Old issue, new discussion

Staff will re-examine the overnight parking ban


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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

Over-regulated, under-regulated, inconsistent, too many signs, too many restrictions, too few restrictions: The never-ending parking debate in Oak Park periodically resurfaces as a hot-button topic.

Now one of our most contentious issues — the village's overnight parking ban — may be back on the table soon.

The subject was addressed at the end of the Sept. 3 village board meeting, merely as a discussion, but the board directed staff to review options that could include abolishing the decades-old overnight ban, changing the requirements, providing easier access to guest permits or simply leaving it as it is.

No board member took a stance on a specific direction, but many expressed wanting to explore what can be done to address the complaints about overnight parking restrictions.

The issue was brought to the board at the request of Village President Anan Abu-Taleb, who said he's heard from many frustrated residents who complain about where visitors can park, the time it takes to get a pass and the limited number of passes available per resident.  

Trustee Ray Johnson said that, as Oak Park explores how to handle any possible changes, it's important to review the historical context. He suggested there are ways to simplify the process. He also referenced the many documents and discussions about parking restrictions in recent years, many of which never resulted in change.

"There are some elements of history here that I think can have a fresh look," Johnson said. "We haven't resolved the issue or moved new ideas forward."

One suggestion Johnson referenced was to provide guest parking passes similar to how Chicago handles its residential permitted areas. This system would allow residents to have parking passes on hand which would avoid calls to village hall to get one — a frequent annoyance.

Overall, Johnson and others want to see the process simplified.

While the ban has been the topic of past debates, Johnson reminded trustees that one past community forum brought out about 200 people opposed to removing the ban. Trustee Peter Barber seconded the notion of learning more about the history of the parking ban.

"Yes, there are other parking issues," Barber said. "But the overnight ban is the one I'm most concerned about."

Because the issue was brought up simply for discussion to see what steps staff should take next, trustees didn't spend a lot of time on the matter Tuesday. Trustee Colette Lueck said that to have a serious discussion about parking, there needs to be a structured framework. General recommendations won't work, she said.

The remaining trustees agreed it's important to review the history of the ban, how it impacts the village budget in terms of fees and permits and what the impact would be on the village and its residents if changes were made.

Trustee Glen Brewer also requested more information about the impact of keeping the ban, replacing the ban or abolishing the ban in terms of the budget. That would mean evaluating parking structure fees and street parking matters, he noted.

Acting Village Attorney Simone Boutet said the board has the "right to regulate parking in any reasonable method [it] sees fit." Previous legal advice about parking, she said, led trustees to believe Oak Park couldn't make certain changes on its own without having the local law challenged in court.  

Reasonable changes, Boutet added, included altering hours or areas where the ban is in effect, or even abolishing the ban altogether.

No date was settled on to bring the item back to the village board, but staff did get the go-ahead to research it.

Email: anna@oakpark.com Twitter: @AnnaLothson

Reader Comments

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OP Res 253 from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 10th, 2013 3:09 PM

The village has loosened restrictions for multi-unit dwellings. There are overnight permits issued on Washington and other major streets that were originally verboten. Sorry renters, it's the cost, it's the walk, I fell for you. For the rest of us, it's the property values, it's the taxes, it's not delivering services to a family of 24 in a residence intended for 6. It's having the bucolic street scape after a long day of earning the meager wealth in advance of its transfer....

Question from Oak Park  

Posted: September 10th, 2013 1:20 PM

Do Forest Park and Berwyn have the same overnight bans for everyone, including residents, like Oak Park?

100th Comment  

Posted: September 10th, 2013 11:21 AM

Hey folks, I'm here. Sorry about the wait. Now what are we talking about?

Bill - Dibs! from Oak Park  

Posted: September 10th, 2013 10:48 AM

It would be interesting to know how the ban came into place. Doopers weigh in! My guess is that crime was not a major consideration. Lifting the ban means more parking signs, narrower streets at night. It looks bad. That's probably why the ban was put in place. Find it hard to believe that a car owner who ended up with a condo or apt. in Oak Park and didn't know about it parking challenges.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: September 10th, 2013 10:07 AM

I can see why those that live in apartments and condos complain about the ban. However, they should have done diligence when purchasing/signing a lease. I can see the village potentially easing up in areas with apartments. Maybe an opportunity for parking permit revenue from apt dwellers? However, in areas predominantly houses, the ban needs to stay. Last thing I want is someone deciding to permanently park their '75 hooptie in front of my house to do an oil change.


Posted: September 10th, 2013 9:16 AM

The ban works fine for the old timers who think they live in Romeoville. In reality, it's completely ridiculous and based on ridiculous and unfounded fears. The idea that you can live there and are only "allowed" to have your car on the street for 2/4 hours at a time when YOU LIVE THERE is absurd and perpetrated by crabby long term residents who think they can create some utopia of car free streets next to the 3rd largest city in the US. There's no use fighting it, just move it's much nicer.

