With a split vote from the village council, Forest Park will see a new, and hopefully less complicated, rate structure in the municipal lots along Madison Street. At their Nov. 13 meeting, commissioners voted to do away with 12-hour parking offered at 114 meters along the retail corridor. The move was touted as a potential boon for local businesses by encouraging turnover, and as a simplification of an illogical system.
What stands now is a two-tiered rate structure for 173 metered parking spaces in the affected lots. Between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., motorists will be charged 50 cents per hour with a two-hour maximum. From 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., the fee increases to $1 per hour with a four-hour limit.
The proposal was originally brought before the council in October, but disagreements kicked the plans back to village staff for more work. Village Administrator Mike Sturino made only a few changes, namely the decision to allow cars to park at the metered spaces until 6 a.m.
Overnight parking will also be allowed at Constitution Court. Technically, this doesn’t require a change to the village’s ordinance, Sturino said, though a sign in the parking lot that says parking overnight is prohibited must be taken down. Forest Park never had an ordinance restricting motorists from leaving their cars there overnight, Sturino said, but the village was enforcing it as such.
The new parking rates will take effect “in the next few weeks” when the village installs an electronic payment system and the existing coin operated meters will be removed.