Public input is being sought to help the Village Board conduct a comprehensive review of Oak Park’s wide array of parking rules and regulations. Residents will have multiple opportunities in the coming months to help craft strategies for simplifying a system that many agree has grown out of proportion.
Given that Oak Park was developed in the early 20th century before the numbers of vehicles reached today’s levels, parking has long been a scarce resource in the Village, particularly in areas where residential, business and mass transit parking needs overlap.
In order to balance need with supply, available spaces have been managed through parking regulations put in place over the course of decades. The result of this piecemeal approach is a complicated web of rules that includes 120 parking ordinances communicated on more than 10,000 parking signs throughout the Village.
The primary goals of the comprehensive parking study are to create parking ordinances that are simple and user-friendly, to standardize and streamline parking signage throughout the Village and to implement parking technology geared toward customer service and efficiency.
While officials recognize the demands of every constituency can’t be completely satisfied, the hope is that a consistent set of Village-wide rules will help cut down on confusion and frustration created by the current system in which regulations can change from one block to the next.
Starting in March, the Village Board will review and evaluate a different parking topic each month during a series of special meetings. The process is expected to conclude in the fall, at which time the Board will consider a comprehensive list of proposed ordinance amendments based on input gathered during the monthly reviews.
Material relevant to the monthly topic at hand will be posted one week prior to each meeting at www.oak-park.us/whatdoyouthink. Residents and business operators are welcome to provide comments, which will be shared with Village trustees prior to each meeting.
Parking signage is the first topic being discussed at the Village Board meeting, which is tentatively scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on March 13 at Village Hall, 123 Madison St. Officials plan to present sign templates based on a grid design being used by other communities. Details will be available online starting March 6.
Village officials note that individual petitions for new parking regulations will temporarily be put on hold while the comprehensive parking review process unfolds. Residents are still welcome to file petitions, but any hearings will be postponed until after the parking study concludes in September.
For more information on the study, email email@example.com.
Parking Study Topics (Dates Tentative)
• March – Parking signage recommendations
• April – Parking on and near Austin Boulevard and Harlem Avenue
• May – Parking on and near North Avenue and Roosevelt Road
• June – Parking near CTA Blue Line, CTA Green Line and Metra stations
• July – Parking on and near Madison Street and Washington Boulevard
• August – Parking on or near Chicago Avenue and Division Street
• September – Comprehensive ordinance amendments
All meetings will be held at Village Hall, 123 Madison St. Visit www.oak-park.us/whatdoyouthink for specific meeting times and dates, to review material and to provide comments related to each topic.