Universal valet parking, which allows motorists to drop off their vehicles in one location and pick them up in another, could soon be headed to Downtown Oak Park.

The village board of trustees approved a proposal by village staff last year to research implementing a valet parking program downtown, in part to help alleviate the stress due to the loss of village-owned parking lots in the area.

Jill Velan, director of the village’s Department of Parking and Mobility Services, said the pilot program would cost the village $250,000 to $300,000 a year and would initially include two drop-off and pick-up locations. Those two locations would likely be near the corner of Lake and Forest — where the Vantage Oak Park development is being built — and near Harlem and Lake, the future site of the Oak Park Station development. 

Velan said she hopes the program could eventually expand to 4-6 drop-off locations in and around downtown. She said an expanded program would connect downtown with the Pleasant and Hemingway districts.

Motorists using the service could retrieve and pay for their vehicles through a cellphone app offered by SP+ Parking, which was selected by the village as the preferred vendor.

The valet parking is expected to cost about $5 for the first three hours and $12 for anything over three hours, said Velan, who added that it is uncertain how much revenue the program might earn. 

If approved by the board of trustees, the pilot program could be in place within the next few weeks, Velan said.

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com

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