A different slant on Oak Park parking

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Two letters in Wednesday Journal last week made valid points about the inadequacies of Oak Park bike lanes and parking regulations/enforcement. But I disagree with the proposed solutions.

Both problems are attributable to the glorification of the auto, the expectation that one should be able to conduct any errand conveniently by auto, and the expectation that auto traffic should move smoothly. There are no solutions until one abandons these expectations and accepts the notion that pedestrians, bicycles and public transit should be favored over private vehicles.

Bicyclists should not be shunted to side streets. Bicyclists should be given separated, safe lanes and safe arrangements for crossing busy intersections. Autos can just deal with it.

As to parking, I never park anywhere in Oak Park that requires an app or coins for a meter. I find that ample free parking is available within two or three blocks of anywhere. In consideration of the mobility-impaired, I suggest that most parking within a block or two of the mall and of the Lake/Oak Park intersection be free but be restricted to use by the mobility-impaired. Everyone else can park in the garages or on the streets a little farther away and get some healthy exercise. 

Or next time, walk or bike there.

Bob Stigger

Oak Park

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Reader Comments

9 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Brian Slowiak  

Posted: November 8th, 2019 5:08 PM

I cant wait for the first bicycle powered ambulance. Michael O'Malley left out rain, hail and wind as being negative to riding a bicycle.

Corey Gimbel  

Posted: October 30th, 2019 3:11 AM

Bob you missed something. The parking restrictions you suggested should include the elderly. I'm not disabled but do have a balance issue from a mild stroke years ago. Riding a bike for me fraught with peril and in the winter, good grief, it might be fatal to say nothing of pretty wet and cold. Good luck with promoting this in the People's Republic of Oak Park. I think you should contact Trustee Arti Walker-Peddakotla who is well positioned to get this approves by the Oak Park Village Board of Trustees Remember please that we like our cars/trucks here.

Ramona Lopez  

Posted: October 23rd, 2019 10:51 AM

Aren't those fuel tax dollars then sent back to municipalities via the state and federal government for road projects? Again, I don't know how those taxes flow or how road projects are financed.

Steve Brown  

Posted: October 23rd, 2019 10:25 AM

Your personal hunch is mistaken. For one thing, fuel taxes don't accrue to the village. Not a penny. It goes to the state and the feds. And fuel taxes don't come even remotely close to covering the cost of even the major highways that they're used for. Local streets, on the other hand, are almost totally paid for with local funds (e.g. sales and property taxes). So, yeah, no.

Ramona Lopez  

Posted: October 22nd, 2019 5:20 PM

I haven't done the math nor have the data readily available to do so, but if you add in the millions in fuel tax generated, I would venture to guess it's close to a break even scenario. Again, have absolutely zero data to back up that statement, just my personal hunch.

Steve Brown  

Posted: October 22nd, 2019 4:56 PM

Ramona, you might be right about revenue, but consider the cost side of the equation. Building roads, and ample street parking, to accommodate huge numbers of cars is monstrously expensive, and will never be recovered by the revenue the Village collects on stickers, nor even what it collects in parking revenue, if I had to guess

Ramona Lopez  

Posted: October 22nd, 2019 4:44 PM

It comes down to money. Cars are favored because more cars equals more city stickers, parking tickets, moving violations, etc. Trust me, if bicyclist and pedestrians produced more revenue than cars, they would have top priority.

Jack Davidson  

Posted: October 22nd, 2019 4:07 PM

Michael, many of us are on our trainers in our basements dreaming of nicer weather.

Michael O'Malley  

Posted: October 22nd, 2019 2:56 PM

Bob, just wondering where do all the bike enthusiast go this time of year? Say, from November to May. Where do they go after the geese have flown and the squirrels have settled in for the winter? I ask because I don't see anybody ?" accept for a few die-hards bicycling during those six months in Oak Park. That's half a year. Actually most bicyclists confine their season to maybe five months, if the weather allows. I agree that public transit should be a priority. But this is Illinois and public transit like the weather simply sucks here. So I think, as nice as your sentiments sound, we might want to hold off on the Oak Park Velodrome, accept reality and just deal with it.

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