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

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Parking Pilot Program Archive

A comprehensive proposal for specific changes to parking rules to be tested in a designated pilot area is moving closer to a final recommendation for Village Board consideration.

The Transportation Commission presented its proposed plans at a public meeting on Mon., Jan. 29, 2018 at Brooks Middle School. Hosted by the citizen volunteers on the Transportation Commission, Village staff and consultant Dixon Resources Unlimited, the changes discussed incorporated feedback gathered since the concept of a pilot area test was first presented to the public on Nov. 9, 2017.

The Transportation Commission will meet at 7 p.m., April 23, 2018, for one final review of information before making its final recommendations to the Village Board for consideration. Residents are invited to review the April 23, 2018 presentation video below and share their comments prior to the meeting.

The goal of the pilot program is to test a range of options for simplifying and standardizing the Village’s residential parking system that could offer insights into parking issues throughout the community.

Information on the Transportation Commission, including meeting agendas and minutes, are posted on this website - just click here.

April 23, 2018 Presentation of Final Recommendations

Please limit Commenting to the April 23, 2018 final recommendations presentation...


Submitted by Cindy on

RF Brookfield La Grange Riverside.....all have overnight restrictions. We are not unique, All villagers pay to park through higher rent, property taxes or parking permits. These are all cost factors that went in to our choosing our homes.

Submitted by Paul on

If we change the parking rules the commuters will camp out near the EL stations (both blue and green). Please leave the policy in place.

Submitted by Kendra on

With the day permit option, would that be zone specific or would any permit work in any area?

For instance, I would love to have a day permit to park intermittently in front of my condo building (I put the car in a paid city garage at night). But I fear that if *any* day permit works in any zone, that option would actually worsen the situation for those of us who live in "desirable" locations (e.g., near the train). As I see it, zone-specific day permits would allow folks to park in their own zone, but prevent their zones from becoming unparkable because of others taking up the spaces.

Submitted by kevin shalla on

This is too complicated. Why not define goals, and leave details to village staff? For example, how about this: goal - set parking price to always have at least 2 open spaces in every block in the village, allowing price to fluctuate according to date, season, time, etc.. Mandate that all new road construction / parking lot construction contain technology to monitor parking usage. The village staff would then adjust pricing to ensure there's always convenient parking everywhere. If there's no demand on a particular block at a particular time, then parking is free. If demand is heavy, it is expensive.

Submitted by Larry Lipps on

I've lived in OP for 45 years (four as a renter & 41 as a homeowner).

My comments only apply to residential areas & not to multifamily housing areas.

Two major reasons to maintain the overnight parking ban include:
1. Safety - less cars on streets means less crime & less accidents.
2. Character/ambience of our residential neighborhoods.

I don't want my neighborhood to look like Berwyn or Chicago.

I do NOT support changing the overnight parking ban. Opening up all residential streets to overnight parking would NEGATIVELY impact OP.

Submitted by Larry Lipps on

I've lived in OP for 45 years (four as a renter & 41 as a homeowner).

My comments only apply to strictly residential areas & not to multi-family housing areas.

Two major reasons to maintain the overnight parking ban include:
1. Safety - less cars mean less crime in our neighborhoods & less accidents on our streets.
2. Character/ambience of our residential neighborhoods.

I don't want my neighborhood to look like Berwyn or Chicago.

I do NOT support changing the overnight parking ban. Opening up all residential areas to overnight parking would NEGATIVELY change OP.

Submitted by Willie Mack on

I am not in favor of the proposed pilot changes. I concur with many of the reasons already given. My response is no!

Submitted by Anonymous on

As a decades long home owner, the one thing I do not want to see is blanket overnight parking. The wide empty streets at night are safer and are what Oak Park has been. Drive across Norrh Avenue into Chicago, and you’ll see the difference. Bumper to bumper cars, chairs on street to save spaces during snowstorms. Awful. I understand the need for some overnight parking near 100 year old apartment buildings, built when cars were only for a few. In single family home areas, though, I don’t see there is any need for overnight parking.

On another note, how about driving around streets at night to see if cars are jutting into the streets, parked across sidewalks? I have seen this, and wonder how these car owners aren’t ticketed or towed?
This is dangerous.

