Village of Oak Park President and Board of Trustees met May 8.
Village of Oak Park President and Board of Trustees met May 8.
Here is the minutes provided by the Board:
I. Call to Order
Village President Pro Tem Tucker called the Meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
II. Roll Call
Present: 5 - Village Trustee Taglia, Village Trustee Tucker, Village Trustee Moroney, Village Trustee Boutet, and Village Trustee Andrews
Absent: 2 - Village Trustee Button, and Mayor Abu-Taleb
III. Agenda Approval
It was moved by Village Trustee Andrews, seconded by Village Trustee Boutet, to approve the Agenda. A voice vote was taken and the motion was approved.
IV. Public Comment
Alan Dworkin. Mr. Dworkin, an Oak Park resident and owner of the Apple Store, expressed concern regarding lack of parking for his customers. He is requesting that the 8-10 hour parking meters be changed to 3 hours, and produced a petition signed by other business owners in the Hemingway District who support this.
Paul Beckwith. Mr. Beckwith commented that online retail is growing and asked all to support local retail. Lack of parking makes that difficult; he urged to Board to move forward with Mr. Dworkin's request in an expeditious manner.
Chris Donovan. Mr. Donovan expressed concern regarding transparancy within the Village and the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation.
V. Regular Agenda
A. ID 17-484 On-Street Parking for Austin Boulevard and Harlem Avenue including Adjacent Areas
Village Manager Pavlicek noted that the Board had approved a series of monthly meetings related to a holistic review of the Village's parking system. The meeting topics are all narrow in scope in order to advise the Board of recommendations for updates and changes in parking regulations, restrictions and oversight of the Villages public parking system. Staff anticipates bringing a comprehensive set of regulations to the Board this fall, and if there is consensus, directing staff to prepare the necessary ordinances and actions to implement those changes.
Parking and Mobility Services Director Jill Velan summarized topics presented to the Board thus far. Village Trustee Andrews asked Ms. Velan how she would prefer feedback regarding the signage design introduced at the March 20 meeting. She had no preference; any and all forms are welcome. He commented that he would like to see the consolidated signs show the days of the week in sequence and suggested adding a red arrow to indicate there is no parking opposite the white arrow side of the sign rather than have a secondary sign.
Village Trustee Moroney commented that these signs combine three or four smaller signs and asked how many of those are currently in the Village. Ms. Velan stated it is roughly 10,000 signs. Village Trustee Moroney raised the subject of cost. The current pilot signs, a combination of four to six signs, cost $375 according to Ms. Velan. Village Trustee Andrews asked if he could assume the price would decrease with the amount of signs to be ordered. Ms. Velan stated that it would, as this order was for only 70 signs.
Village Trustee Boutet discussed the Guiding Principals form the January 23 meeting. Regarding customer service, she wants to ensure that the new system is easier to understand. She asked if there are any current problems that advances in technology would resolve, as it is expensive to replace meters, pay stations, etc. Ms. Velan noted that the parking garage technology was upgraded in 2016. That needs to be budgeted for if the Village wants to keep technology in the garages current.
Village President Pro Tem Tucker asked how the Transportation Commission is being utilized for this project. Ms. Velan compared this series of study sessions to those held for the I-290 expansion meetings in terms of looking at recommendations, getting public feedback, then holding a public meeting with the Village Board for input. One of the things agreed to in January was to include the Transportation Commission's recommendations. She explained the process and Village President Pro Tem commented that another opportunity for the public to engage in this is through the Transportation Commission meetings.
Assistant Director of Parking and Mobility Services John Youkhana noted that tonight's topic is on-street parking regulations for Austin Boulevard and Harlem Avenue. He stated that there are currently a number of restrictions on Austin. As Austin feeds into and exits off of the I-290, there is no parking during rush hour from 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Overnight parking has various time starts; 9:00, 10:00 or 11:00 p.m., typically ending at 6:00 a.m. In addition, there other time limits throughout the day, such as two hour parking during the hours of 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Staff is recommending to lift the two hour restriction. In addition, staff is recommending standardizing on-street overnight permit parking hours from 11:00 p.m. - 6:00 a.m., which coincides with previous recommendations from the Transportation Commission and has worked well in other zones. In addition, it will be easier for residents, as opposed to having various start times, as well as create shared parking for guests and permit holders before 11:00 p.m. Staff also recommends no changes for Harlem, as there are no restrictions in place. Staff would also like to investigate partnership with online parking technology applications, which can assist and encourage private parking space rentals. He discussed the list that the Village maintains regarding those spaces as well as how certain software applications can enhance that process. Mr. Youkhana and Ms. Velan answered questions from the Board.
Village President Pro Tem Tucker asked Transportation Commission Chair Jack Chalabian to give some background regarding how the commission has been engaged in this process and comment on its progress and how he sees this moving forward. Mr. Chalabian asked if the Village is creating a problem in order to find a solution or is there even a problem that needs to be solved. The fundamental issue that needs to be addressed going forward is going to become intense once the Village gets deep into it.
When the study was initiated, the commission was supportive of looking at the parking issue from a comprehensive standpoint. However, the commission has not gotten a clear response from staff as to what exactly their role is within this process aside from reviewing and commenting on the parking analysis. The commission is looking to be more involved but have not been engaged with staff since the initial review of the study.
Village Trustee Boutet stated that she would like to use the expertise of the Transportation Commission to identify the problems that they have been hearing about and to present their comments regarding what needs to be focused on. Village Trustee Andrews concurred.
Mr. Chalabian spoke highly of the web portal for comments created by Village staff. However, there will always be individuals that do not want to use that conduit. A live conversation that engages the public is needed. Village President Pro Tem Tucker stated that perhaps the Transportation Commission can be used as an additional interface for this topic. He commented that he is the Trustee Liaison to that commission and asked if it would be wise to meet with them and work out a way to use their expertise at the commission level and how to transfer that information to the Board.
Village Trustee Moroney asked if, with all the competing interests within the Village, they will get to a definitive place and not just trading one bad alternative for another. Mr. Chalabian was optimistic that there would be a significantly better outcome in the end.
Village Manager Pavlicek commented that once Village President Pro Tem Tucker meets with the Transportation Commission, their work plan, which will guide what they will be doing within the project, will be amended and brought to the Board.
It was moved by Village Trustee Andrews, seconded by Village Trustee Moroney, to adjourn. A voice vote was taken and the motion was approved. Meeting adjourned at 8:06 p.m., Monday, May 8, 2017.