The village of Oak Park will conduct a “holistic” review of parking — both in neighborhoods and business districts — over the next eight months.

The board of trustees adopted guiding principles for the meetings, which are scheduled to take place every month through September and focus on sustainability, public safety and customer service.

Trustees warned that the parking overhaul is unlikely to solve every problem with parking in the village. But Oak Park Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb said the meetings aim to help establish a “roadmap” for parking in the village.

“We don’t want people to stop coming to our town because of all the parking restrictions we have,” he said.

The meetings aim to:

Simplify parking ordinances and make them more user-friendly.

Make parking signage more clear and concise “so residents, visitors and employees in Oak Park are able to understand regulatory language.”

Focus parking technology on customer service and efficiency.

Trustee Peter Barber said he was “elated” that the village was finally conducting a far-reaching parking review, noting that the meetings should do more than just improve on the existing parking ordinance. He said village staff and trustees should pursue “fresh thinking” that also looks at parking best practices in other municipalities.

“We’re not the only village … that [has] parking challenges,” he said.

Trustee Glenn Brewer noted that the motion approved on Monday evening also halts any changes to the existing parking ordinance as trustees consider rewriting the village code.

An application by neighbors for a cul-de-sac, for instance, would not be entertained by the village board or staff over the next eight months.

Jill Velan, Oak Park’s director of Parking and Mobility Services, said the village receives such requests from residents about every other month on average.

Trustee Bob Tucker said the halt on such requests should not prevent the board from considering timely requests.

The parking review meetings schedule includes:

January – Review of: Parking in the Pleasant Business District near the South Boulevard and Harlem Avenue redevelopment project by Lincoln Properties; Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School, including recommendations from the Transportation Commission related to on-street resident parking. 

February – Parking technology best practices.

March – Parking signage recommendations.

April – On-street parking at Austin Boulevard and Harlem Avenue.

May – On-street parking near North Avenue and Roosevelt Road.

June – Parking near and adjacent to public transit, residential areas, mixed-use areas, and Metra, CTA, Green Line, and CTA Blue Line stations.

July – Parking near and adjacent to residential and mixed-use areas near Madison Street and Washington Boulevard.

August – Parking near, and adjacent to, residential or mixed-use areas near Chicago Avenue and Division Street.

September – Review of comprehensive recommended ordinance amendments. 

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com

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