The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 |

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Parking Pilot Program

Months of studying Oak Park’s wide array of parking rules and regulations led to a pilot program designed to test a range of options for simplifying and standardizing the Village’s residential parking system.

Recommendations for the pilot project were presented to the public at a forum on Nov. 9, 2017 at Brooks Middle School hosted by the citizen volunteers on the Transportation Commission, Village staff and consultant Dixon Resources Unlimited. A PDF of the presentation slides and a video recording of the presentation are posted below.

Feedback provided at the forum and in comments section below on this webpage will be reviewed by the Village's Transportation Commission prior to making a recommendation regarding the proposed parking pilot program at its Nov. 27 meeting.



Comments posted below are monitored and may not appear immediately.


Submitted by Pete on

What is wrong with the current parking rules? You should move on to more pressing matters, like lowering property taxes.

Submitted by Hal on

This is INSANE! Village with a small footprint has a complicated web of rules spelled out in 120 parking ordinances with more than 10,000 signs (hard to decipher) throughout the Village. When we moved here we were shocked with the fact that regardless of having a parking sticker or not, we could not park in front of our residence! This exhibits a total lack of practical mindedness and care of it's own residents from an out of control village management and elected officials! Car owners and especially renters are treated like second class citizens! Regardless of its attractions things of this nature will force many people out of this village.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I was not able to attend the meeting, but these are issues I have with the parking in Oak Park.

(1) Parking on both sides of the street in Oak Park is absurd when the streets are typically not wide enough to begin with. Quite often, you cannot get down the street without almost hitting another car (either moving or parked) it's so tight or a delivery truck is blocking the street and you have to BACK UP almost the entire block and turn around because you cannot get by.

(2) Not sure what the 8am - 10am No Parking Monday thru Friday sign is for on Home Ave. In the time that I have lived here, I have not seen any work done during that time when I'm home other than tickets being given out.

In the two years that we have lived here, we've noticed that parking in general is a headache.

Submitted by David Baker on

Dixon Resources Unlimited defined the parking problems the Village is attempting to solve this way during the public forum on Nov. 9th
- Confusion surrounding parking guidelines and restrictions
- Inconsistent signage
- Enforcement challenges
- Commuters and employees of local business parked in residential districts
- Lack of spaces for residents
My primary interest is in the lack of spaces for residents, a problem I fear will grow worse following the October 4th mailing to some Overnight Zone Parking Permit Holders which limited renewals to 1 parking permit per household and required residents seeking a second permit to apply in person on November 2nd and in each quarter thereafter.

It is hard for me to understand why the Village concluded it is practical and fair to its tax paying residents to limit a household – which frequently consists of 2 working adults each with a vehicle - to 1 parking permit. And, as surprising, it creates a situation where residents must wait in line in the pre-dawn hours at Village Hall for the chance to gain a second parking permit with no indication – in the mailing piece - as to the remedies available if a second parking permit isn’t granted. There must be a better way. The last time I waited in line like this was for concert tickets, and the year was 1988. I hope the Village will revise this practice as it seems punitive and needlessly burdensome to Oak Park residents.

Having said that, the lack of parking spaces for residents is a problem we’ve created through our existing parking rules and regulations. The Odd/Even and 72 Hour recommendations presented during the public forum are solutions to a problem we, collectively, as a Village, have manufactured. I argue the lack of parking spaces is not due to a shortage of inventory but instead stems from the Village’s prior decisions to limit the available inventory. Simply put, the constraints placed on parking inventory are of our own making. They are artificial. The conversation we had during the public forum, in fact, confirmed the current parking guidelines and restrictions were implemented in response – at least in part - to a vocal constituency of single family homeowners. However, the argument articulated against expanding parking inventory, as shared during the public forum, included vague assertions regarding safety and reinforced the supposed importance of the Overnight Parking Ban. And this is where I get confused. Our decision-making should be based on data not just anecdotal evidence or the position advocated by the loudest voice in the room.

The purpose of the Overnight Parking Ban, as I understand it, is to keep people out of Oak Park during the overnight hours who are not residents of Oak Park or guests of residents with an overnight parking pass. The repeated reference to the Overnight Parking Ban in the context of this conversation to expand available parking for Oak Park residents who pay, at last count, $520 annually per parking permit for the privilege of parking - on the street - distracts from the problem we, as a Village, are trying to solve.

