Flossmoor Village Board members Monday unanimously approved two changes in parking regulations. One affects nearly the entire village while the other is designed to alleviate morning traffic congestion at Parker Junior High School.
The first measure is a wide-ranging revision of residential parking regulations. Under an ordinance approved this week, parking will be restricted to the non-hydrant side of the street in most neighborhoods. In addition, parking will be prohibited on village streets following snowfalls greater than two inches. Village officials said the parking restrictions are needed so that fire trucks and other emergency vehicles can safely traverse Flossmoor’s streets under all types of conditions.
Under the second measure approved Monday, parking on the south side of School Street in front of Parker will be prohibited between 7 and 8 a.m. That side of the street will be a designated drop-off lane for students. Police and school officials met this summer to find the best way to alleviate heavy morning traffic congestion at the school.
The one-side-only parking restriction will go into effect Oct. 1 but actual enforcement of the new regulation will not begin until December. Police plan to issue warning tickets to anyone parking on the wrong side of the street during the first two months of the new ordinance.
Public Works Director John Brunke said Monday that he expects that new signs announcing the one-side-only and snowfall restrictions will be delivered to the village by September and installed in time for the start of the new regulations.
Flossmoor plans an educational campaign so that residents are aware they can only park on one side of the street. Kimberly Richardson, assistant to the village manager, said a number of steps are planned to inform residents of the parking changes. The village is sending out postcards to every household. A story is planned in the village newsletter and there will be announcements over social media. Village staff will make information on the changes available at Flossmoor Fest in mid-September.
Some areas of Flossmoor are exempted from the one-side-only regulations. Existing parking regulations remain in effect near schools, churches and parks. The downtown area is not affected by the new rules and the ordinance does not cover private streets in the village.
Meanwhile, signs will be posted along School Street announcing the morning parking restriction at Parker Junior High between Braemar Road on the west and Douglas Avenue on the east. Village board members also approved a change in signs along the west side of Douglas between School and Flossmoor Road. Signs that currently say “no parking” will be changed to say “no stopping, standing or parking.”
Deputy Police Chief Tod Kamleiter, who Monday requested the changes at Parker, said traffic congestion increased last year when starting times were adjusted and more parents started driving their students to school. Douglas has also become a common drop-off spot for some parents, he said.
Kamleiter met this summer with former Parker Principal Lynn Westerlund and a group of parents and said there was a consensus that offering a designated drop-off lane might alleviate the traffic problem.
David Kennedy, who took over as Parker’s principal last month, attended Monday’s meeting and said the drop-off lane looks like a good idea.
Parker officials plan to let parents know that the School Street parking restriction is going into effect.