Submitted by Sarah E. on

There is nothing in this pilot that I actively support and much that I don't like, including extending metered parking until 8:00 p.m. and the other ways that this pilot makes it even more expensive to live in Oak Park. But I am particularly opposed to the parts of the pilot that eliminate the overnight parking ban and allow commuters to park longer on residential streets. The other commenters have it right-- why are we making Oak Park look and feel more like Berwyn or Chicago? Heed the feedback you are getting on this forum and have gotten in others. The taxpayers of Oak Park are OPPOSED to this pilot.

Submitted by Jeanne Findlay on

There are two OP stops close together on the Blue line at Austin & Oak Park Blvds. Why isn't there a parking garage for commuters versus using residential streets to park? My guests and/or workers literally have no place to park along Humphrey or Van Buren because those spots are taken up by commuters especially along Van Buren the closer you get to Austin.

Submitted by Noelle T on

It’s bad enough that commuter parking was as expensive as it was and there’s limited parking. You guys are continuing to lose good people because you’re constantly increasing costs, we are not the City of Chicago but with the rising prices we all may as well move downtown. Also, what about our guests? Why are you making it more difficult for people’s loved ones to come and visit? I’m disappointed in this proposal and the lack of response and consideration from Oak Park. It’s already bad enough you charge people to park on the street where people are car jacked, side swiped and were told to relocate our cars on certain days during a two hour period. FYI south suburbs does not charge for street parking. Please do better by your citizens. It’s like Oak Park is becoming a knock off of Hyde Park.

Submitted by Kathy on

The two hour parking restrictions on residential streets by Chicago Ave. west of Austin Blvd. should be strictly enforced. Employees from businesses on Chicago Ave. park all day taking away parking from residents. Perhaps making these streets residents only without making residents jump through hoops to accomplish it and making residential permits available and affordable would be a sound idea. Also, overnight parking in this area is not strictly enforced especially on weekends and motorists know it as Superior St. is filled on weekends and no tickets issued. Z4 permit parking on Austin Blvd. also is not enforced. There is heavy foot traffic at all hours in this area which is poorly lit and all these vehicles present a safety issue providing cover for individuals with mischief in mind.

Submitted by c on

It is easier to read the comments from the presentation and understand what is happening than to watch the presentation (which I did).I agree with all the other comments.WHAT A MESS! 6 months and then review? Are you kidding me?See Greg's 4/18/18 comment,which I agree with totally.I say there are too many cars! That is the problem! Start from that point.How much is all this costing? How about all the new buildings' impact?Why wasn't that thought about before this time?

Submitted by Len Palombi on

The sad fact is that there are more cars in oak park than parking spaces. You can meter, restrict, ticket all you want and that doesn't change the fact that demand exceeds supply. All that restrictions do is penalize everyone. I would venture that if you added up all the money spent on studying, installing more signs/meters, ticketing, handling disputes, etc., you could build more parking spaces and increase the supply. Why make things more complicated? Simplify and save money by removing all restrictions, signs and meters.

Submitted by Dean Rogers on

When I bought my house,I did not purchase the parking spot in frnt of it.The streets are public roadways for anybody’s use.What entiles a homeowner to a spot in front of their house?

Submitted by Peter on

Horrible, horrible, horrible. Are you folks on drugs? How are these steps an improvement?

Especially burdensome for me is the restriction of three hours on residential blocks with current timed restrictions during the day. This will make it difficult for me to have guests over during the daytime. The current restriction is fine, why make it narrower? And the exemption that residents receive from the three hour time limit would not apply to my guests, as I park in my own garage and hence do not have a parking permit to share with others.

The more extensive pay to park hours (through 8pm)? No, no, no. This is only going to hurt area businesses.

The premise of this pilot parking program is that the block by block ordinances that have been established are somehow confusing or inefficient or what have you, and so we must standardize things, but what is really going on here is a money grab, the establishment of more pretexts for citing motorists who park on our streets. And this phrase, "parking management tool," ugh, total bureaucrat-speak.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I live in a 2flat building with no garage nor space for parking. I have to purchase an overnight sticker just to be able to park away from in front of my hime and walk back to it. There is also a 2 hour time limit on my street (Humphrey) which means I still cant park in front of my home nor have any guests until 3pm. The no parking in front of your own home is very outdated. I cant even relax during vacations we have to constantly move for fear of a ticket. The only time I can have ease of guests is during the holudays when Oak Park gives me special permission to have overnight family without the hassle yet in the morning we are all back moving around in a panic to find a park because of the 2 hour limit. These ridiculous bans and time limits hasnt stopped any crimes, it is just creatung a parking nightmare and headache for the residents who actually live here. Does Oak Park even think or care about renters when they come up with these parking rules. It appears that they do not.

