The Oak Park Transportation Commission adjusted its recommendations on proposed changes to the village’s overnight parking ban, lowering its recommendation on overnight passes to 24.

In April, the commission decided the village’s two overnight parking permits-single night and extended, which need to be used at least three nights at a time-should be combined into one program. Because five single-night passes and 30 nights’ worth of extended passes are now available, the commission chose 35 as the new annual limit.

But Sonny Ginsberg, commission chair, said he later thought the commission needed some data about how the passes are being used today before recommending the change.

Of the approximately 40,000 license plates called in for overnight passes in 2006, just 5,000 used both nightly and extended passes, said Parking Services Manager Alva Johnson. Of that group, roughly 1,500 used their extended passes and all five of their nightly passes.

Johnson also reported that more extended passes are used in high-density areas than nightly passes, suggesting a greater need there for the combined passes.

In 2006, 74,906 nightly passes and 70,773 nights’ worth of extended passes were used. Johnson divided those figures by the total license plate count to arrive at averages of two nightly passes and 14 extended passes used annually. Median figures were less: one nightly pass and 12 extended passes per plate.

“What this tells me is that we’re definitely not using the 35 [now],” Ginsberg said. He recommended 15 as the limit for the new combined passes, saying it would be far easier in the future to raise the limit than it would be to lower it if suddenly the streets were flooded with cars overnight.

River Forest allows three nightly passes every 30 days, which adds to 36 passes a year. But Ginsberg said the comparison isn’t apt. “It’s not apples and apples, it’s apples and oranges.”

Commissioner Paul Aeschleman suggested 20, adding the five nightly passes to the roughly 15 extended passes on average being used now. Commissioner Kazuya Kawamura suggested 24, and Commissioner Jack Chalabian agreed, saying it was an easy-to-remember number.

The commission voted 3-2, with Ginsberg and Commissioner John Abbott voting no.

The commission also cleaned up wording on its other recommended changes to the ban, including expanding available overnight parking into non-residential areas, establishing a long-term off-street parking option for on-street permit holders, and increasing enforcement of illegal on-street parking in permit areas to possibly include towing.

Johnson said the village board will likely vote on the recommendations in June.


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