Each recommendation looks as if it has been pulled “off the shelf”. The process by which the consultant arrived at these recommendations wasn’t made clear during the public forum nor was data shared to explain why these recommendations – among others that may have been considered - would lead to the best outcomes for residents. Neither recommendation meets the unique needs of our community or appears likely to fix the problems the Village seeks to solve.

The Odd/Even and 72 Hour recommendations claim to increase the inventory of available parking spaces from 1000 to 1,400 and 3,800 spaces respectively. However, many of the parking spaces included in these new inventory counts are south of Madison, far from residents of multi-unit dwellings who need them. How is either recommendation expected to benefit residents in practice? It isn’t clear.

More simply, how does it benefit the residents of Oak Park who pay $130 per quarter right now for the privilege of parking on a public street to also have to move their car every 24 or 72 hours? I argue it doesn’t. Again, instead of creating benefit for residents the provisions make residential parking experiences more of a hassle. Moreover, the recommendations don’t seem to have contemplated people working from home, traveling for work or leisure for a few days or those residents who may enjoy a long Thanksgiving weekend at home, thankful they don’t have to drive and instead can enjoy walking around Oak Park.

Perhaps less often talked about, how do single family home owners with garage spaces and outdoor parking in alleys benefit from the expansion of street parking in Oak Park? They don’t.

Many single family home owners won’t benefit from such an expansion because they rent parking spaces to residents of multi-unit dwellings at a rate as much as 3x the cost of the quarterly parking permit from the Village (or more). There’s an incentive problem which may explain some of the resistance to expand the inventory of available parking. The resistance by some may be more about money than safety or aesthetics.

I urge the Transportation Commission to reject each of the recommendations for the Parking Pilot Program presented during the public forum. I think many of us impacted by the proposed rules agree each recommendation fails to balance the interests of all residents of Oak Park. Please continue to engage residents until, together, we create an equitable solution that does.

Submitted by Mike Stewart on

I currently serve as a volunteer on the Transportation Commission for 3+ years.
I would like to thank the Parking Consultant and all of the residents that came to our parking forum and gave public and online comments. During our meeting last night I expressed opposition to the Odd/Even and the 72 Hour proposed plan as presented. I currently own a home, but I have rented here in Oak Park for about 8 years. I have used the Village system and paid for overnight parking during that time period.
After listening to the 150+ public comments and many of the online comments I expressed an alternate proposed pilot plan at our Transportation Commission Meeting last night.
Here are the details of the plan that I proposed.
A: Change the restriction to allow current metered parking to accommodate overnight permit holders after the current adjacent businesses hours. This would add approximately 130+ new overnight parking spots to the proposed pilot area.
B: The proposed area of the plan would be scaled back to include the current Y2+Y3+Y4 parking zones. I would propose to combine these three zones into one proposed zone for the study period of 6 months(2 parking quarters) This area is about 75-80% of the original proposed plan. This area would Our commission did an extensive multi-year study of this dense parking area and identified approximately 75 new overnight parking spaces, of which about 50 were added to this area in the recent past.
C: Improve signage to be clear and concise and easy to read and understand.
D: Offer consistent and comprehensive enforcement of the parking rules and regulations.
E: Keep the existing 8-10 AM restrictions to discourage commuter parking on the streets and areas adjacent to the El/Metra.
F: Reduce the weekly street sweeping parking restriction to every 2 or 3 weeks or as recommended by the street department. This would be in line with the actual need and practice of street sweeping.
G: Keep the current rules on moving cars as needed for snow and leaf removal.
H: Keep the current 24-hour off street parking lots in this area and look to identify more off-street areas to expand the number of 24-hour parking spots.
I: Increase public education to detail how the overnight and 24-hour parking system works and add technology to make it easier for consumers to reserve and pay for parking permits.
J: Work on relationships with owners of private parking spots to try to add them to the current overnight and 24-hour parking availability in the near future.
My proposal would not recommend adding the 2-hour time limit where there is not a current day-time restriction. I do not recommend adding new time restrictions on Sundays. My proposal removes a small area from the previous proposed area that is mainly residential area that is not in high demand for overnight parking. We have heard from many overnight parkers that they do not want to walk more that 1-2 blocks to park. The current Overnight and 24 hour permit holders in this proposed combined zone are also very familiar with the current Village permit system.
I believe that this proposal more than satisfies the current demand for overnight parking that is not met by the current supply in this dense area of the Village. The Village staff estimated that there are approximately 20-40 parking spots that are in need to meet the current demand/shortfall.
This is just a first draft proposal and I hope to get feedback on this plan and ideas to improve it. Thanks.

