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November 9, 2017

Pilot program to test major changes to parking regulations

Nov. 1, 2017 – Months of studying Oak Park’s wide array of parking rules and regulations is evolving into a pilot program designed to test a wide range of options for simplifying and standardizing the Village’s residential parking system.

The public is invited to learn more about the changes under consideration at a community meeting set for 6 to 9 p.m. on Thurs., Nov. 9 at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School, 325 S. Kenilworth Ave.

Recommendations for a pilot project will be presented at 6 p.m. and again at 8 p.m., with time set aside for residents and stakeholders to ask questions and offer feedback on the proposals.

The proposed pilot area is from Harlem Avenue east to Oak Park Avenue and South Boulevard south to Harrison Street. This area was chosen because it contains virtually every parking challenge in Oak Park with single-family and multi-family residences overlapping with commuter and business parking.

Stakeholders from beyond the pilot area are encouraged to participate in the planning process, since public feedback will be a factor in determining if the changes tested in the pilot program should be implemented in other parts of the Village.

Anyone unable to attend the forum but who still wishes to be involved in the process can visit www.oak-park.us/parkingpilot where a recording of the presentation along with notes and materials outlining the proposed changes will be posted after the public forum. Public comments also will be accepted on the page.

Search for parking solutions

Changes under consideration would affect most current parking regulations, including those that govern overnight on-street permit parking restrictions, on-street daytime restrictions, temporary overnight and daytime guest parking passes, commuter parking, employee and customer parking, meters and lots, off-street permit lot parking, and snow, leaf and street cleaning restrictions.

Much of Oak Park was developed in the early 20th century long before the numbers of vehicles reached today’s levels. In the decades since, parking has become a scarce resource in the Village, officials say, particularly in neighborhoods near the Village’s business districts and multifamily housing.

In order to balance need with supply, available spaces have been managed through parking regulations put in place over time, typically driven by residents petitioning the Transportation Commission in what became a near block-by-block approach. The result of this approach is a complicated web of rules spelled out in 120 parking ordinances and communicated on more than 10,000 signs throughout the Village.

Understanding the process

Earlier this year the Village Board began reviewing ways to streamline the wide array of parking rules and regulations by gathering public input on various parking topics during a series of special meetings, community forums and online comments.

These meetings, forums and comments led to the pilot project proposals that will be presented at the upcoming meeting at Brooks Middle School.

Based on community input, recommendations for a parking pilot program will be reviewed by the Transportation Commission on Nov. 27 and then presented to the Village Board to consider for implementation in 2018.

If approved, the pilot program is expected to run for nine months. Data gathered during the pilot will be used to help guide decisions about broader geographic implementation.

The Nov. 9 public meeting will be hosted by the citizen volunteers on the Transportation Commission, Village staff and consultant Dixon Resources Unlimited.

For more information about parking in Oak Park, visit www.oak-park.us/parking.

View the article online here

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