Oak Park to drop plan on overnight parking

Pilot program would lengthen meter times to 8 p.m. downtown

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

The Oak Park Board of Trustees got its first official look at the pilot parking program the Oak Park Transportation Commission has been working on since last year, and one of the key proposals, aimed at easing overnight parking restrictions for renters, appears dead.

The pilot program would be a test run in a small area of the village bounded by South Boulevard, Harrison Street and South Oak Park Avenue and Harlem Avenue. The proposal also would lengthen metered parking in and around the downtown business districts from 6 to 8 p.m.

Tammie Grossman, the village's director of development customer services, told trustees at a May 14 meeting that the Transportation Commission has held 13 meetings to craft the proposed pilot program.

The goal is to balance the competing needs of daytime and overnight parking, while keeping the longstanding overnight parking ban. The pilot also would make 100 new overnight parking passes available in the pilot area, bringing the total number to 1,200.

One of the more controversial aspects of the pilot would allow motorists, particularly those in multi-unit buildings, like condos and apartments, to park overnight in the pilot area. They are presently limited to designated areas near their buildings.

But, both Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb and Trustee James Taglia suggested tabling the topic for now and not including the expanded overnight parking area in the pilot.

Abu-Taleb suggested the whole pilot parking program should be "put aside" for the time being while new technology associated with parking meters and parking garages is put into place.

Overnight parking restrictions are a problem for residents who pay for parking on their street but often find themselves without a parking space.

Trustee Andrea Button said she is a renter in a neighborhood of multi-family dwellings.

"When you get home and there's no spot, you are completely stuck," she said.

Homeowners nearby have objected to the proposal, because it would put more vehicles on their blocks in front of their homes.

"We are supposed to be a welcoming and diverse community, and we have made a commitment to look at [issues] through a lens of racial and economic equity," Button said, asking what percentage of black residents live in multi-family dwellings versus single-family homes.

"I believe the [overnight] parking restrictions are unduly burdensome on people," Button said. "I think that simply asking to be allowed to park a block away or two is not unreasonable."

Village Manager Cara Pavlicek said the overnight permit parking spots can fill up quickly when parkers "cluster" around certain areas. A handful of bad parking jobs, illegal parkers and those with guests can fill up the designated street parking zones quickly, she said.

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com

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Nick Polido  

Posted: May 28th, 2018 11:47 AM

Really, the Tulip City.....

Alice Wellington  

Posted: May 27th, 2018 6:21 PM

Here is an actual study on overnight parking done in Holland, MI. https://www.cityofholland.com/sites/default/files/fileattachments/overnight_parking_report_holland_may_2014_-_october_2014.pdf

Kevin Peppard from Oak Park  

Posted: May 27th, 2018 3:37 PM

Why be concerned about cars parked on the street at night? That how burglars get away with their loot, unless they're stealing a bike or something small. Even when stealing something small, they'd have to walk perhaps several miles, and look suspicious for being on the street at 3 AM carrying something. I know from personal experience from the broad-daylight burglary (1 PM on a weekday) of my neighbors' house that lies kitty-corner across from me. The burglar parked right across the street, before he jimmied the backdoor. A vigilant retired teacher saw things go down, and called it in.The police arrived within minutes, en masse, and a foot-chase over fences ensued, involving the canine unit. The burglar himself had been the victim of a crime. His passenger window had been smashed in. He made the mistake of burglarizing a home belonging to a judge who sets bail, and his wife who prosecutes felonies for the State's Attorney.

Jason Cohen  

Posted: May 27th, 2018 8:54 AM

I view the safety issue a little differently. I don't think it's likely that people are hiding behind cars that often. I do believe the bigger problems is for the police and what they will have to deal with if there are cars all over at all hours. It's people hiding out in these cars and/or robbing homes and using these cars as get away vehicles that I believe to be the real concern. It's easy to sit in wait in a car and do something bad and quickly get away. It's much easier to rob a home and get away if your car is parked right outside. Imagine if you are a police officer driving around at 2am and you now have to deal with a lot of cars and what they might be doing all over the place. I would love to hear from an actual police officer on what a change like this does to them and their ability to keep us all safe. I will say this issue is probably mitigated if permit stickers are required as then the police can ignore all cars displaying the proper permits.