Submitted by BC on

I’m a little confused and concerned with zone permit spaces becoming open to both permits and guest passes overnight. (Am I understanding this correctly?). So, as a resident, I must continue to pay $540 per year for on-street parking near my home when visitors could also park in the same location with a free pass? It’s already challenging to find parking in the zone permit areas as a resident when coming home from work. I would ask that you please reconsider this (have separate Residential and Visitor parking zones OR significantly decrease the cost of a permit for residents).

Also...VETO on the extension of meters to 8pm.

I do appreciate the change of 8-10am no parking to a 3 hour restriction instead. As someone who does home visiting therapy, that 8-10 parking ban is extremely challenging for home healthcare and social service providers!

Thanks! I know you’re trying to solve many issues and meet the needs/wants of many. I hope we are able to continue giving real-time feedback during the actual pilot process. Just will you be collecting data/feedback during the pilot time and how can we participate as residents?

Submitted by Wilma Fingerdo on

Stop discriminating against taxpaying residents who do not own a garage. FREE overnight parking for ALL residents.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I have a Masters Degree and cannot understand most of the proposal. THAT is f’ed up.

Submitted by Eddie Scanlan on

Don't worry about it.

Submitted by Susan A on

If public feedback is the first criteria for success, THIS PILOT PROGRAM SHOULD NOT BE IMPLEMENTED given the comments.

As a resident who has lived in both the city and the suburbs and now chooses Oak Park, parking matters.

I have lived in various neighborhoods of Chicago. Unrestricted parking in the city, whether paid or not, leads to ongoing drives around the neighborhood, sometimes up to 3-4 or more blocks away, to find a parking spot - at any time of the day or night. One thing I appreciate about Oak Park is the relative feeling of safety - a large part of that is due to the openness of the streets and visibility on the residential streets. This parking plan would take that away -- I personally would have a sense of wariness at not being able to have a clear line of vision around me due to cars, at not knowing who may be sitting in a car waiting for me to come along, alone, particularly at night or even early in the morning for that matter when anyone wants or needs to go out early in the dark. Or kids. Given that the schools are a huge draw for this community , any program that diminishes safety for anyone of any age cannot be implemented.

I have also lived in Hinsdale and Naperville and other suburbs where there is even more dependence on cars. And given a choice, businesses that have available free parking (as in Oak Brook) are highly preferred to communities where not only is there a high level of congestion, but parking is scarce and you have to pay. That's just a given. In my mind there are enough empty storefronts on an ongoing basis to create additional impediments to having people come to Oak Park businesses. The Village would do well to focus on finding ways to increase the attractiveness and ease of frequenting our local business community.

Finally, the presentation is not persuasive. Ignoring the typos, it is charts and graphs and frankly, simplistic.

Oak Park prides itself on its diversity -- the village is in fact populated by homeowners, renters, businesses, public facilities, churches and more all of which have different needs -- not to mention income and other diversities. This program does not address that.

There is no thoughtful cost benefit analysis provided either for residents, businesses, visitors, or the village. I see no real benefits for me as a resident -- and I have to believe that there is a huge income benefit for the village.

There is no attempt to address concerns -- the public meetings held to date have driven out many concerns, and there is no evidence that any of the concerns have been heard and / or addressed in the program.

In short, the village appears to be giving what an old boss of mine would call "dramatic lip service". A lot of noise and activity around this parking but very little substantive listening, responding, and actively working to come to a mutually beneficial solution.

Oak Park has high taxes as it is; this parking program is another regressive tax that has no clearly stated benefits other than one more source of revenue for the village and clear disadvantages for both residents and businesses.

I have an idea of the cost of this process -- the amount of time that has gone into developing the idea (and being sold by vendors) on the part of the village, holding the public meetings, building it into the budget to make it an easier sell to the residents, doing multiple iterations of the plan. From where I sit, it's not been well managed or executed.

