posted: July 16th, 2011 10:23 AM

So, the parking fund costs have outpaced revenues for years. Maybe that is because VOP built a parking garage for the OPRFHS which generates no revenue. So everybody else has to pay to cover the cost. How does the high school show its appreciation? By suing VOP over the TIF fund while we pay the accompanying legal fees. Thanks OPRFHS! The gift that keeps on giving.


Posted: July 16th, 2011 10:21 AM

TJ, I guess we should tear down half of Lake and Oak Park and have surface lots and no garages. You are funny.

T.J. from OP  

Posted: July 16th, 2011 9:16 AM

The Oak Park Village Board says they want to help the business community in OP thrive. An increase in parking rates will not help this endeavor. I personally prefer to not park in a parking garage. It's too much of a pain in the arse. Getting in and out. Parking on the top level, some goof doesn't know how to put their ticket into the machine... If it's not convenient I'll go where it is. The solution for me is Oakbrook. They have every store you can imagine, good prices, and lower taxes.

epic lulz  

Posted: July 16th, 2011 3:12 AM

Silly, you picked the perfect name. My suggestion to you is to read what you wrote. Then read it again. Now, read it one more time. Do you see yet? Do you? Nah... you'd just rather continue earning your moniker.


Posted: July 16th, 2011 1:39 AM

Need I explain lulzee? Just for u. If you have a customer base who wont pay a dollar to park their vehicle and shop in your store/restaurant who already was doing so, then you(business) owner don't run that good of a business to begin with or your customers are worthless and its time to shut your doors. ?Comprende?

OP resident  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 9:48 PM

$1.00 isn't huge - but the hassle factor needs to be considered. Most of the shopping I do is easily done in less than an hour - which means I don't have to worry about what coins, bills etc I need to have to extricate my car. I can afford the dollar. I dread the hassle. Time to shop some place else?

epic lulz  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 8:39 PM

"If businesses can survive, they dont deserve to be in business!!" The best gibberish ever written in a WJ comments thread.


Posted: July 15th, 2011 8:18 PM

$1 for 2 hrs of Parking PEOPLE!!! Who's complaining? Get real. Best Deal around. If businesses can survive, they dont deserve to be in business!! Good Night

Susan from Forest Park  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 7:50 PM

Check out how it is $10 now for 4-10 hours of parking. You can have a relaxing lunch with a friend and easily spend a few more hours browsing the shops and they get hit with a $10 parking fee. And, the machine is only taking cash now. When I pressed the button and inquired about not having cash to pay my exorbitant bill I was told to go to a cash station. Now, what if I didn't have a debit card? Ridiculous rates. Folks should be able to park for 4 hours w/o paying $2.50/hour.

epic lulz  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 7:19 PM

The "Anthony Shaker" poster sounds suspiciously like, the "David Pope" poster: inane, belligerent, barely literate, and always accusing others of what he is guilty of. Good job to whomever is responsible for the parody.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 7:14 PM

Honestly can't see how this makes any sense for the businesses or the customers. How much does this risky change add to the coffers?


Posted: July 15th, 2011 5:48 PM

Mr. Shaker, Do you squeeze your tenants for as MUCH as you can get??? I heard that Lidos Cafe was paying $5K / Month? Absurd. Whats the corner (where Cosi was) fetching ya? Whos squeezing who?

Shopper Friendly Parking  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 5:19 PM

I was visiting Franklin Tennessee, and here is how they handle street parking: first four hours free. Then again, I thought the annual property tax bill was what was paid monthly.

David Ristau from Lahaina, HI and River Forest, IL  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 4:32 PM

For many years I've used the prepaid paking meter key instead of quarters. Parking on the street in Oak Park in areas using the new machines with display tapes is impossible with the parking meter keys. PLEASE install the key fitting on the new parking vending machines.

Anthony R. Shaker from Oak Park, IL  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 4:28 PM

Great idea of Barwin's to charge more while he oversees the most dysfunctional garage operating system imaginable. The Holly Court garage was down for seven months. He did not even know who the successful bidder was, what its service reputation was, and how long the garage elevator was scheduled to be down when I met with him seeking answers on behalf of my doctor tenants. This is evidence he is in so far over his head up looks down to him. Just keep squeezing the citizens of the village.

