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

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Parking Review - Austin, Harlem on-street parking

As the Village Board continues its comprehensive review of Oak Park’s wide array of parking rules and regulations, the focus will shift next to standardizing overnight permit times and identifying potential new spaces. This latest in the series of Village Board parking discussions is scheduled for 7 p.m., Mon., May 8 at Village Hall, 123 Madison St.

During this meeting, the Village Board will discuss current restrictions on two of the Village’s most traveled daytime commuter routes - Austin Boulevard and Harlem Avenue north of Division Street, the only Oak Park section of Harlem where the state allows on-street parking. These two sections of the Village share similar traffic patterns, but differ greatly in parking demand and regulations.

Officials say comparing these two high-traffic routes could offer insights into how regulations – or lack of them – could help simplify parking rules on other Village streets.

As the Village Board considers regulation changes, residents are invited to read the information below and watch the video, then share their comments with the Village Board.

Comments may be posted on this page until noon, May 8, 2017. Comments will be moderated and will not appear immediately. 

Austin and Harlem - their similarities and differences

Austin Boulevard is among the largest and most in-demand overnight parking zones in Oak Park. Long-established zones along Austin provide overnight parking for residents of the many multifamily buildings along the entire length of the boulevard, from North Avenue to Roosevelt Road. Parking on Austin Boulevard also is prohibited from 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. to facilitate rush hour traffic flow. In addition, daytime parking on Austin is limited to two hours at other times, a rule the evidence suggests does little more than add to the inventory of regulatory signs.

On Harlem Avenue, also a busy daytime commuter route, overnight parking has never been in demand along Oak Park’s northernmost section. The only parking restrictions here are the standard overnight ban and snow emergency rules.


Submitted by Eulalia Puig Abril on


This comment may not be fully related to the parking situation in the video, but I am out of options as to where to send it. Why is it that Oak Park commuters that use the blue line need to park almost four long blocks away from the Oak Park stations (e.g., Austin)? What does this say about commuting with the train from Oak Park? Why is is so difficult to do one of the most environmentally friendly activities? Why, why, why? We need to find a solution to ENHANCE, FACILITATE, SUPPORT commuters to the blue line—not hinder them.
Thank you for listening.

Submitted by Josh Jackson on

I think it would be great if a parking permit wasn't needed to park on the Oak Park side. Since one isn't needed to park on the Chicago side overnight.

Submitted by Ivan Story on

I believe parking need to be expanded in Oak Park you haha
Have overcrowded parking on one block and the next block
You have no parking allowed over night and the homes have garages
Garages and drive ways and no cars parked on the street
The logistics for parking is not good for residents that pay
For on street parking overnight sometimes having to walk
Blocks late at night and seeing streets within your grid with open
Parking spaces but you can't park there.

Submitted by Oak Park Reside... on

Oak Park Village needs to ease parking restrictions for its residents. I pay almost $90 /month to park in a garage, and I was recently ticket an additional $30 for parking at a meter near an Oak Park restaurant that I patronized for 40 minutes without putting additional money in a meter. This is despite the fact that my car is practically covered with Oak Park Village and parking stickers. The Village (whether thru tickets or the ballot box) is constantly trying to gouge its residents. We can only take so much.

Submitted by Magda on

I think Oak Park needs more parking spots that allow parking for longer than 2h. There are several appointments that take longer than 2h and it's extremely difficult to find anywhere to park for longer than 2h, especially in downtown of oak Park.

Submitted by Brian on

Quick comment on permit starting time in OP lots. I would suggest the "free parking" slice of the day after 6pm still remain free until the restaurants close (11pm?). I parked in the permit lot at a meter that was free after 6 near OP Ave and the Ike to eat dinner and was surprised to get a ticket because I stayed too long into the "permit only" slice of the evening, I believe 8pm. Makes it difficult to have a later dinner out.

