I would like to address the dire parking situation that the proposed development at 203 S. Marion St. will exacerbate. Focus group will provide 123 covered parking spots for 159 residences and will rely on street parking for the rest of the units, their guests, the proposed retail stores, customers and delivery vehicles. According to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation in 2017, the average household has 1.88 vehicles, meaning no space for 36 cars plus extra family cars, guest parking, retail owners and shoppers’ cars and delivery vehicles. All of these will be vying for a spot on the street.
Marion Street between Randolph and South Boulevard has 90 spaces, both metered and permit parking. Pleasant Street and Pleasant Place offer an additional 28 parking spots. All overnight parking requires a permit. The waiting list for a permit is extensive and competition for a spot is fierce, with residents and commuters looking for a spot. In addition, Mills Park Tower and the YMCA require space for visitors.
Mills Park Tower has 198 units, 40 resident parking spots, six guest spots and two handicap spots. Seventeen residents are on the wait list for a parking place. A minimum of 25 health-care people a day, plus visiting family and delivery men, also need parking.
The YMCA on Marion and Randolph has 550 daily guests when it’s not a pandemic and 70% of these guests drive in about 385 cars that need parking.
Downtown Oak Park hosts outside street festivals and closes Marion from Lake to South Boulevard 21 times a year, diverting even more cars to the Pleasant District for parking.
We already have an overcrowded parking situation that compromises local restaurants and shops and the additional volume of vehicles will be difficult and even dangerous for cars and pedestrians. If you care about this charming and vibrant historic district, you will reconsider approval of the proposed development at 203 S. Marion.
Clare Heskett, Oak Park