Submitted by James Gates on

Count me as an emphatic NO to the proposed pilot. I attended and offered Public Comment at the 11/27/17 Transportation Commission meeting. I thanked the volunteer commissioners for their conscientious public service, but when the meeting adjourned around 10:00 PM, I was more convinced than ever that the required due diligence in a number of areas from logistics to technology to plus/minus revenue risks to a lack of any statistically significant data on resident input on the pilot program or “easing” parking in Oak Park has simply not been done to anything but a cursory degree. I want to be clear that I do NOT fault the Transportation Commission for this due diligence miasma. This is a rush to action without thoughtful concern for the impact on the character of the village or the efficacy of the action. I expect much more responsible stewardship from the elected officials I helped vote into office. So, add me to the residents who oppose any “easing” of the overnight parking ordinances. The actual place to look at overnight parking ordinances is to start enforcing the ones already in place. Our block has first-hand experience with the fact that there is no fidelity to enforcing these ordinances. I have no confidence that a much more complicated overnight parking process would be enforced.

Submitted by Kn on

I wasn't able to attend the transportation committee meeting. It seems that the results are being kept quiet!???

Submitted by Robert Becker on

Please do NOT permit overnight parking in my block (300 block of S Grove Ave). It would harm the quality of life for neighbors and offer no benefit to anybody who lives near here.

Also please consider the parking situation on Randolph between S Grove and Harlem. When cars are parked on both sides of the street it is impossible to drive through without stopping or risking a collision. There is not enough room for parked cars on both sides and two lanes of traffic.

Submitted by Scott on

Vote to keep parking rule status quo. I believe concerns over crime and esthetics are valid. I also do not want my street looking like a Chicago city street. People who bought or rent in multi-family dwellings knew or should have known the deal when they moved in. They are free to leave.

Submitted by James Gates on

The Parking Commission has heard from a sector of the village, a high density apartment sector with a forum at Brooks Middle School. This forum drew 150 attendees or 0.288461538% of Oak Park's population. As there will be other forums on the topics of a pilot and easing, I assume, in the interest of objectivity and a desire to receive diverse perspectives on these topics, future forums will not be held at Brooks MS. I further assume that future forums on these topics will be hosted and moderated by the duly elected trustees of the village of Oak Park, with the citizen volunteers on the Transportation Commission in the audience. In the meantime, the trustees might want to review current village codes that allow apartment building owners and apartment / condo developers to maintain/create more rental units than they can provide 2 parking spaces for per tenant.

Submitted by Jessica L. on

I think both proposals (odd/even and 72 hours) are completely ludicrous and unnecessary changes. I live at Washington and Kenilworth and our parking situation is always tight. I have to worry about coming home too late and parking 2 or more blocks away, which is not fun in the winter. In terms of parking restrictions, the Tuesday/Wednesday street cleaning is enough to keep track of. I would even go so far as to propose that street cleaning be every other week but the current regulations are the maximum reasonable amount of car shuffling. In a way, it is good to make sure cars get moved periodically because sometimes we don’t park very efficiently. There are 7 spots in front of my building if we are all very conscious of how we park. 90% of the time, only 6 cars fit. I would love to have some very discreet lines painted on the curbs for parking spaces but I know many people oppose that, feeling it will make our streets ugly. I still think it would help as I am often times very frustrated at people parking in such a way that useless half-spots are left at the edges or between cars. Parking can be a real headache in Oak Park and I fail to see how either of these new proposals will do anything but add to the hassle.


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