Is Oak Park still the village it professes to be? Where people are collaboratively working to make this a mutually beneficial place to live for everyone?

Or are the developers and revenue generators having their way? The new high rise residential buildings are increasing congestion dramatically. There is a reason no good sized business has taken the building at Harlem and Lake -- there's a reason the Target is smaller than many Walgreens - there are reasons why we have so many empty storefronts or that small businesses come and go so quickly even at the major intersections (Lake and Oak Park Avenue).

I know multiple families who have left Oak Park. I personally do not know anyone who strongly supports the general trend of the village management.


Submitted by Jan on

This is a terrible idea extending this until 8. Now you could not go to a restaurant or movie or a meeting without feeding a meter or getting ticket. Time cuts into anything you would want to do. Totally against this. Forest Park here I come. They know how to welcome diners and shoppers and residents.

Submitted by Victoria on

This new parking proposal is disappointing. I want the Village of Oak Park to be a welcoming place for visitors, family, and friends. The proposed parking regulations remind me more of the parking situation in Chicago, where it is so difficult to park. Let’s keep our village a village. Larger suburban communities have been able to do so, why can’t we?

1. The existing parking regulations are seldom enforced. Why not spend the village’s resources on enforcing them rather than spending additional money to create a new program that is more cumbersome and restrictive than the old one.

2. The new signs that are presently in place are just as confusing as the old ones, and the size and configuration of them are unattractive and distracting.

3. Metered parking on Madison Street may discourage people from patronizing of the businesses that are already struggling to stay in business. It will cause people to park on the residential side streets, which are already clogged.

4. Raising parking costs will discourage people to shop in Oak Park. Is Forest Park going to take Oak Park’s commercial business once again?

5. If family and friends come to visit, must they stay only two or three hours and then leave? Have free day passes available for residents to give to their visiting friends and families.

I moved to Oak Park for many reasons, one was to get away from city life. The recent addition of high rise buildings in downtown has been disappointing and so is this new parking plan. Progress shouldn’t mean changing who we are. Let’s keep Oak Park a welcoming village and not turn it into a satellite of Chicago.

Submitted by Robin on

I can’t even read this map and the entire fee structure is confusing. I will echo what other folks have said. The 3 hour time limit on Saturday is nuts. I currently pay almost 300.00 per quarter in a garage 5 blocks from my home because I used to commute downtown and due to the current 2 hour restrictions on certain days would have to constantly mone my vehicle. On Saturday I’d like to park on the street near my home that I own for more than 3 hours without any additional fees. Bottom line if you are an oak park resident with a vehicle sticker you should be allowed to park on a any street (including overnight) without paying more money. That’s how simple this could be. I’m also firmly against more meter charges.

Submitted by Jennifer Bell on

Could you please clarify the process for obtaining guest passes. According to the matrix on the powerpoint, if I own a car, I must purchase a a special $70 vehicle sticker--is this the regular village vehicle sticker that I always buy, or is this a new sticker for the pilot area? What if I own a car but have a garage and will only need passes for guests? I do not see an option for those who own a car and have their own parking space already to obtain guest passes/permits for guests who want to park overnight or extended time during the day on occasion.

Also, currently, guests are not allowed to park in permit zone areas. Will guests who want to park overnight be able to park anywhere now? Please clarify. In the past, my 79 year old mother would have to park 4 blocks away if she wanted to stay overnight. This is unreasonable. Please clarify the guest passes policy for both daytime extension pass and overnight parking, location, and how these passes can be obtained by us residents--both for residents who own street parking permits and those residents who have their own parking space but still want to be able to obtain guest passes.

The new parking policy should prioritize the residents who own condos and rent in the areas that are affected. We are the ones who reside in the pilot area, and the new policies should consider the needs of the residents first over revenue for the city. Furthermore, the village needs to understand that this is 2018. Having such strict parking rules is unrealistic. With the growth of high rises, etc., Oak Park is more of a city than a suburb. Oak Park needs to come to grips with the reality of city life and adapt a policy more akin to bigger cities. Furthermore, not allowing parking overnight from 2:30 to 8 am on residential streets is an outdated policy. This has done nothing to "reduce crime" as we have seen a spike in crime--carjackings, robberies etc in spite of this old-fashioned policy.

