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

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Parking Review - Signage

Proposed changes to the design of Oak Park’s on-street parking restriction signs will be discussed at a Village Board study session scheduled for 7 p.m. on Mon., March 13, 2017 in Village Hall, 123 Madison Street.

Village staff has been researching efforts made by other communities to consolidate signage and improve understanding of parking restrictions. One concept gaining attention across the country involves changing the traditional text-based design of parking regulation signs to a visual explanation that answers two main questions: Can I park here? And for how long?

Residents are invited to watch the video below, review two sample signs by clicking here and share their comments with the Village Board. The sample signs incorporate restrictions currently found in Oak Park and are not meant to be separate options, but instead offer examples of two different ways the signs would be used.

Comments may be posted on this page until noon, March 13, 2017. All comments will be provided to the Village Board prior to its meeting that evening.

Comments will be moderated and will not appear immediately. Comments expressed on this page do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Village of Oak Park municipal government or its officers and employees. However, Village staff may reply to comments to clarify information or provide details that may be requested in a post.


Submitted by Linley Thomas on

I really liked the idea of parking sign recommendation 2!This is beneficial for residents who park on the street who have various work schedules. Everyone doesn't work a 9-5 and restricting parking daily from 8-10 would be a hassle.

Submitted by Resident on

I like the sample 1 sign better.

Submitted by Megan cericola on

I prefer the look of 2 as it adds more flexibility 4 days a week. However I do not like the even days tow zone in small print. Many people will miss this. It makes parking even more complicated than it is now.

Submitted by Andrea Lee on

I worry that the lettering is too small for visually-impaired people. But the concept is good.

Submitted by Joe on

Great signs. Might be wise to include basic text descriptions as well for those with color blindness.

Submitted by Jon Mizgala on

I do not particularly care for either.

We're swapping multiple signs being used now, for one large sign with multiple areas of fine print within it. This doesn't alleviate the confusion of what the signs represent, but rather shoves them all into one sign. I suspect this information will be just as difficult to read, in any format, when you're in your car deciding if you can park on that block for a few hours.

The bigger issue, hopefully to be addressed in later discussions, is the number of restrictions we currently have for parking. Limit those first, then decide which sign best conveys that information.

Submitted by Steven Glass on

The proposed design is simple and clear to understand. My concern. Is that people who are color blind may have difficulty deciphering between the green and red blocks. Have they been tested for this? If the "P" symbols could be delineated more that could help, too. Nicely done. Thank you.

Submitted by PM on

How big will the new signs be? Must be pretty large in order to read while driving by. I think the "universal" snowflake should be added to the snow restrictions section.

Submitted by Sherry Jones on

The signs seem too complicated for when you are driving and trying to figure out parking regulations. Signs are supposed to be short and sweet for ease of driving and paying attention to the road, and both signs seem complicated. The "Except Y2 Permit" and "2 Hour Parking" text is too small on the signs especially when you are trying to read and drive, which seems dangerous. I also think that by getting rid of the No Parking from Here to Corner sign would create confusion as well. Even with the arrow in the black box saying "Parking Guide", people will not quite understand that you can only park on the one side of the arrow and will end up parking to the corner since there is no explicit, universal sign saying no parking here to corner like other cities/towns have. Finally, this seems like a lot of tax dollars to be spent on new signs (the signs themselves and paying someone to change them all out). There is a reason there are many different parking signs around Oak Park because different areas have different hours of restriction (example - I live by a school and they don't want the kids parking along the street so there is a no parking restriction from 8am-10am so the kids purchase a permit in the respective lot instead of taking all the free street parking in the residential neighborhoods).

Submitted by Paula on

Both options are much clearer than the signage we have at present. The visual representation is great.

Submitted by Alison B on

The two sign samples seem to be the same design concept referred to above (changing text-based communication for a more visual representation). I like this general direction, but I wonder: what other design ideas being considered? How satisfied are residents of other communities who have adopted similar design concepts?

Submitted by LH on

I prefer #1 because it includes information on attaining overnight parking and the zone #. But there has to be a far clearer indication of "no parking from here to corner." Instead of that arrow, add type in red, in all caps. Also, the font size for the days of the week needs to be bigger if it's to be readable by drivers.

Submitted by Sandra J Rowe on

Generally good, but still doesn't solve the issue of easy to miss small print for exceptions. Perhaps one additional sign in larger font noting all exceptions wouldn't been too confusing/an issue? (Still would be replacing 4-5 competing signs per pole.)