Fuel Costs  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 4:21 PM

Using IRS mileage reimbursement rates, a trip to Oak Brook from Oak Park costs $12.75 in fuel, maintanance, ins. costs. Parking / hour for the first 2 hours as proposed is $1.00, plus car trip costs using the same IRS formula w/in Oak Park is = $4.08 for a total cost of $5.08 vs. the $12.75. Going to Oak Brook isn't the answer....since there is no such thing as free parking anyway.

epic lulz  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 3:53 PM

I encourage TJ to reveal what his/her business is so that OP residents can boycott it.

T.J. from OP  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 3:43 PM

I encourage residents to consider shopping at Oakbrook Center and the shopping dist in and around Oakbrook. It's really a quick drive and their tax rate is much better than what is in OP and Cook county.

another OP resident from Oak Park  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 3:39 PM

Ride a bike, walk, skate, etc. You can do it. Yes you can!


Posted: July 15th, 2011 3:29 PM

$17 a month. Are you kidding? What happened to all the revenue we were supposed to get when they built condos on outside lots. For residents, these should be a service, not a profit center. I have to use one, so it is like a tax, because I can't park on street. Also, in Avenue Gge, elevator has been out forever. They haven't accepted credit cards all week. And an electric heater blew cold air the entire winter. Incompetence!

Rich from Oak Park  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 3:22 PM

500 characters are simply not enough to detail my level of disgust over this. Seriously, get the garages fixed before imposing an unnecessary fee. Perhaps if the village leaders thought more about the absurdity of this they would understand that citizens are growing weary of the community continually wasting tax dollars and getting inferior outcomes. The Holley Court Parking garage expansion was a joke. Many spaces may not be utilized because of inferior workmanship!

Editor from Oak Park  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 2:35 PM

We are very fortunate to have the likes of Mr. Barwin as Village Manager. Your loss Colorada. He is amazing at managing, but should not express his thoughts publicly. Inhaling a sandwich? Visiting a book store when a major bookstore may be closing? On to Parking. Parking meters should be 3.00 per hour. Parking garages a minimum 15 dollars for 4 hours. Monthlies can fetch 2 - 3 hundred. Charging cheap is not going to help anything. Check Chicago's rates. If you are going to do something, do it

Pat from Oak Park  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 2:32 PM

One more reason to not shop in Oak Park. I try to shop here as much as possible, but Oak Park always seems to find ways to add obstacles to making it a positive experience. Think about it - the Village is asking us to spend money just to start shopping (and you might not find what you are looking for).

Mac from Oak Park  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 2:26 PM

Perhaps the Village Manager should talk to the Village residents about ways to raise revenue. This parking issue is stupid. I shop less in Oak Park because the taxes on businesses are too high causing them to move to FP. The parking at the meters is a joke. I used to love shopping OP until restaruants,shops left to get a better deal in Forest Park. Sometimes the addage less is more is true.

Barwin Thinks  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 2:20 PM

This is what Barwin thinks, but he has no facts to back up his beliefs. Barwin thinks a $1 for 2 hours will cause people to spend more, but he cannot prove it. It seems that he is okay with penalizing people who do not have parking and must buy parking from the Village, but wants to subsidize the rates for shoppers and businesses. Barwin should do some analysis before making suggestions. But then that would take away from his job search time.


Posted: July 15th, 2011 2:16 PM

I wonder if we could have offset the parking rate hike by NOT BUYING AND INSTALLING those "cute" tourist signs that have been popping up all over the Village? What a waste of money!

Brad from Oak Park  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 2:10 PM

I really don't think people are 'rushing to get out' when they are shopping for a free hour. The logic makes no sense - if people are 'rushing' to get out to avoid paying the $1 then having the $1 start immediately will only make them not shop at all. My thoughts are why not go to Forest Park or Oak Brook anyway - better shops and better parking, some parking actually located near the place you want to be at. Imagine that concept!!

johnrlewis from Oak Park  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 2:09 PM

Barwin wants to raise more revenue. I get that. But to imply that this will help businesses downtown is ludicrous. It will hurt business downtown. Just ask people that go there almost daily. More expensive parking is a deterrent.

Sara Caswell from Oak Park  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 2:09 PM

I use the Avenue garage fairly often. This change would be OK with me, if the elevators and pay stations worked properly. The Avenue garage has had a broken elevator for a long time and the pay station has been cash only for at least a week.

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