Submitted by ssuan on

Signage is too complex. If you can't read it without getting out of your car and consulting a calendar and watch it is too complicated. I stood in front of one of those "pilot" signs after having to pull over and stand in front of it, without really knowing if it was safe to park.
Also, raising meters to 1$ an hour is crazy for our smaller commercial areas, we are not downtown chicago or wrigleyville. Remember all the trouble in Chicago when they sold their meters?

Submitted by ssuan on

Signage is too complex. If you can't read it without getting out of your car and consulting a calendar and watch it is too complicated. I stood in front of one of those "pilot" signs after having to pull over and stand in front of it, without really knowing if it was safe to park.
Also, raising meters to 1$ an hour is crazy for our smaller commercial areas, we are not downtown chicago or wrigleyville. Remember all the trouble in Chicago when they sold their meters?

Submitted by Alan on

I fail to see the need for the proposed meters on Madison -- there is not a great demand for parking there during business hours and this will only serve to make it harder for the few viable businesses there. This appears to be simply an attempt to generate more revenue for the village, and it would be more transparent if the presentation admitted this. The same can be said for the extension of meter hours from 6 pm to 8 pm - defensible only as a revenue generator. It certainly will not "create an additional shift for restaurants." Just the opposite -- it will deter patronage of the restaurants. Like too many other decisions the village makes, this one ignores the long-term effects -- similar to jacking up parking rates near the Green Line, which deters the use of public transportation and encourages people to drive downtown instead of taking the el.

Submitted by Barbara Rush on

New trial signs are confusing and writing is far too small to read while in the car. I shouldn't have to get out of the car and study the sign to figure out if I am able to park in the spot.

Changing meter parking from 6pm to 8 pm will discourage me from using the restaurants downtown. Just another added cost and concern to a night out.

Submitted by A.F. Koster vva... on

I was shocked to see the large increase of hourly parking meter fee from 25 cents to a dollar/hour at May 1. Remember that it was a nickel/hour some 20 years ago. So now it increases by a factor of 20. Retail businesses will be further hurt while they are already in trouble. For a restaurant visit, these rates are highly tolerable, for a retail store, they may be prohibitive. Say I want to buy a $4.00 item, and browse a bit. Where will I go. Guess what. I will go to Forest Park. Parking is free on Madison, and I can visit and browse various stores at leisure. On Oak Park Ave, or Chicago Ave, I have to watch my time and risk a $30+ ticket. Why would I do that. And the financial gains for OP are trivial while the damage to our already depleted number of retails shops will be significant.

Submitted by Todd on

* Thank you for the presentation. The PDF is somewhat more viewable than the video, but I still can't read the maps, so I won't be able to comment on what I wasn't able to read.
* I'm gathering that what's proposed is open overnight parking to permitted residents in their permit areas. This would be on one side of the street only for fire/safety reasons, if the street is 30ft or narrower.
* This is currently what we have in Y4 near Brooks Middle School. The number of permitted spaces is inadequate, however, because there are so many multi-unit buildings along Washington, Grove, Kenilworth, Clinton, Home. Also, because day parking (after 6 am school days) around Brooks (all sides of the lot) is already dedicated to staff parking.
* I don't see this plan, as I understand it, to be workable in adding additional permitted space for residents in multi-unit buildings in our area.
* It would not be possible to have one-side only parking for residents on the streets that border Brooks, because those streets are dedicated to staff parking.
* On the one day-per week abatement period, similarly, there would be no place for residents to park around the school, if the Brooks staff parking remains. They would have to park blocks away where there is already very limited parking because of the number of multi-unit buildings.
* I don't see this plan as a solution, from what I understand, which unfortunately is not as much as I would like.

Thank you very much for your effort, however. Please keep trying. Don't give up.

God bless you!

Submitted by Alan on

I was surprised that the proposal is not more upfront about the single most significant change -- the elimination of the overnight parking ban. Because the map is blurry and unreadable in the video presentation, the fact that overnight parking will be permitted on all streets in the pilot project area is obscured. While I recognize the need for additional parking for apartment and condo dwellers, I don't think the presentation makes a sufficient case for complete elimination of the overnight parking ban throughout the area.