Howard Hunter  

Posted: September 10th, 2013 8:34 AM

So glad I paid the ridiculous 0.8% transfer tax and got myself out of town. I would say the clean streets of the FLW District helped get me a decent price, but we are far away from Austin/OP. The market rules. Renters don't matter to the Village, nor should they. If apartments go unleased because of the ban, then the landlords will complain to the Village, and then maybe someone should listen. Me, I paid the $4K transfer tax and moved somewhere where my taxes are $4K, down $10K from the OP.

Annoyed from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 10th, 2013 7:41 AM

MichaelO your living in the dark with a closed mind if you think the parking ban is working fine.

MichaelO from Oak Park  

Posted: September 10th, 2013 7:15 AM

Chad the ban works fine. I'm sorry you don't have a free parking space outside your door.

Chad from Oak Park  

Posted: September 9th, 2013 9:00 PM

The ban may work well for single family homeowners who don't want to have to deal with cars in front of their houses, but it's quite burdensome for the rest of us. The claim the ban aids the public safety is the village's deceptive attempt to bolster the ban against a possible legal challenge. Without the safety argument, the ban is much more likely to be overturned by a court of law, because there's no legitimate purpose for it.

Chad from Oak Park  

Posted: September 9th, 2013 8:51 PM

Bill and Arthur, I commend you for your honesty in admitting that this isn't about "safety" but rather aesthetics and personal preference. The problem is, the ban doesn't work well, as Bill asserted, but rather only works well for single family homeowners. Anyone who doesn't have a garage of their own has to scramble for parking because the village has created an artificial scarcity in the supply of available parking.

IB from Oak Park  

Posted: September 9th, 2013 7:15 PM

These comments of Chicago people parking their cars in OP make no sense. I currently pay $50 a year to the village for a sticker, which means I live here. Chicago folks won't have that sticker, so ticket them if they try to take advantage of parking here.My concern is about parking policies for the residents of Oak Park, and they will have stickers.

Marie from Oak Park  

Posted: September 9th, 2013 6:24 PM

I thought that parking tickets for on street parker's were issued by the parking enforcement crew and not the Oak Park Police? I'm all for keeping the ban in place. I also agree with the comment that residents of Chicago who are unable to park on THEIR streets, will start parking in Oak Park if the ban is lifted. That would not be fair to the people who pay taxes and rent. Plus, from a safety point of view, it's much easier to patrol a street that has no cars on it than one that does.

Arthur from Oak Park  

Posted: September 9th, 2013 4:26 PM

...and to be clear, I don't share Gunderson's view of renters. It was a joke. Point was just that the experience of a condo owner versus apartment renter versus SFH owner is going to be different in quite a few ways. Maybe the every-other-day-street parking flip thing for blocks with apartments and condos but not for SFH blocks, where the hoarders would just move their car back and forth every day since they can't get their car in the broken down garage any more?

Arthur from Oak Park  

Posted: September 9th, 2013 4:22 PM

Gunderson himself said a renter was "a piece of driftwood", so we've got a long history of treating renters differently than homeowners here. Some differences in experience are to be expected. No place to park in the City, so why should you expect to have a place to park in this suburb? You want a suburb with street parking, move there when your lease is up? Or ditch the car? Streets look nicer and are nicer to drive and walk and bike with no cars on them. Why can't we leave it at that?

Neighbor from Oak Park  

Posted: September 9th, 2013 3:50 PM

Kevin, I wonder what part of Oak Park you live in and how much crime you have experienced there? Gang activity has increased dramatically in Austin near northeast O.P. There have been several shootings in the area recently. It's not unusual to see police blocking off Austin and even helicopters searching the area. It does make one uneasy to say the least. If you interpret that as racism against the Austin community, you are the one who's naive...

Kevin from Oak Park  

Posted: September 9th, 2013 9:31 AM

Wait a second... are the people that say 'robbers are going to hide behind cars and jump people,' actually serious? It was JUST naive enough to be believable! Really hope the 'mobile gang headquarters' comment was sarcastic as well... either way, it was hilarious.

Here's an idea from Oak Park  

Posted: September 9th, 2013 9:26 AM

I like the parking ban and agree with the comments regarding the need for an easier night parking system. Also, how about the village forgive up to two or three tickets per year when a car is parked on the block of the owner's residence for the times you forget to pull it into the garage? Charge an extra $5 fine for all tickets not subject to the exception to cover the admin. cost of the forgiveness program and improved night permit system. Done and done...

Worried from Oak Park  

Posted: September 9th, 2013 8:54 AM

My biggest concern is that the gang bangers from Austin will take advantage of the lack of a parking ban to created new, rolling gang headquarters right in front of my house! And no one will be able to do anything about it, since there will be no parking ban!