Submitted by Julie Samuels on

Our street has many more overnight parkers and as a result it is rarely if every cleaned. Currently we have 3 inches of mud along the length of our gutter. Please institute alternate side of the street parking so our streets will be swept.

Submitted by Julie Samuels on

Please institute alternate side of the street parking for this reason. We have many more overnight parkers on our street and as a result our street is rarely if ever swept. The mud in our gutter (near the sewer that is usually stopped up) is 3 inches deep. Thank you for considering this.

Submitted by J. Cooper on

Village wide rules prohibiting more than one parking permit per residence discourages working families from living in this community. For many, rent prices necessitate two incomes but it is exceptionally difficult for both members of a household to work if only one has reliable onsite parking/transportation. Although the village allows for additional permits to be purchased, the demand is such that people must take time off work in order to wait at the village hall. For example, permits went on sale 5/5/17 at 8:30am and people were waiting in the village hall at 7am. Soon after doors opened, the line to pay for permits extended throughout the lobby and it took approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to complete the entire process. That is time that residents could otherwise spend providing for their families if they were allowed to purchase permits online. Oak Park strives to be a welcoming and progressive community, but their parking regulations actively discourage working class residents from participating in this vision. If substantive changes are not made, Oak Park will continue to ostracize an essential component of the community, leading to further segregation between the haves and the have nots.

Submitted by Blair Johnson on

I moved to oak park from Chicago with my pregnant wife and 4 year old daughter for safety and a better neighborhood for my children to grow up in. I was completely unaware of the parking restrictions when I signed my lease. I live in one of three apartment buildings on the 400 block of Humphrey, the only three properties without garages. I find it ridiculous that I'm not able to park in front of my own apartment at night. I have to park blocks away on Austin blvd. in the Chicago area. I work very early mornings which leaves my wife and kids to have to walk blocks away in order to retrieve the car. I pay over $1000 in rent and I would expect to not have to buy $100+ parking passes, to not have to get ticketed or go thru these extreme lengths to park in front of my own property. I would like to ask is there a better solution to this problem maybe even removing the overnight parking ban on residential blocks?.

Submitted by Rita A. on

I'd like to request that the "comprehensive parking study" create "parking ordinances" for the village that "create ordinances" and "standardize" regulations for parking in alleys, especially on garage aprons. In my alley, parking on garage aprons serves as a substitute for purchasing parking permits.

Submitted by (M) Norene Jamieson on

I have lived on Harlem most of my life and I appreciate the fact that parking on Harlem is available during the day. I would not like to see daytime parking on Harlem restricted. I have an invalided neighbor and it would make it very difficult to transport her. Thank you so much

Submitted by Anna Alecci on

After not owning a car for 15 years, I bought a car when I had a baby last winter to get her to the doctor, grocery shop, etc. However, I am not allowed to park on the side street I live on- the 200 block of Cuyler. It isn't a permit area. The closest parking spot I was able to rent is 4 blocks away. With any child, especially an infant, this is a challenge- particularly in freezing weather, nighttime or in an emergency situation. My street is not busy and my building is the only one on the block without a garage or parking lot. I would urge the city to open up more areas to 24-hour parking permits. I have still never heard an explanation as to why that would be a problem.

Submitted by Sarah on

For the amount of money I pay in property taxes I shouldn't have to spend $130 every three months to park in front of my condo. Which for a 51 unit building only allows 6 spots. All other parking must be done on busy chicago Ave. this is rediculous and if I'd know I'd never have moved to this town. I've spent more in parking than I ever did in Chicago or Schaumburg. I understand the city needs to make revenue but the amount of parking tickets and restrictions is insane. Why can't homeowners have a 1 car limit to park on the street without additional fees? Why do I have to park in Z3 on a dangerous street where my neighbors have been held up at gun point? The parking situation has made me hate living in Oak Park.

Submitted by Debbie Holliday... on

It is clear that parking regulations currently in place north of division on Harlem Ave affects oak park residents in need of parking space in this area. Since night traffic seem to be less congested, allowance for overnight parking on Harlem Ave would greatly benefit the residents in this area.

