I would like to congratulate Oak Park on taking the last $30 they ever will from my friends and me. We went out on a Saturday night to Lalo’s around 7 p.m. to find no street parking, but found a lot just off Oak Park Ave.

Later, we found, despite the meters in the lot, it was permit parking after 8 p.m. This was not clearly noted by the meters or signage. A ticket was issued to my friend and I, but we did not find out about it until two weeks later when we were sent a notice that we did not pay our tickets. No tickets were ever on our windshields.

There are no second chances in Oak Park. If you don’t pay, you are immediately put in default. The only way to get out of a late fee is to waste a morning at a ticket hearing. I assume most people pay the $20 and avoid wasting time. Oak Park knows that and thrives on people not contesting that late fee for tickets they never received.

I will no longer visit Oak Park or its businesses. I will encourage others to do the same. I’d rather go to downtown Chicago and pay $20 for parking, or, better yet, take the train. At least I know I won’t have to go to parking court afterwards.

Jerry Galvin

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