Oak Park bags up parking meters in wake of snow

Village looking to deter motorists from depositing their vehicles on major streets

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

The Village of Oak Park started putting plastic bags over parking meters after lunch, but it's not to signal that spaces are free for the rest of the day.

Village hall is warning motorists to not park on Oak Park's main thoroughfares. The community's snow parking ban went into effect at 10 p.m. last night. And as such, anyone parking on streets such as Oak Park Avenue, Lake or Ridgeland could be ticketed and towed.

As of yet, no one has been towed for violating the ban, said David Powers, village spokesman. But local police may need to call in O'Hare Towing as a final option if cars stay parked on those streets into the night.

"If need be, we will," Powers said. "That's kind of the tool of last resort. But if the snow becomes so bad and there are cars that are parked on designated snow routes, they may be ticketed and towed."

Motorists on residential streets need to follow the odd-even rule — from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., you must park on the even-numbered side of the street (east and north sides) on even dates and on the odd-numbered address side on the street (west and south) on odd dates. In commercial districts, the odd-even rule is in effect from midnight to 8 a.m. The village's overnight parking ban also applies from 2:30 to 6 a.m.

Powers said the village's main concern is the major streets, and those would be the most likely to see tow trucks.

"The focus tonight, because of the intensity of the storm and the way it's being predicted, is going to be on the main roads," he said.

Other snow routes include Augusta, Austin, Chicago, Division, Garfield, Harlem, Harrison, Jackson, Madison, North Avenue, Ridgeland, Roosevelt, and Wisconsin from Madison to the emergency entrance of Rush Oak Park Hospital. Parking is also prohibited on portions of Marion, Ontario and North Boulevard.

CONTACT: mstempniak@wjinc.com

Reader Comments

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Rich Delaney from Oak Park, IL  

Posted: February 3rd, 2011 4:39 PM

I disagree completely with the resident who wanted to praise snow removal. As I am typing this (Thursday evening) my municipal parking lot near Washington and Austin still has two dozen vehicles completely trapped. This is ridiculous.

Brent Borgerson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 3rd, 2011 2:34 PM

The village did a great job with the snow. We should be proud of the "Snow Dept."! They should be proud of themselves too. Each villager should not forget to shovel around their garbage carts and also fire hydrants. Seems like more people have cleared their sidewalks now than with a "small" snowfall.

Tom Scharre  

Posted: February 3rd, 2011 2:02 PM

Fair is fair. I've got a lot of beefs with how the Village handles various things, but this blizzard isn't one of them. Less than 24 hours after the snow stopped, the streets I've driven on are all superbly cleared. Yes, I had to re-open all my sidewalk, alley & driveway openings to the street due to the plow-induced snowbanks, but that can't really be avoided, can it? So I say, "good job!"

OP Resident  

Posted: February 2nd, 2011 3:44 PM

Dave Powers is not getting the word out on street conditions in Oak Park. What's the problem? We need to know when we can expect the alleys to be cleared. People cannot get out their garages until the high drifts have been moved. Delivery of services and commucations are priorities in Oak Park. The plow crews are out there but Powers seems to be MIA. He should be posting hourly updates on TV6, www.oak-park.us or the Wednesday Journal. Instead, all communications with the community are shut down.

OP Resident  

Posted: February 2nd, 2011 12:57 PM

Dave Powers has to get better information out to the community. We need to know when the Village plows will be clearing the neighborhood streets and alleys. I'm sure the Village has been concentrating it's efforts on the business districts but it's time to start helping out the homeowners.

Regular WJ Reader from Oak Park  

Posted: February 1st, 2011 7:36 PM

The article should read "will be ticketed and may be towed." The Village of Oak Park would never miss an opportunity to ticket a vehicle. The little know even and odd parking rules may also be enforced. Even street side parking on even calendar days during snow storms? Or maybe I have it reversed and it's no parking on the even side on even days. Never mind I'm confused...

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