Jakob Eriksson from Oak Park  

Posted: September 8th, 2013 10:18 PM

I wasn't aware of the overnight parking ban. However, on our street we do cast an extra and wary glance at any cars parked late - when occupied, I've occasionally gone and politely asked the driver if he "needed assistance".

Bill - Dibs from Oak Park  

Posted: September 8th, 2013 9:47 PM

Don't lift the ban. Make it easier to get passes for guests. Let's not use reduced crime as a justification to lift the ban. Let's be honest. I like not having to look at cars bumper to bumper in front of my house all the time. It looks nice. What's the matter with that? Seems some people are more attached to challenging everything instead of allowing a policy that works well. Happy to pay the occasional ticket when I forget to pull in the car.

IB from Oak Park  

Posted: September 8th, 2013 2:34 PM

I'll take the police chief's opinion any day over some anecdotal "thiefs are hiding behind the cars" and Oak Park is a favorite magnet for criminals claims. Also note that the chief said the ban wasted police resources with enforcement of the policy when instead of writing tickets they could patrol the community which would enhance security more than the complex/unnecessary parking policy.

Chad from Oak Park  

Posted: September 8th, 2013 12:36 PM

The overnight parking ban doesn't prevent or reduce crime. If you don't believe me, why don't you take it from our very own police chief: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2007-02-06/news/0702060129_1_parking-ban-online-survey-residents If he had his way, we wouldn't have the ban. But what does he know, he's only charged with maintaining the public safety.

Chad from Oak Park  

Posted: September 8th, 2013 12:34 PM

Oak Park is an easy target for "the many criminals that come in looking for victims and crimes of opportunity"? If that was the case, wouldn't we already have a bad crime problem and if so that would prove the overnight parking ban doesn't help. Criminals aren't crossing into the village and turning back around because there aren't any cars parked on the street.

Oak Park dude  

Posted: September 8th, 2013 1:38 AM

for the many criminals that come in looking for victims and crimes of opportunity. Why give them more opportunity by providing more cover? Why allow them to hide their cars among the cars of residents at night? There are many other problems that come with taking away this rule, many of which are far more important than the annoyance of having to contest a parking ticket. It's important to keep the larger picture in mind when determining what is or is not in the best interest of the village.

Oak Park dude  

Posted: September 8th, 2013 1:33 AM

Dorrie, it seems that you've let a personal annoyance over shadow the other larger important functions this parking policy creates. Listen to Paul's experience and consider the negatives that would come getting rid of the current rule. Another question to ask is whether the other places you lived face the same types of problems as Oak Park does. We live next to one of the highest crime areas of Chicago, and Maywood is not too far away either. Oak Park makes for an easy target cont...


Posted: September 7th, 2013 11:11 PM

Funny, our new Village Manager ran the Parking department (into the ground) for 5 years before becoming Village Manager. What's next?


Posted: September 7th, 2013 10:08 PM

Lived in several towns in U.S., never experienced such ridiculous parking restrictions. I've gotten tickets, always appealed/always won. Recently daughter ticketed for parking on street overnight/current sticker, told her appeal - she won because there was no legitimate reason in the 1st place. More time wasted! President Anan - PLEASE listen to us, throw this out. Trustee Lueck ..."needs to be a structured framework for it to be effective". Really? So many more important topics than parking.

OP Lifer from Oak Park  

Posted: September 7th, 2013 2:57 PM

The only thing that I see coming from it is a $30 ticket and a headache.

OP Lifer from Oak Park  

Posted: September 7th, 2013 2:54 PM

First off, saying that houses can't have more drivers than spots is false. For years my family (north Oak Park) and I had a daily hassle of moving cars around so that my dad could get his truck out and go to work. We had a two car garage, and built another spot, and then still had to park two cars on the apron in front of the garage and the spot that we built. Oak Park is no safer because cars are not on the street, if you don't believe me just look at the police blotter.

Chad from Oak Park  

Posted: September 6th, 2013 11:45 PM

For those of us it does impact, it's a public safety issue. Having to park your car long distances from where you live just isn't safe. There are considerations beyond property values that need to be considered.

Chad from Oak Park  

Posted: September 6th, 2013 11:40 PM

As to the last post, can you prove the overnight ban has raised the value of your property? I don't think you can. Do you honestly think your house would be worth less if it was on the North Side of the city, or even in Evanston? It wouldn't be. Regardless, I'm glad the overnight ban hasn't impacted you. There are lots of people in this community who aren't as fortunate as homeowners like you, and have actually been adversely impacted by the ban.

Chad Has It Backward from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 6th, 2013 10:29 PM

@Chad - you have it backward. You live in a community that currently has a long-standing overnight parking ban. There's a law on the books that says we don't have to deal with the unsightly spectacle of cars parked on the street. For those of us who own property, that privilege was factored into our purchase price. If you don't like it then take your unpopular (at least among homeowners) position that we need a change in this law and move to the city.