Submitted by Milos Z. on

I like Design 1 much better since it separates information on parking, snow restrictions, and overnight parking permits. I agree with PM that adding a snowflake would be more in spirit with visual messaging. Similarly, a "Permit" icon or something should be where the overnight parking pass information is.

Also, as remarked by several people above, the designers need to make sure to incorporate principles of universal design so that people with disabilities can read the signs.

Submitted by Susan Roberts on

They are clearer, but I was unclesar about the passport app. Is it only for overnight parking and is overnight parking valid in all green areas. Looks like permit parking only is in red areas with the permit # needed. If so that seems clear.

Submitted by Robin Wienke on

I like the new signage. Much easier to understand. Snow information does need to be larger font and both even and odd days covered.

Submitted by Alex on

The proposed signage is, from my perspective, a big improvement over the current signage. Please adopt and implement as soon as feasible. Thanks for encouraging the comment.

Submitted by Leigh Eicher on

Still too complicated to understand all the rules on these signs. Imagine you are not familiar with the Oak Park parking regulations, all of this is still complicated to decipher when there is up to 5 different regulations one sign.

Submitted by Anonymous on

It needs to be clear if the color is Green, it should suggest FREE. If parking is not free, there needs to be a different color code.

I also assume the alignment of the times and the time blocks will be improved for a final version. When it is not precise, there will be confusion.

The SNOW parking sign on the new versions is very poor compared to the original. The text is unorganized. Lack of snowflake image makes it hard to recognize. Putting all the text in one line (Even dates 4-6pm tow zone) is very confusing.

Before investing in these signs, be sure to test how understandable they are.

Submitted by ARD on

I find the calendar portion of the samples very helpful. I did not understand the meaning of the arrow at the top until I read the comments. It is rather subtle.

Submitted by Judith on

Will there be signs along a block when permit areas change midblock? Easier to understand.

Submitted by Lisa Sorensen on

I love the cleaner visuals, combining several signs into one, simplifying the amount of information that needs to be conveyed. I agree with others about the concern for colorblind drivers (my husband is one). Perhaps leave the time periods that are no parking shaded medium-light grey, with heavily bolded red/black no parking symbol, but leave the background bright white with solid black Parking symbol in the time periods that are ok to park. - the contrast needs to be high between the two when you are driving by. Also, a little worried about sample 2 with 3 columns of info. a lot to digest. I like how the sign is cut into sections from top to bottom for different types of info.

Submitted by Tanesha on

I'm not sure why this has to be so difficult; it almost seems like the village wants people to be confused to be able to issue tickets. The day time restrictions, especially on residential streets, are bothersome. Why, if I'm off for a day, can I not park in front of my home for more than 2 hours. The signs can be simplified if the parking restrictions weren't so ridiculously restrictive.

Submitted by Joseph on

As a new resident of Oak Park who doesn't have a garage, the parking situation makes living in Oak Park a big hassle, not to mention expensive. There were so many regulations to learn that I ended up with several hundred dollars of fines before I understood where I could park, and under what circumstances. This makes Oak Park feel very unwelcoming. I constantly have to move my car around to make sure I don't get a ticket, which wastes time and fuel. The new signs are a Band-Aid and do not fix the problem of excessively convoluted regulations. Make it simple: Do you have a parking permit? Yes? Then you can park on any side street (Odd sides odd days, even sides even days if you want). Leave the main streets clear for snow removal and safety except for metered areas in front of businesses.

Submitted by Lucy on

Anything to condense all those signs! I think the current concept is great, and I feel its user friendly, especially the color coding. I think letters representing days/times should be larger. I see some people complaining about restrictions...if people were allowed to park between 8-10 then the streets surround the L would become a giant parking lot, including people driving from other surrounding areas. Not cool for homeowners!

Submitted by AH on

I echo Joseph's comments above. I too, am a new resident to Oak Park and feel like I am playing Tetris with my car to dodge tickets, despite paying a good amount of money for permits. The town purports progressive values and inclusivity, but these parking regulations seem more like a means to raise funds by exploiting human fallibility and making visitors feel unwelcome. I understand that regulations allow for street cleaning and safety, which I agree with- but not to the extreme that we now need verbose and overwhelming signs to decipher. I also agree with Lucy about commuters parking along residential streets by the L. This happens already, and it is not safe for driving. The larger picture of parking permits needs to be addressed before spending tax money to make even more confusing signs.

Submitted by Helene on

To ensure residents have nightly parking, don't allow random parking between 4p-10p in a permitted zone i.e., Zone Y6. Make it simple, a residential parking zone should be for residents only. One car permit per resident. This will alleviate additional confusion on where to park and help those who regularly get ticketed for being forced to park out of the zone they paid for.