Village Wants to (Officially) Make Train Station Parking Lots Free on Holidays, Weekends

Amendments to the ordinances dealing with Tinley Park commuter lots would waive fees on holidays, weekends and weekdays after 10:30 a.m. Currently, the village doesn't enforce parking restrictions during those times.

Call it words needing to speak as loud as actions when it comes to proposed amendments to the Tinley Park ordinances regulating the commuter parking lots the village runs near the Oak Park Avenue and 80th Avenue Metra stations.

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The planned changes would make parking free in certain circumstances, codifying enforcement practices that are already in place. To park in the station lots, commuters can purchase a permit on a quarterly basis or pay a $1.50 daily fee with cash or special tokens that can be purchased at the Village Clerk's office or at the Tinley Park Police station.

The amendments would let drivers park without a permit or paying the fee in the following cases:

  • after 10:30 a.m. on weekdays
  • weekends
  • holidays

While ordinances currently don't make those exceptions, the village isn't out enforcing those infractions, trustee David Seaman said Tuesday, Nov. 13, during a joint meeting of the Village Budget, Audit and Administration and Finance and Economic Development committees.

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"This is really a cleanup [of the ordinances]," said, Seaman, who also is chairman of the finance committee. "This isn't necessarily a change from past practice."

Stimulating business, especially along Oak Park Avenue, is much of the reason parking restrictions for the lots aren't enforced during those specified times, Seaman added. Also, by keeping the lots free during the evenings, it gives people who might have had too much to drink while out at a downtown restaurant or bar the option to park overnight and take a cab home, trustee Brian Maher said.

There was some debate Tuesday over which holidays should receive "free parking" status. But officials decided to stay with the 10 days that Village Hall is closed. Those include:

  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Presidents Day
  • Good Friday
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day (and the day after)
  • Christmas Day

"The only two days we might see a loss [in parking revenue] are Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day," trustee Tom Staunton said. "The rest of the holidays are pretty sparse."

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Maher said the enforcement additions will create consistencies between the Oak Park Avenue lot and the lot at the newly renovated 80th Avenue station. The amendments also will incorporate changes in the state law concerning disabled parking, he added.

These revisions won't be official until they come before the Village Public Safety Commission, which Maher chairs, and are then approved by the Village Board.


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