Chad from Oak Park  

Posted: September 6th, 2013 9:47 PM

Oak Park is an urban community. "Urban" means densely populated and, yes, part of that entails living with the unsightly spectacle of cars parked on the street. If you don't want cars parked on the street, take your narrow minds and move to the broad lawns and cul de sacs of Naperville.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 6th, 2013 4:57 PM

"Willing heroin use"? Addiction is a disease. Much cheaper to provide counseling and treatment to addicts than to jail them. Strange to boast about a lack of compassion.


Posted: September 6th, 2013 4:19 PM

Wow, I've not seen more paranoia than you old timers. So the very first thing that will happen when you lift the ban, people will immediately park in front of your house and shoot up, because that's the best place to do so? My lord, keep your ban, keep your stupid cul de sacs. Why don't you erect a fence around your darn village while you're at it and have a panel of you old foogies approve who comes and goes. Glad I moved.

Epic Fail  

Posted: September 6th, 2013 4:09 PM

Seriously? They didn't figure out how to do online night permits in this latest village website upgrade? My God, someone should be fired.

Matt from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 6th, 2013 3:31 PM

Keep the ban but get rid of the overnight call center. Give me 10 paper passes a year that I can enter the date to display in the car window. Allow me to purchase another block of 10 passes. Save money and make money.

progresso soup  

Posted: September 6th, 2013 12:37 PM

Great idea Progressive! Since you have so much more vision and greater compassion than me I'd prefer if you and a choice group of friends band together and have the heroin addicts safely main lining at your house. See I'm disgusted by poisonous controlled substances and I don't wont to contribute any of my taxes to services involved in that activity so I think it would be fair if you take it on financially yourself and I'll just abstain since I detest willing heroin abuse.

Kevin from Oak Park  

Posted: September 6th, 2013 10:52 AM

Just to clarify, I meant I'm embarrassed to call some of the more racist, insane commenters my neighbors. As for people coming in from other suburbs and parking here all day... why do we pay for Village Stickers? Enforce that, not some ludicrous overnight parking ban that, according to actual, reputable sources, has ZERO impact on crime!

Progressive from Oak Park  

Posted: September 6th, 2013 10:47 AM

Junkies shooting up in their cars parked from 2:30am to 6am would certainly be the most likely problem if the ban was lifted. Maybe to alleviate this problem, we could create a health clinic where junkies are free to shoot up with the help of medical professionals, similar to what they do in San Francisco.

Kevin from Oak Park  

Posted: September 6th, 2013 10:46 AM

I know the comments section tends to bring out the worst in people, but I have to say, I'm embarrassed that some of these commenters are my neighbors.

Adam Wallace from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 6th, 2013 10:29 AM

I think we ought to look at ways of improving the overnight parking ban. The current 5 passes per car is very restrictive. I live in a townhouse, we have 1 guaranteed parking spot and a lotto to get a 2nd every year. We own two cars and frequently have friends or family stay over. With the ban we end up parking the extra cars miles away in friend's driveways or paying high rates to park in VOP garages. Increasing the number of allotted passes would do a lot to reduce the burden. My biggest issue with the ban is the system used to issue overnight passes. It takes way too long to call the special number, wait on hold and then quickly give out your license plate info. There should be a way to call in and enter the info with your keypad, rather than talk to an operator. Even better would be a phone app or website app that would allow you to enter the info without calling anyone.

OP Resident #642 from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 6th, 2013 9:32 AM

Without an overnight parking ban it becomes easy for junkies looking for a quick heroin fix to park in front of your house and get high. It's no secret that they come to Oak Park to do this (I've seen them and their syringes on the street), but they're currently relatively restricted to several parking lots near the expressway because with a parking ban they stick out like a sore thumb in front of your house. Without a ban they just blend in with the other parked cars. Bad, bad idea.


Posted: September 5th, 2013 10:38 PM

Without an 8am-10am ban running along the side streets from Harlem to Austin along the Blue and Green Lines it would be impossible for Oak Parkers to park anywhere near there homes. Before the ban was in place our blocks were filled with the cars of commuters from surrounding suburbs who would park their cars from 6am to 7pm or later and take transportation downtown.

Paul from Oak Park  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 9:06 PM

Thank you to all who have commented. The overnight parking ban is important to keep in place. So please everyone, stay active and take that extra step to write all of the Trustees and come out for public testimony. Otherwise the powerful forces who want to make money from our streets for their own gain will win.

Bill - dibs! from Oak Park  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 8:13 PM

About time! I've got my old ironing board and yellow dinette chairs ready to go and I don't want any of youse Cub fans taking my spot after it is shoveled. It's called dibs! I need Ray and the other aldermen to write up the ordinance. I'm also getting my "For Sale by Owner" sign ready and calling up my cousin to have him tow my '81 Buick Riviera , a classic, to the front of my house so I can work on it in the street. Now let's see what we can do about some gourmet food trucks!

