Questions prompted by parking study

Regrettably, I have been unable to attend the public hearings about parking in Forest Park. However, I’ve reviewed the full parking study and have several questions regarding the matter.

1. Could the village purchase the vacant gas station property at the corner of Des Plaines and Madison for use as a parking lot? Seems like it has great access and wouldn’t require much site preparation. Maybe it wouldn’t be necessary to remove the underground gas tanks and pipes for a surface parking lot. If it is mandatory to remove the tanks, the village could do so and use the space as a temporary parking lot until a new large and more complex mixed use development could be developed including plenty of parking. The cost of the site prep could be included in the resale price to a private developer.

2. Has the possibility of angled parking on part or all of Madison Street or some of the adjacent side streets been explored as a way of increasing street parking?

3. There are two parking lots along the south side of Madison Street – one between Kay’s Bakery and Jerry Jacknow Realty and the one at Thomas and Madison, next to Doc Ryan’s. They are set back several yards from the sidewalk with paving, street furniture, and landscaping in between the sidewalk and the parking spaces. If the landscaped space next to the sidewalk were partly or totally replaced by parking spaces, my guesstimate is that perhaps 10 to 14 spaces could be provided between both lots. Of course, there’d need to be some attention to the aesthetics and some landscaping must be replaced. One of the lots is already owned by the Village so there would be no acquisition cost and nothing would be taken off the property tax rolls for increasing parking there.

4. Has anyone compared:

A. The cost of purchasing viable residences, demolishing them, disposing of the waste, and constructing a surface parking lot along with the permanent loss of property taxes of the demolished homes, versus

B. The projected increase in sales tax from the added sales resulting from providing a modest number of parking spaces at these sites?

Seems like it would take an awful lot of additional sales tax revenue to break even. And of course, the loss of treasured homes that real people live in can never be offset monetarily.

Shelley Sandow
Forest Park

Holiday giving

On behalf of the Forest Park Food Pantry, I want to thank Laurie Kokenes and the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce for their support. Our monthly and holiday food programs would not succeed without community involvement. The kindness shown to those less fortunate is very much appreciated. You have made it possible for many families to have a very happy holiday. Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year to everyone.

Beverly Thompson
Director, Howard
Mohr Community Center