In the Jan. 17 Wednesday Journal there was an article about Greenplan Management [Managing affordable housing, WednesdayJournalHomes.com]. In that article Bill Planek was addressing the on-street parking issue and was quoted, “Multiple restrictions are imposed upon renters as if they’re second-class citizens, and it’s all to appease homeowners who don’t want people parking in front of their house.”
As a 13-year Oak Park resident and homeowner on a very busy street, I would have to agree with Planek that I don’t want people parking in front of my house. However, his statement that it is because renters are thought of as second-class citizens is presumptive at best.
In addition to space availability, the benefits of prohibiting on-street parking are extensive and include:
1) Ease in navigation by emergency vehicles
2) Reduction in traffic accidents by providing greater visibility
3) Increase in the efficiency of snow-plowing and street-cleaning
4) Reduced potential for criminals to elude police
5) Reduced potential accidents from people darting into traffic from between cars
6) Reduced number of potential abandoned automobiles.
I expect a level of safety, efficiency and appearance for the high taxes I pay. The responsibility of providing parking to renters doesn’t rest with the village but rather with the owners of the rental units.
There are few communities that have the character and appearance of Oak Park. It is one of the village’s attributes that contribute to making it a unique place to live. Keeping the current on-street parking restrictions in place and listening to the single-family homeowners won’t cost the taxpayers one more dime.
Mark Schlosser, Oak Park