Alice Wellington  

Posted: May 26th, 2018 5:22 PM

Bridgett Baron - why not check our own data? Overnight parking is already allowed on some Oak Park streets in multi-family zones. How many crimes were committed on them by perpetrators hiding between cars?

Bridgett Baron  

Posted: May 26th, 2018 3:15 PM

I think the comment about safety is that *any* car park on the streets gives shield to criminals. That a criminal could hide in between cars, regardless of who owns the cars. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with this POV, I'm just trying to clarify a statement made, so that thoughtful discussion can ensue, and relevant questions can be asked. Questions such as, do we have data from other communities, of how much crime starts with offenders jumping out from between parked cars on a street at night? Is there data that supports the statement that a community is safer (and not just perceived safer) because of cleared streets at night?

Alice Wellington  

Posted: May 25th, 2018 8:59 AM

Well, she's right about selfishly focused.

Nick Polido  

Posted: May 25th, 2018 6:09 AM

We really get the what we deserve with our elected officials, Trustee Andrea Button inferring that if your against overnight parking you are a insensitive racist and your equity lens is selfishly focused.....

Alice Wellington  

Posted: May 24th, 2018 5:18 PM

I've seem crime mentioned over and over on these threads. It seems to me that homeowners were lead to believe, probably intentionally, that lifting the overnight ban will allow anyone at all to park on their streets. However, in reality, it will only be the fellow Oak Park residents from a condo down the street, who purchased their overnight parking permit. And I hate to break it to you, but should these condo dwellers decide to commit a crime, they could walk to your property in just a few minutes. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that allowing cars without Oak Park parking permit or pass to park overnight on residential streets was ever under consideration.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: May 24th, 2018 4:35 PM

The last comment from Ms. Wellington sadly, fits right in with these weird times, Someone writes that overnight parking laws should be continued on public safety grounds, and that somehow equates with calling parking pass holders criminals. Europeans are surely laughing at us these days.

Paul Cagnina  

Posted: May 24th, 2018 4:21 PM

Alice, are you serious? You must be joking with me. In the event you have 6-8 cars parked bumper to bumper, there is a "LIKELYHOOD" there might be a criminal in a hoody, waiting in beteeen the cars, under the cover of darkness waiting to prey on an innocent "NAIVE" victim. In the event there are no cars on the street, I "GUARANTEE" you that no one will be jumping out from in between the cars and attacking the residents. THE CARS NEED TO BE "OFF" THE STREETS FOR "SAFETY".

Alice Wellington  

Posted: May 24th, 2018 1:46 PM

Paul Cagnina - just so we are clear, are you accusing the Oak Park residents who pay for their parking permits of being criminals?

Jeff Evans from Oak Park  

Posted: May 24th, 2018 1:45 PM

Citation needed, Paul.

Paul Cagnina  

Posted: May 24th, 2018 12:37 PM

Parking restrictions prevents crime and makes the community safer. This is why there are parking restrictions and that is why the restrictions should be continued.

Mary Pikul  

Posted: May 23rd, 2018 10:52 PM

If this is a pilot, then how long does it last and to whom do we give complaints, er, I mean, feedback? Extending meters to 8pm? Picture this: it's been a long day of work; you go downtown to get dinner and you park. You step out and realize it's 6:01! You don't have to pay the meter. It's after 6:00! Aaaah, the first good thing just happened after a long day of work. A little weight just lifted. Now go enjoy Oak Park! Fast forward to OP's new pilot program: it's been a long day at work and you go downtown to eat dinner. You park. You step out and it's 6:01. Dang, you now have to feed the meter. Do you even have any quarters? Wait, is this the pay to park box thing? Where is the box? There? There's a line. I'll stand here and download the app. 10 minutes later... I have to pay more if I use the app? What the!!?! I'm just going to Forest Park to eat where I can just park on the street for free!! This is nonsense. Can we please just live in a Village, whose decision makers make us residents believe that they actually want us to enjoy living here? Instead of nickeling and diming us to death so that we have yet another small annoyance.

