Flossmoor’s one-side-only parking regulations officially took effect last week but actual enforcement of the new law is still nearly two months away.
In the meantime, village officials continuing their education campaign so that residents know about the parking changes, and how they are likely to affect everyday life in Flossmoor. They continue to stress that the new law is all about public safety and not aimed at issuing a flurry of tickets for illegal parking.
As the law became official Oct. 1, public works crews had already finished putting up new signs announcing the parking changes. They call attention to the two main features of the new law – in most neighborhoods, parking will only be allowed on the non-hydrant side, and no street parking will be permitted following snowfalls of two inches or more.
The police and public works departments are fine-tuning the law to accommodate a few locations around the village, Deputy Police Chief Tod Kamleiter said last week.
For instance, he said, there are some blocks where there are already specific parking prohibitions on the non-hydrant side. The village is identifying those locations and removing the signs that conflict with the new ordinance.
Also, there are a few locations where hydrants are located on both sides of the street. Kamleiter said this appears to be most common on streets like Hutchison Road and Travers Lane in the Flossmoor Park area.
“There’s one block of Hutchison where there are literally hydrants across the street from each other,” he said. The newer of the two hydrants was installed as part of the village’s ongoing water main replacement program. The older of the hydrants is no longer working and will be removed by public works crews.
A handful of Flossmoor streets have cul-de-sacs and that has led to some confusion about the new parking regulations, Kamleiter said.
“When the two sides of the street come together, and that’s where the hydrant is located, it’s not clear how (the new regulations) apply,” he said.
However, all those questions will be answered by the time enforcement begins on Dec. 1, he said.
The new parking law will be in effect in nearly every Flossmoor neighborhood. The downtown area will not be affected by the one-side-only regulations and neither will areas adjacent to schools, churches or parks.
Kamleiter said police officers are already letting residents know when they are parked on the wrong side of the street. This month, they are putting informational cards on the windshields of cars parked on the hydrant side. In November, they will start passing out warnings. Ticketing starts in December.
In the past, residents have gotten permission for restricted parking from the police department for events like family parties and garage sales. Kamleiter said those special event parking restrictions can still be requested. If the street is wide enough, parking on both sides may be considered.
“Our ultimate concern is the safety of our residents, and accessibility for fire trucks and squad cars,” he said. “We have to make sure that our largest fire apparatus can make it down the street without any obstructions.”