Parking for seniors and others is a fiasco. What resources are being implemented to ensure our safety/welfare as we continue to age? Future redevelopment is vital, but not at the expense of the people living now. 

Our time is now. I welcome future families; however, I don’t feel I have to be overlooked and perceived to be invisible when I complain about the parking situation. Mr. Mayor, you could appoint a liaison-representative to meet with the seniors to identify areas of concerns and identify future issues. I’m sure our issues could be resolved amicably and successfully. This would ensure that people living in Oak Park presently are enriched as we continue to age. This action plan could be a conduit for future families/seniors.

What upset me most was on April 1. The village appeared to have come over in the middle of the night and made the lane close to Mills Park Tower a designated parking slot called 119. This offers 24-hour parking, seven days a week. I live in Mills Park Tower (MPT) and I have to walk at night through the park on days with inclement weather to get home (I have arthritis in both knees). What about other seniors using a cane/walker? We were not offered the option. I have been outraged as well as others. I feel that we seniors have not been validated and perceived to be invisible or insignificant. 

Mr. Mayor/VBT, is your mother walking through a park at night? Are your loved ones not feeling safe and secure at our age? I am 67 and I still have an active life that includes going to church, picking up my grandchildren from school, visiting my 89-year-old sister and her elderly husband who live in Broadview. I am always anxious and frustrated thinking about getting home early so I might possibly get a parking slot close to MPT.

Mr. Mayor, May 18-25 is a collaboration of local businesses celebrating seniors. Are you aware of your senior population other than the senior buildings we live in? We need additional supportive services that will enhance our emotional and psychosocial well-being. Are you able to look at Oak Park seniors in the same light that you look upon your aging mother? When I called the village for assistance, I was told to come April 1 and that it’s a first-come, first-served basis for parking stickers close to MPT. I don’t want to compete with able-bodied people. I felt devastated after talking to them. Most of them have deaf ears or just don’t care about me/others.

Contacting the staff at MPT to offer us the sticker for slot 119 would have been a more viable option for seniors. This would eliminate walking through the park at night. Can you hear and see me/others, Mr. Mayor? I pray you ask God for guidance and leadership that satisfies the needs of all constituents.

Dorothy Wright is a resident of Mills Park Tower in Oak Park.

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