Submitted by Steven Miller on

As a long time resident of the 600 block of home ave I have seen a significant increase in Oak Park hospital employees parking in the surrounding neighborhood instead of their parking garage. There are times when I can't park by my house. Please make sure that you allow as much legal on street parking immediately adjacent to the hospital property. Allowing on street parking along the entire block of the 500 block of south Wenonah and the 600 block of Wisconsin (northern half) on the west sides of both streets might reduce on street parking further east.
Please design new parking rules in the neighborhood around the OP hospital which increase on street parking immediately adjacent to the hospital land and make it more difficult for hospital employees to park all day further away from the hospital in the residential neighborhood.

Submitted by Diane on

There are far too many parking restrictions for residents. We currently have night parking. We have had two occasions, once when home sick with the flu and another away on a vacation, where we called in, emailed AND spoke face-to-face with a village employee and were given a pass but STILL received violations. Communication within the department needs improvement.

The signs on Pleasant Street are ridiculous! There is NO way to distinguish where one sign ends and the other begins.

Three new high rise condos have been built but has consideration been given to the increase in parking needs that these buildings will create?

I am a librarian and would LOVE to work at one of the Oak Park Libraries but they have no vacancies which means that yes, I HAVE to own a car in order to commute to work. So your suggested solution of using alternate transportation does not apply to many residents.

One day a week my husband works from home and still has to move his car repeatedly throughout the day.

Listening to your current proposal does not address any of these issues. We have resided in Oak Park for six years and parking is ABSOLUTELY the bane of our residency.
We try to abide by all these restrictions yet whenever I approach my vehicle my breath catches until I see that there is no orange card on my windshield.

I know this email provides no suggestions or solutions, but please consider these scenarios as you make your decisions.

Submitted by Aaron on

God forbid, we just stop building so many multifamily structures. The more people, the more cars. Let's convert some multifamily buildings into single family buildings. Less people, less cars, more parking. Less... is More.

Submitted by Sandra on

Merchants are a healthy tax base, but they're not a given. Why do you 'quarter' chase them out of business? Having free parking beginning at 6P and on Sundays is our last bastion to keep merchants and their patrons in our village. That you increased cost of meter parking is bad enough, DO NOT EXTEND METER TIME by 2 hours. The rest of your proposed regulations are not presented in a coherent format. DO NOT EXTEND PARKING METER HOURS.

Submitted by cynthia ross on

To encourage shopping and dining we should allow at least 2 hours Free in some spaces near each business district.
Additionally We should provide for the boxes and meters that allow for a quick stop. Therefore, less than an hour amount.

I do not agree with charging beyond the 6 pm time anywhere. And especially near residential for evening visitors. Why not move it to 6 am to 6 pm if you want consistent time window.

Submitted by Jeff McMahon on

It looks from the maps as if this Parking Plan was developed without consideration of the Neighborhood Greenways Plan that was adopted by the Village Board in 2015, and which prescribes street design on streets that are designated as greenways: in the pilot area, those include Kenilworth and Pleasant.

It's hard to say for sure because the street names are illegible on the maps provided for the Parking Plan, both in the pdf and the video.

I hope the Commission and Village Board will also consider that increased parallel parking poses increased risk to bicyclists, from dooring in particular, and to children and pedestrians from decreased visibility.

I hope the Commission and Village Board will also consider that increased parking availability encourages automobile use and carbon pollution, contributing to global warming. We should be going in the other direction.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Submitted by cynthia ross on

I agree with many villagers that is very important to maintain the overnight parking ban on our residential streets. It much safer environment to be able to walk home when you can see the street from curb to curb with vehicles for approaching activities that may not be well intended. Easier to identify one car without many other around it. The only on street parking should be for old vintage buildings that were built before auto were in common use and no parking lot is provided on pro or very limited spaces which cannot accommodate the many cars of today.
We should also continue the restriction that have been in place by ordinance one bedroom requires properties to have one space.

Submitted by Faith Qualls on

I’m on the north end of Oak Park on Lombard and parking is definitely needed. There is a parking lot going towards Austin for this area, however It’s an inconvenience to Residence. We can’t view our vehicles in parking lot near Austin is just not good. Too much is going on with carjackings or theft. I don’t feel safe walking to Austin early in the morning or late at night, the my guest and the tenants in my building are forced to park on the Chicago side. I don’t it’s Fair we should be able to park in front of our residence .