Alan from Oak Park  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 6:26 PM

Moved here some 7 1/2 years ago from a Saint Louis suburb named Kirkwood. I had also lived in other cities and towns in my life and had never experienced the major parking problems and unique ordinances that Oak Park has (eg. no parking from 8 to 10 AM on my street) I for one would never leave my car parked on the streets at night in Oak Park (way too much chance of a break in). That being said I do think the basic no night parking is a good thing unless one is a renter then it would be a pain.


Posted: September 5th, 2013 6:14 PM

Post college I rented in OP and paid 40 bucks a month to park 1 block away. Later I got a larger OP apt with parking and paid extra. Then I got a house in OP, and my monthly tax burden was equal to what my rent used to be and paid the mortgage on top. It's not exactly affluence but more a progression of life/jobs/income. Much like Wrigleyville->Pregnant->Oak Park. Apt/Condo or House. Now that I am at the house stage I do not want overnight parking. More passes and automation would be good

Dan in Oak Park  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 6:14 PM

VOP has a parking ban in name only. We really have an over processed night time parking system that needs to be reviewed. When we have sold out permits, long lines of people at village hall early in the morning hoping for a chance to buy a parking pass and police offering to escort residents between their assigned lots and homes at night, we have a self imposed parking problem. I applaud the Trustees for starting this conversation. It is way overdue.

CL from Oak Park  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 5:48 PM

I'm sick of people complaining about walking to their cars. When living in Chicago, I paid $250/mon. to park in a garage 8 blocks from my apt. The city didn't owe me (a single female) a parking spot near my apt. I later paid more $ to rent an apt with a garage. Parking spaces are at a premium and cost more in dollars and convenience. The parking ban is good for residents in terms of street upkeep & crime, and many in the village who bought houses with high tax burdens would be sad to see it go.

IB from Oak Park  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 4:35 PM

@Neighbor from OP .. re your question about long term expectations of renters in OP. I can't currently afford a house in OP, so I rent. Maybe in the future I'll be able to buy a house. I see OP as my long term home, so I am vested in the community. As for property tax, my landlord raised my rent this year steeply using the properly tax as justification, so I am paying my part too. jtp is right, the parking policy works against those in apartments and is both inconvenient and unsafe.

OP Resident #642 from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 2:51 PM

I see no benefit to the taxpayers in this community from repealing the parking ban. Increasing the passes to 10 makes sense. An exception or appeal process makes sense for unusual circumstances. I hope the Trustees have the sense to listen to the sentiments posed here (FOR ONCE) as they consider any change.

Rick Springfield  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 2:49 PM

You know, back in 1981, when I was on a whirlwind tour of America, supporting my hit single "Jessie's Girl", I had the chance to visit Oak Park. I found the parking ban to be a really nice touch on an equally nice little village. It reminds me of an episode of General Hospital. My character, Dr. Noah Drake was looking for a nice place to settle down after leaving Port Charles. Dr. Noah Drake took one look at Oak Park's wide streets and said, "This is the place for me". True story.

Neighbor from Oak Park  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 2:42 PM

JTP, I wouldn't want to be in your situation. I think you oversimplify the issue by saying it hurts the less affluent even though this is true. My question is- what stake/commitment do the majority of renters have in O.P beyond the expiration date of their current leases? Would appreciate feedback. Sometimes I envy the flexibility that renters have to relocate along with not having to pay outrageous property taxes to live here. Property taxes on condos with parking are through the roof now!

Paddy Boy  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 2:10 PM

When you rent an apartment in OP you must know full well what the parking rules are. I learned the hard way in the early '80's when I rented an apt. by the Eisenhower and parked in front of those "Out by 10 am lots" and additionally had a "No Parking After 10:00 am" sign in front of my bldg. Believe me if everyone had been able to park as they please it would have been a mess. Keep the ban. One Logan Square is enough.

jtp from Oak Park  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 2:07 PM

Also, as an apartment dweller without off-street parking, I have a big problem with visitors. My partner lives in the far western suburbs, and basically can't visit me overnight on a regular basis unless we want to pay tons of money to park in a garage a mile away from my house. So I have to go out to his place on weekends. If residents were able to purchase a semi-permanent, unlimited weekend parking permit for one or two specific, registered guest vehicles, that would be a tremendous help.

jtp from Oak Park  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 1:48 PM

Of course single family home owners or owners of condos with garages love the ban. But the reality is that it disproportionately impacts people who rent or own units in multi-unit buildings. In other words, it hurts people who are less affluent. Additionally, there are real safety concerns. I'm a woman who must park my car several blocks away from my apartment, and I can't tell you how little I enjoy that walk late at night. Also, because I commute by train, I don't always see my car daily.

