Dear Village Board:

The Parking and Traffic Commission is about to make a recommendation to overturn the overnight parking ban among other recommendations for a pilot area on the West Side of our village. This is a complete disaster for our community and will radically and forever change the character of our living areas and our streets.

When the commission did its study, they found a parking shortage for 150 vehicles in the pilot area. This is the result of letting the YMCA sell its zoning-required parking lot to a developer. Consequence: more cars that were previously parked in a safe off-street parking lot needing a home. The solution to this village-caused problem is only to find spaces for 150 cars.

However, the commission is recommending the establishment of 1,700 additional parking spaces in the pilot area, which makes absolutely no sense. The pilot program is also set to roll out village-wide if the village deems it successful.

This is the overturning of the overnight parking ban.

One of the cornerstones in keeping our community a welcoming and diverse one is our overnight parking ban.

It keeps the vast majority of our streets clear and safe for overnight police patrols, prevents overcrowding in apartment buildings and condos that leads to an overburdened school system, it used to allow for overnight street cleaning across our community until someone had the idea that the street cleaner should only work during the days, and it is the single most respected hallmark of communities across our state (including our neighbors River Forest and Maywood). You may want to visit our neighboring communities to the north, south and east to visually gauge the effects of not having a parking ban.

Additionally, and probably most importantly, keeping the overnight parking ban in place was a promise made to the community by those previous village administrations who sought to expand overnight permit parking along Washington Boulevard.

Please keep the promise.

Paul Hamer

Former member Parking and Traffic Commission, Cul-de-Sac Committee, Housing Center Board, Historical Society Board, Community Chest Board

Join the discussion on social media!