Terry Stanton  

Posted: May 23rd, 2018 7:14 PM

Tom, we get it. You love the current rules and want them to stay as they were in the Stone Age. But times have evolved. Condo owners and landlords, and by extension renters, shoulder a much larger share of the tax burden than in those days. Yet the parking is largely shaped to benefit house owners. And there are inequities, such as the ceding of sections of the public streets to parking spaces only for house owners holding special permits carved out of them for various reasons, including their own choice to own a house near a commercial district or school.. Current parking policy serves as an effective tax on one group. And even the permits that are sold may lead to an inadequate and frustrating experience in return. It's time that policy reflect the interests of all residents.n

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: May 23rd, 2018 4:22 PM

If Berwyn and Forest Park are so perfect for parking, why not just live there? Its not like someone snuck in and created the stone age parking rules here, its been that way since Fred Flintstone.

Robin Vitucci  

Posted: May 23rd, 2018 3:13 PM

Seriously, how many homeowners use the street to park when all of the houses in OP have garages? The building I live in is 100 years old. Where exactly would you like them to fit in 30 parking spots for their residents? Further, I pay very good money to park my car. I am not asking for free parking, I am asking to park on my own street near my own building like in any other community (Berwyn, Forest Park, etc, etc). OP parking rules are from the stone age. I had hoped the pilot program might be a step forward in acknowledging that apt and condo dwellers also have a right to park on the same street that they live. Instead I am reminded of why I need to leave.

Robin Vitucci  

Posted: May 23rd, 2018 3:02 PM

Why am I not surprised that the one part of the pilot program that would benefit residents who don't have the luxury of owning a garage will be "tabled."

Jason Cohen  

Posted: May 23rd, 2018 2:55 PM

The key is to find a reasonable middle ground. I am a homeowner and I sympathize with condo/apt dwellers but there are good reasons for some restrictions. I live near OPRF and the morning parking restriction prevents my entire street from being full of cars all day. Then there's the car density aspect. These buildings are on lots that might be in the same space as a few homes but they have way more cars . If a couple of condo/apt units are on a given street and everyone can park wherever they want the homeowners would never find a spot which is equally unfair. I appreciate that the village is trying something so that the actual impacts can be seen and then a finalized policy can be put in place.

Jeff Evans from Oak Park  

Posted: May 23rd, 2018 2:25 PM

Tom, do you have an actual, substantive argument that justifies the overnight parking ban on its own merits, rather than amounting to "that's just the way it has been"?

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: May 23rd, 2018 1:48 PM

Yes Kelly, it really simple. You own a parking place or you do not. When you sign that lease and there is no parking included, don't expect the world to change for you. And it is laughable that a white lawyer Trustee is now claiming her lack of a parking spot is a racial equity issue.

Kelly Curry  

Posted: May 23rd, 2018 1:41 PM

Tom MacMillan, that's some real simple minded thinking.

Jeanine Pedersen  

Posted: May 23rd, 2018 1:29 PM

We own a two flat. We paved part of our yard to accommodate tenants. Why should these large buildings be allowed to not provide parking? Why does the Village continue to give them waivers? The idea that all the new buildings (both condo & rental) going up downtown have enough parking is ridiculous. They don't. Make multi-unit buildings provide at least two parking spots for each unit.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: May 23rd, 2018 9:41 AM

If you own a car, you should make sure the place you live comes with a garage or parking spot. It is going to cost you money for that spot. Cars are expensive things. It has nothing to do with race or equity. No need to change the laws because Trustee Button is too cheap to pay for a parking spot. That great apartment with no parking spot is cheap for a reason.

Terry Stanton  

Posted: May 23rd, 2018 9:09 AM

We make it difficult and expensive for renters to park, yet we cede huge sections of the public way to house owners--during the daytime--with various restrictions to preserve their inalienable right to have the space in front of their house vacant. Look at the absurd, almost 24 hour restricition on parking on the half block of Euclid north of Lake, and in other areas near commerical districts (for houses that have driveways and/or garages!). Or the many blocks around the high school where you cannot park during school days. The whole system is inequitable and unfair to renters and condo owners who pay the same taxes as house owners.

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