Free parking for electric vehicles in Oak Park

By Julie Wernau
Posted Nov. 17, 2010 at 12:31 p.m.

Beginning next year, electric vehicle owners park for free in the Village of Oak Park. An ordinance, passed this week by the Oak Park Village Board of Trustees, also gives plug-in vehicle owners free parking at meters and in Village lots and garages as well as Village vehicle stickers at no charge.

“We realize that this step is largely symbolic at this time, given that all-electric vehicles are just beginning to become available,” said Village Manager Tom Barwin.

“But some of the best and brightest in the world are working on electric vehicle technology because they know it will create an economic revolution unlike anything seen in our lifetimes,” he said. “Oak Park intends to be a part of this paradigm shift to a new power source reality.”

Several automakers are rolling out plug-in electric vehicles by the end of 2010 and Ford announced this week that Chicago will be among the first cities to receive the all-electric Ford Focus in late 2011.

At least two charging stations are planned for Oak Park through a collaboration with Commonwealth Edison and I-GO car sharing.

Barwin said the ordinance — the first of its kind in the region — is an attempt to encourage adoption of the electric vehicles, which do not rely on gasoline. The village maintains one of the region’s largest alternative-fuel municipal vehicle fleets, is building a green public Works Center and is planning solar collectors to supply the energy needs for a public parking garage.

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  1. OPisNuts Nov. 17, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    “Oak Park intends to be a part of this paradigm shift to a new power source reality” – Reality??? this is the same nutjob town that lets people have chickens in their yard and couldn’t figure out how to pay the parking meter people after raising the rates so high no one parks there any longer and take their business elsewhere. Oak Parkers, check the history of your town and all the businesses that have left over the years. Remember, you vote these nutjobs in to office. Good Luck. I’d say god bless you but I might receive a violation from the village.

  2. RIver Forest Nov. 17, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    This is utter nonsense. Anyone thinking electric cars is “saving the planet” obviously does not understand how electricity is produced….Dumbos!!!! But in a good way owning an electric car helps to keeps coal miners employed. The joke’s on the stupid “save the planet” morons.

  3. whatever Nov. 17, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    why is it always verbal attacks that come out as comments here?
    does it really make you that angry?

  4. tom0942 Nov. 17, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    How politically correct.

  5. jj Nov. 17, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    The Dumbos are those who think we in the Chicago area get our power from coal. By far the vast majority of our power (Exelon) is Nuclear (no carbon emissions, but has that waste problem), not coal. In fact, we will soon get more from wind than we do coal.

  6. dontbejealous Nov. 17, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    I, for one, think this is a wonderful incentive the vilage is offering. If you dont like it, stay out of Oak Park. Simple as that. Can’t afford an electric car?? Then you certainly can’t afford to live in OP. You may drive through to enjoy the beauty, but please don’t stop.

  7. OPer Nov. 17, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    If every village did as much as OP does to conserve energy and promote the “green movement” it might actually make a different. If you aren’t part of the solution you ARE part of the problem. Have fun in Berwyn.

  8. RIver Forest Nov. 17, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I would like to see you get your power from Wind – another joke on you “save the planet” morons! Admit it – there is no substitue for OIL and the combustion engine…now if the environmentalists would just let us DRILL for oil we would have no problems. And if you think your Nuclear power plants will remain open much longer you again are being DUPED! not with that WASTE problem.

  9. Fink-Nottle Nov. 17, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    dontbejealous is a typical Oak Parker. They love to talk about diversity, but what they really believe is “you certainly can’t afford to live in OP. You may drive through to enjoy the beauty, but please don’t stop.”

  10. ex OPer Nov. 17, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    So glad I left oak Park… I never shared the same mentality as OPer, I barely could afford to live there, and it wasn’t that great anyway, crime is on the rise there, (I was robbed by the Green line, and they broke into my building’s basement and stole my 3 bikes too… 2 crimes in 1 year) and all because they let themselves be robbed by leaving the door open at night, and feeling pity for the poor poor robber.. and someone above is right, the stores are closing and its way too much money to even spend time there … now watch the parking rates go up (as if $90/3 months of parking [on the street, not a lot] wasn’t enough) for you guys!! Senseless silly OPers, its WAAAAAY too liberal there..

  11. OPer Nov. 17, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    You get what you pay for in OP. Tax rates are certainly quite high… And we pay these and get a lot in return. Wonderful schools, amazing parks, easy access to the city via green and blue lines, so on and so on. There is crime everywhere, especially right next to the Austin district. The majority of us may be extremely liberal, but we certainly dont leave our doors un locked “for the poor poor robber”. And to Rlver Forest, its people like you that will ultimately destory our planet. Maybe a few more oil leaks like the recent bp spill in the gulf will teach you something about drilling. God forbid we look for alternative source, something different than our country has been using for the last century. You will be the one SOL when its all gone. I will park my ELECTRIC car in OP for FREE instead.

  12. dontbejealous Nov. 17, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    If i didn’t know any better I would say OPer is my next door neighbor. I’ll see you at the next board meeting. lol I Fuxxing love Oak Park.

  13. nkelly Nov. 17, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I live in Oak Park and I don’t share the views of anyone on this board.
    And by the way, anyone CAN afford to live here, because everyone is foreclosing.

    dontbejealous, I strongly doubt you live in Oak Park.

  14. dontbejealous Nov. 17, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    lol, is this because you wouldn’t want to live near me?? Maybe ill see you at the cheese market, or possibly the dog park at ridgeland. either way, im here to stay. “everyone is foreclosing”???? I think not.

  15. OPer Nov. 17, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    dontbejealous, I certainly hope you aren’t my next door neighbor. Simple as that.

  16. Please Know What Yr Talking About Nov. 17, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    wow…i can’t hold back.

    1. This is a great initiative as long as the loss in revenue is not picked up by the rest of parkers in OP.

    2. Electric cars..from production of electricity and how it gets to the car is not only FAR cheaper than gas (to produce and for the consumer), but it pollutes less. This fact has been proven over and over. I agree, coal fueled energy is dirty and needs to be phased out though.

    3. Now, as being someone who lived in Oak Park…I think their on-street parking rules are ridiculous and only hurt people who are not fortunate enough to own/rent property with a off street parking option.

    BUT, please don’t let the price of parking influence your decision if this is a positive plan or not. To the guy who said we need to drill more (River Forest)…did you see the BP oil disaster? “Drill away,” huh…what are you thinking?

  17. OPer Nov. 17, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Well said

  18. Jmagera Nov. 17, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    In protest, I suggest parking spaces be tied up by bicycles.