Submitted by K. Reed on

I think it terrible to be charged so much to park where you live and i think the number parking passes is ridiculous for any adult who may be in a relationship with someone that stay over more than 10 days within a year.

Submitted by Anonymous OP Re... on

While I recognize the safety purpose and nature landscape that "road verges" provide (the grass section between the curb and sidewalk)... What if some of those along Austin Ave we're converted to parking spots?! Thoughts? During rush hour Austin must be a two lane road. Also, I think along all major North-South OP streets we need better public transit - particularly Ridgeland and OP Ave - to connect people to rail lines; the Pace busses are often bunched and constantly behind schedule. It's no magic bullet,you but improving those North-South bus routes could help reduce dependency on cars/parking.

Submitted by JC Barber on

I do not know why the village has restricted parking hours on Austin; since they are not enforced. The traffic from my place down Austin to the 290 entrance ALWAYS has at least 2 parked cars and my commute starts at 715am.
On the other hand; the village gouges its residents for parking passes and stickers and I see no reason why we cannot parking on side streets in residential areas freely with a simple Village Sticker (in the front window) overnight.

Submitted by P. O'Connor on

A frustrating topic to say the least ! Two of the same offense tickets on my windshield within minutes of one another last month forced me to go to the village hall to rectify the problem . Speaking with five village employees until a remedy was in place took about an hour . Was my time worth possibly excusing the ticket ?No , not at all ! My vehicle had a dead battery before I left for work before midnight , had to get to work anyway . Called parking services , all automated , no luck . Called front desk and explained , had minimal help . Went back to automated parking services phone line and thought I went thru the process . A ticket waited for me when I arrived home from work . The last problem was a debatable ticket hand-written at 232AM as I arrived at my vehicle at 230AM . All of this occurred within the month . Bad luck or misfortune maybe . User unfriendly and less helpful village employees I think so ! Trying to resolve these issues is time consuming , distractive , and such an energy-waster in such a " progressive " community . Ironic !

Submitted by Nancy Nemetz on

I respectfully request this comment be submitted for review. I was first I formed at 10:38am this morning about the board meeting this evening and the call for any commentry to be received by 12:00 noon today. I just spent 1/2 hour writing a comment and with no "submit" icon, the comment was erased! I now have to rewrite my comment. Apparently one is supposed to hit the "save" icon. This is very confusing! I will send my comments in 1/2 hour and expect them to be accepted due to this " late " notice and very inappropriate send mechanism. I am a board member of the Pleasant District and find the lateness in communication very disappointing ginen such a controversial and critical subject.
Nancy Nemetz

Submitted by erik.jacobsen on

Hi Nancy,

Thank you for your interest in providing feedback. I'm also sorry to hear you hare having issues with submitting your comment.

We are now closing the commenting section so we can prepare the feedback for the Village Board. However, if you send your comments to by 5 p.m. we will be sure your feedback reaches the Village Board before tonight's meeting.

We spread word about the commenting section through the Village's E-News e-mail, the Village's Facebook and Twitter accounts and via signs posted along and near Harlem Avenue and Austin Boulevard, which are the main subjects of this particular meeting.

Here are some ways to be sure you hear about the opportunity to comment as the Village's comprehensive parking review continues in the coming months:

Next month's topic will focus on parking near North Avenue and Roosevelt Road. For more information about the comprehensive review, including a list of upcoming topics, click here



Submitted by Neil on

I moved to Oak Park and found parking to be a hassle. To begin with, there are certain streets you can park until 2am then you have to move your car to a zone spot after 2? What sense does that make to allow parking till 2am but then you have to move your vehicle to somewhere else onward. Also there needs to be more zone parking in the side streets to accommodate all the residents. Its like parking wars looking for a parking spot for your vehicle. We are already paying rent and all the taxes associated with living in the village, why not allow more parking spots?