An Open Letter to those who run Forest Park:

If you want people to patronize the shops in your village, perhaps do something about all of the broken meters along Madison Street that won’t take change, so your only choice is pay the exorbitant 45-cent fee on a 25- to 50-cent parking cost, or use a CC, or stop ticketing people until they get fixed.

It was pitiful enough that Forest Park decided to sink to the level of Oak Park and implement paid parking via the use of the inconvenience meters that are few and far between. When I called (the police department apparently) to report a broken meter, the answer I got was: “We’re aware they’re broken, we’re looking into it, we’re going to ticket you if you don’t feed the meter, we won’t give you a pass because the meter you must use is broken, go elsewhere to park.” And then they hung up. They literally told me to park elsewhere. Like where, Oak Park?

I’m a customer and that response is unacceptable and will keep me from patronizing anyplace in Forest Park until it’s warm enough to ride my bike as I refuse to put any more money into the police department or village coffers.

If you’re wondering why people continue to shop online and aren’t coming back to the brick & mortar stores, you only need to look at the policy of your local police department. The meters were broken last July, but then the FPPD was responsive and sent out someone to look at it and asked me for my license plate. So this is a long running issue, which they don’t seem motivated to fix. Why fix a meter that’s collecting $0.25-$1 at a time, when you can just ticket unsuspecting customers and reap $25 or $30 or more in parking fees/customer? I feel sorry for your chamber of commerce members, who try and eke out a living during these challenging times in a “village” that seems to enjoy putting up road blocks to their customers. 

This is one customer who won’t be back.

Donna Oswald