This morning (1/31/06) the flood prone areas of the village commuter lot were closed by the village to prevent a repeat of the events of January 18th. Lest the Republican controlled village board believe that this “solves” the issue, it should be noted that ALL legal parking spaces in the commuter lot was taken as of approximately 8 AM (including the forty or so spaces behind the salt shed). Hundreds of commuters will need to be turned away — including a good number of commuters who prepaid for monthly spots.
There are several facts about the commuter lot that are indisputable: (i) a good portion of the lot is subject to flooding, (ii) nothing substantive has been done by the current republican controlled village board to improve the situation and (iii) without the flood prone spaces, there are not enough parking spaces for everyone who has pre-paid either $45 or $75 per month to park there.
These facts make the current situation at the commuter lot untenable. Because the Republican controlled board decided against reinvesting in the commuter lot in last year’s capital budget, they now have no choice but to forgo some of their precious parking revenue. To be perfectly blunt, you can not sell parking to 1,000 commuters if you only have 700 or so available spaces. Doing so is not only unethical, but it also exposes the village to liability from commuters, consumer protection groups and possibly the state attorney general.
While the village board took the step of commissioning yet another study in its last work session held on January 23rd, 2006, immediate action must be taken. Steps that need to be taken now include: (i) reducing the number of spaces reserved for daily parkers, and (ii) placing a moratorium on the sale of any new non-resident parking permits (I believe that residents are guaranteed permits, so nothing can be done in that regard). Its time for Republican controlled village board to face the facts and realize that the money train that was the commuter parking lot has stopped and it is now time to pay the fare.
— David Becker