Neighbor from Oak Park  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 1:43 PM

Keep the ban on overnight parking for all the reasons that have already been stated, especially the very likely increase in crime in eastern O.P. The village is becoming more urbanized and densely populated, especially if new condo/apartment/retail spaces planned-built in the name of $ development-are ever filled.... Is this the quality of life high property tax paying residents want? Not me! But agree there should be a more fair system apartment dwellers.

Dave Coulter  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 1:28 PM

Or, let people pay a flat rate (or free) to park for the weekend at one of our garages. Visiting to OP for a weekend just got a lot easier. On Monday mornings we locals can go back to our treasured ancient parking rituals. (Last year I had friends in from out of state for a funeral. I swear, 30% of the logistics involved coaching them through the parking hoops we've created.

Dave Coulter  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 1:07 PM

Lift the ban. OP has lovely neighborhoods for tourists to visit, but heaven help you if you happen to live in one of those charming urban-y, multifamily areas. Or pay what amounts to 15% added to your tax bill to park on a public road. Had I only known this before I moved in......

Paddy Boy  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 12:33 PM

Don't fix what's not broken lads! Trust me if you lower the dam the river will flood the town! I'll tell you what does need fixin' - it's the 600 block of North Kenilworth. The street is a mess and totally ignored by the Village People. Can you hear me Ray. Take a drive over and see for yourself.

DTK from Oak Park  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 12:05 PM

Totally love the ban. It contributes to quality of life by uncluttering the already crowded urban landscape.

Dale from Oak Park  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 11:42 AM

I love the ban. I agree with many of the other comments on the considerable benefits of the ban, and also the comments that some small tweaking may help.

Former renter  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 11:29 AM

I was a renter in Oak Park for a time. I had to park 4 blocks away from my apartment. My car was broken into. Turns out one night some criminals just went down the street breaking into all the cars in the overnight parking spaces. It was like a buffet for them. Obviously no one cared to look because the cars were so far away from their owners. If cars were parked near the owner's residence, I think crime would probably go down. (And the police weren't very helpful when they eventually showed up)

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 11:05 AM

That's a great idea! It would be easy to track the number of passes issued per household.

Chris from Oak Park  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 11:02 AM

I love the parking ban. My kids can play down the block or even across the street and I have a direct line of sight.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 10:50 AM

I love the ban because it keeps people from using the street as their personal garage. Streets free of cars makes for cleaner streets and higher home values. The process to get an overnight permit should be easy. I don't see why the village can't automate it and have you print it from your home computer.


Posted: September 5th, 2013 10:22 AM

If you were to get more passes AND be allowed as a resident to park, that would be a huge improvement. Having to move your car every 2, 4 hours as a resident is annoying especially for a community that prides itself on its green initiatives.

Marty Bracco from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 10:10 AM

As a life-long OP resident, I appreciate the overnight parking ban and think it should be kept, but modified to allow more passes for residents. Also, the process of obtaining a pass should be automated, both via phone & online. As a single family homeowner, I understand that none of us own the street space in front of our homes, however our investment in the community should be recognized & appreciated when regulating those streets. Lastly, the idea of parking violation fees as a line in the Village budget (if it does in fact, exist there) is to me complete anathema. If the VOP is anticipating and planning for citizens to break the law, I find this a highly dubious practice. Parking fine revenue generation should not be part of any village employee's job description or incentive. Any revenue from fines should go toward paying down debt, or shoring up negative fund balances.

KrisG from Oak Park  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 10:00 AM

I'd love to add the ability to request an overnight parking pass online. It would be much faster to submit an online form and get a confirmation number. I'm sure that the Village could create a database back-end that would allow tracking and also make it easier to analyze data. If we added a fee for passes beyond the normal limit, that could be paid online as well.

Tom from Oak Park  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 9:40 AM

I live on a block just south of the Ike. Only10 house but at the corner, stretching a house block east to west along Garfield is a huge vintage condo bldg. I like the ban because it should mean that our streets get swept and the snow plowed at night. However, even with the ban, 2 people from the condo almost always park on the street, one on each side, so we never get adequately plowed or swept. Yes, they do get tickets and an occasional boot. Keep the ban. Passes w/ even/odd rule.

Jackie Finch from Oak Park  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 9:40 AM

I support the overnight parking ban. It is not that difficult to make a phone call to get parking for guests. It allows more effect street cleaning and snow removal and allows the identification of abandoned cars.

Justine from Oak Park  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 9:39 AM

There may be unintended consequences to lifting the ban. Although inconvenient, our streets are kept clean (for the most part) and uncluttered unlike Berwyn or the City of Chicago. Imagine maneuvering a Fire Truck down one of Berwyn's streets. Not impossible but very tricky. Also, I imagine suspicious cars are easily observed by residents and the police when the streets aren't congested. I prefer the ban but I am in favor of increasing the number of passes.

