As part of its budget process Oak Park’s village board is contemplating a staff recommendation to notably boost parking costs in the wider downtown area. Higher hourly rates, less free time in garages.

Small business owners are rightly objecting. We’d ask the board to rethink this specific change and to step back and think about the interplay of the huge investments made in the downtown to make it a viable place for independent businesses but then creating a parking strategy that is unwelcoming and unaffordable.

We get that there is no perfect solution. But what is on the table is unpalatable.

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