When it comes to the downtown business districts, the numbers reveal parking options abound.
With the opening of a new public parking garage last month at The Emerson development near Lake Street and Harlem Avenue, drivers now have nearly 2,500 parking spaces spread across four public garages located a short walk from businesses on and near Lake Street.
Factor in more than 300 additional spaces in nine surface parking lots, dozens of on-street parking spots, three electric car charging stations, two car sharing locations and valet parking, and it’s easy to see why officials say parking downtown has never been easier.
The Village operates three facilities — the Holley Court Parking Garage at 1125 Ontario Ave., the Lake & Forest garage at 938 Lake St. and The Avenue Garage at 720 North Blvd. The garage in the new development is privately run, but still open to the public with access from North Boulevard and Westgate Street, just west of Marion Street.
The Village-operated parking garages have recently undergone a series of upgrades, including new LED lighting, high definition security cameras and state-of-the-art intercoms that connect customers with on-site security personnel.
Customers soon will purchase parking time using their license plate number rather than a space or meter number, eliminating the need to display a receipt on the dashboard.
Paying by license plate number is easy — simply use the PassportParking app or walk up to the nearest pay-by-plate machine, enter a license plate number and make a payment. Parking enforcement officers are equipped to scan any license plate and determine the payment status of a vehicle.
The PassportParking app will continue to be available at meters as well. Frequent Passport users also will be able to program a wallet feature within the app, which will offer $27 worth of parking for $25 or $55 worth of parking for $50.
Valet parking expands
Oak Park also is eyeing expansion of the valet parking service to even more locations throughout the downtown business districts by incorporating an on-demand feature.
Drivers will be able to choose from stopping at a valet stand or pulling into a reserved Valet Oak Park parking space, calling the number on the sign and having a valet attendant come to them. When ready to leave, customers just reverse the process from any valet site in the downtown area.
Valet Oak Park operates downtown from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The cost is $5 for up to three hours and $12 for more than three hours until close.
For more information
More information on parking in Oak Park, is posted online at www.oak-park.us/parking.