People can get a parking ticket just about any time-now they can pay for them just about anytime as well.

Sitting against the wall between the stairway and restrooms in the Oak Park Police Department lobby are an ATM and a similar looking kiosk with a computer screen.

The cash station can be used by people needing to post cash bonds with the police department. The kiosk, which processes credit cards, can be used for just about everything else, including paying for parking tickets, contesting tickets and even paying to have a boot removed from your car.

The device allows on-line payment via credit card 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year … make that 366 this year. It also allows people to communicate with the judge overseeing parking ticket appeals. The computer screen looks just like the screen people get when they go online at the village website.

“You’ll basically be sending the judge an e-mail,” said Darrell Watson of the Ticket Adjudication office.

The machines were installed in early December, and went on line just before Christmas.

Watson said the new technology, which is expected to ease his office’s workload a bit, is primarily intended to provide a convenient alternative for people unable to get to village hall when it’s open.

“We’ve heard from a lot of people who can’t make it here during normal business hours,” said Watson.

Paying fines is never a pleasant task, but at least it’s now more convenient.

Appreciation … to a degree

Mary Anne Brown will receive an honorary degree this Saturday, Jan. 12, during Dominican University’s mid-year commencement exercises. She is being honored for her “extraordinary work with Hephzibah Children’s Association.”

Neighbors want new zoning

Neighbors of West Suburban Medical Center have accepted defeat in the battle to stop the hospital’s massive new ER facility, but they’ve sent a list of zoning changes for the area to the village president, in hopes of restricting further development by West Sub. Requested changes to village zoning codes include:

  • Limit maximum building height to 30 feet
  • Increase the minimum campus building setback distance to 50 feet from any adjacent property line
  • Permanently ban any helicopter station
  • Require a planned development application and public hearing for any new construction, additions, renovations or demolitions by the hospital
  • Require all exterior property improvement and demolition to obtain a Historic Preservation Commission certificate of appropriateness
  • Require signage to direct vehicular traffic to enter the main campus using Austin Boulevard via Erie Court.

Look for more details on the request in future issues of Wednesday Journal.

Should be a lively discussion

The Business and Civic Council of Oak Park is hosting a panel discussion titled, “Dude, where do I park my car? Living, Shopping and Parking in Oak Park” on Friday, Jan. 11 at the Carleton Hotel. The morning session begins with coffee and rolls at 7:30, followed by the discussion/Q&A from 8 to 9:30. The panelists are Village Manager Tom Barwin, Transportation Commission Chair Sonny Ginsberg, Evanston Asst. City Manager Judy Aiello, Scott Bernstein (Center for Neighborhood Technology), and consultant Les Pollock. For more information, contact Beth Ann O’Reilly at or 660-7003. Should be a good discussion … if you can find a place to park.

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