Jim from Oak Park  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 9:28 AM

The ban is key to Oak Park's brand identity. It differentiates us from Chicago. OP's "broad avenues" are part of our identity. Drive west across Austin Blvd, and you immediately sense the difference with no clutter of cars everywhere; it contributes to a house west of Austin being valued higher than its counterpart to the east. It also impacts population density. Hard for an illegal rooming house to cram folks inside without parking; same for apartments. Huge downside if we eliminate the ban.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 12:52 AM

Keep the ban, increase the number of passes per car per year, charge a very minor fee for additional passes, streamline "calling in" cars or use physical passes that go in the windshield like Chicago does it and forget being on hold for ten minutes altogether, adjust the hours of the ban for parts of business districts with business that open before 6 am that don't have a parking lot.

Oak Park dude  

Posted: September 5th, 2013 12:00 AM

For those who are only considering the convenience of parking, please consider the bigger picture, and how lifting the ban will negatively affect everyone's quality of life. I'm all for increasing the number of passes, and also making it easier to obtain, however the people complaining about single family home owners not having to pay for a space should consider that they typically have to pay more for their property, so it's not like free parking is just given to them.

Oak Park dude  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 11:55 PM

The ban may not "deter" crime, cause thieves are gonna thieve, but it sure makes criminals easier to locate. It also makes awareness easier. Walk down the street at night, and you can pretty much have an unobstructed view of both sides of the entire street. Now lift the ban, pack the street full of cars, and you'll provide robbers and criminals with ample hiding places. The police even advise to trim your bushes. Why? because it provides less hiding places for criminals. Cont...

Oak Park dude  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 11:50 PM

public transport is ample. There is less reason to own a car here, than there is in any other suburb, or every area in the city. You want to play the "progressive" card? then go all the way and get rid of your car that's pumping carbon monoxide into the air. As for crime, it is a real problem in the village that doesn't get the attention it deserves. The ban is one piece of policy that directly addresses this issue and should not be trivialized due to seeking convenience. Cont...

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 11:47 PM

The bottom line is that it's all about the bottom line. Sales of parking permits are a steady revenue source. How much that figure would decrease if the ban is lifted will be most likely a key factor in the decision making process. Offsetting the loss by selling overnight guest parking passes is not the answer nor is raising permit and vehicle sticker fees or garage and meter rates. Ray Johnson has stated that the monies generated from overnight parking permits provide funding for street maintenance and snow removal. Would we see a reduction in those services if the ban is lifted?

Oak Park dude  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 11:44 PM

Please listen to Paul, a person who's actually done the research into the pros and cons of the ban in different contexts. As he says, just because you lift the ban doesn't guarantee easy parking, because you'll get everyone parking. The biggest cons, issues with crime can not be ignored, especially in a place like Oak Park. For the people concerned with Oak Park not being "progressive", I'd argue that it's more "progressive" to not own a car at all, especially in a place where cont...


Posted: September 4th, 2013 11:16 PM

I agree with those who want to keep the ban and increase the passes to ten. The biggest frustration I have with guests, however, is the fact that we must call one number at night for the overnight pass and another number early in the morning for the 8-10 a.am parking ban. If there must be separate numbers to call, can't people at least call the day line the night before?


Posted: September 4th, 2013 10:49 PM

At the very least, the system must be changed so single family houses are not so favored over condo owners. The public asset of the streets is given over to house owners, especially with policies like the day permit rules all around the high school. There are blocks with two houses on them where no one can park. Block of Euclid north of Lake has been stolen from the taxpayers and given to small number of owners. Condo owners are treatedlike second class citizens payin 1st class taxes.

Rose from Oak Park  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 10:22 PM

I believe that is un-American prohibiting me from parking in front of my own house. As a compromise, residents should get unlimited passes. This city is always taking us for money somehow. What do we get for all our tax money?


Posted: September 4th, 2013 9:54 PM

@ OP Res: There's not going to be ANY cars parked for weeks at a time with flat tires, not moving, not if OP institutes alternate side of the street parking. By definition, the car has to move. There are intelligent, workable ways to loosen the overnight parking strictures without turning neighborhood streets into parking lots and storage areas.

OP Res from Oak Par  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 9:36 PM

One of the reasons we moved to Oak Park was the overnight parking ban. Looking at the same car parked in front of my house week after week with a flat tire, never moved for street cleaning and constant car break ins was enough. Keep the parking ban! Clean streets, less crime.


Posted: September 4th, 2013 9:03 PM

I think that the ban should stay in place. If you lift it, Oak Park will turn into Cicero. 1 house with 15 cars to it. We don't need that here. We don't need Chicago gang banger's hiding behind cars waiting to rob or kill someone. You can increase the number of passes but don't lift the ban. That's one of the nice things about Oak Park.

IB from Oak Park  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 8:46 PM

What Hannah Jennings said. For a place that likes to call itself progressive, the parking policy is very regressive favoring those with means to afford a home over those without, or who choose to live in apartments. They don't seem to count. Force all homeowners to park on the street and deal with the restrictions and let's see if that changes any of their minds about parking in OP.

Hannah Jennings from Oak Park  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 8:40 PM

Half of the people who live here are in apartments or condos without parking spaces: it's inhumane to make them buy parking, often far from their homes. Those in houses don't have to walk a block, even with a baby and packages, just to get to their cars, but many of us do. Also, the fees have gone up sooo much in the last few years... It's just not fair to older people on fixed incomes.

Simple solution from Oak Park  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 8:13 PM

Allow parking on the street side that corresponds to the date. Odd date, odd side. Still provide some revenue for those whom can't abide, but gives in street parking to those who need and want . Besides, calling in your car is a joke. If the call even gets answered in a timely fashion, there are still many ways around the 5 times rule. This is a win win for all

Jane from Oak Park  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 8:07 PM

I love the overnight parking ban. It was one of the reasons we picked Oak Park to move to. I think the only changes that should be made is potentially to increase the number of guest passes from 5 to 10, and I agree with the other suggestion to be able to put in for the guest pass online.

paul from oak park  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 8:07 PM

As other communities teach us: the number one complaint before lifting the ban was from renters who wanted to park near their apartment building for safety. After the ban was lifted the number one complaint was from everyone not being able to park near the homes or apartments for safety.

paul from oak park  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 8:03 PM

As a former parking comm. I have studied this issue for 25 years. I have listened to hundreds of residents and looked at communities all over the country. The parking ban is the main reason why we have a quality community today. It automatically enforces the communities housing codes. It reduces crime while allowing citizens to help in the policing of their neighborhoods. It assists fire and ambulance services. It is the single most important ordinance we have.

OP Res 253  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 7:54 PM

It was my understanding that it was intended to keep out crack houses. It does cut down on density and population. No home can have more drivers than spaces. It has likely served to keep Hispansics in Cicero and Berwyn, as new Americans often build households with extended family. See Waukegan. So, is greater density good? More shoppers, but more students, and perhaps not affluent. More infrastructure strain, but more diversity. It won't just change how we live here, but who lives here.

Jack Chalabian from Oak Park  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 7:09 PM

I'm happy the board has made a decision to revisit this issue. Perhaps, REAL decisions will be made in this episode! As far as debating this issue, I'm always open for a discussion on this matter. Listening to some of the Trustees last night has to ask this question. Are they REALLY impacted by the overnight ban? or Simply grandstanding in order to get our attention? I suppose we will have to wait and find out at another local governmental "meeting!"

Parker from Oak Park  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 6:43 PM

Who we are is a place of deserted streets, at least from late dusk to early dawn. It keeps us neat, plain, presentable, safe, and peculiarly us. Stresses, yes. Too many us's with too many vehicles, yes. Still, it's part of our village culture that is not to be messed with lightly. Parking cars etc. should not determine who we are. But it does, in small, in spaces and garages. A good thing we don't have to wear bowlers and bustles.

Dan Lauber from River Forest  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 6:30 PM

When I was Oak Park's Senior Planner, the police chief readily admitted that the overnight parking ban served no purpose -- it did not prevent crimes. There's just no excuse for it, here or in River Forest. It supporters made the spacious argument that it kept OP from looking like Chicago. But it's long been part of OP's disdain for folks who live in multi-family housing. Replace it with alternative side of the street parking like Evanston does and all issues will be solved.

Scott from Oak Park  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 6:28 PM

Can anyone shed light on the reasoning behind the ban?

OP Resident  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 6:01 PM

I have lived in Oak Park my entire life. I believe that anyone who pays taxes should be able to park where ever they want and whenever. Not only do we pay taxes but we also have to pay for a Village Sticker. And what do we get in return from the Village? But for some reason I love Oak Park so much that I just can't get myself out of here. Let's just fix this overnight parking ban and how about lower the prices on the Village Stickers? That would help.

IB from Oak Park  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 6:00 PM

Finally! .. The previous issue of signage was analogous of arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic where really the overall parking situation needed to be reexamined .. kudos for the board moving into that direction. Let's hope something sensible will come out of this.

Melissa from Oak Park/Chicago  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 5:38 PM

I've lived here 30 years and I'm moving in 2 days to city and now this? You gotta be kidding me. :)

Jeff Schroeder from Oak Park  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 5:35 PM

I would keep ban in place, but make it easier for residents to get guest passes for the space in front of their own homes. Perhaps on-line. Also, increase number of personal passes to 10.

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