Flossmoor firefighters honored for heroic actions during Hagen Lane blaze

Fire trucks and ambulances have gotten wider in recent years, according to Homewood public safety officials.

Streets haven’t.

Homewood trustees soon will consider two new limitations on vehicle parking aimed at improving public safety after Police Chief Bill Alcott presented the options at the board meeting on Tuesday.

If approved, one option would limit parking to one side of the street in areas where streets are too narrow to allow public safety vehicles to pass when vehicles are parked on both sides of the street.

Alcott said most of the narrow streets that would be affected are in Homewood’s Third Addition on the west side of the village. 

Flossmoor enacted a similar restriction last year.

Village Attorney Chris Cummings said the details of an ordinance to enact the new limitation were still being worked out, but the final document might not list individual streets affected. Instead, a definition based on street width would be included, probably applying the rule to streets less than 20 feet wide. 

Residents on affected streets would be notified and appropriate signs installed to alert residents of where the new rule applies, he said.

Alcott said officials are still studying the issue, but he thinks no more than 30 streets in the village will be affected.

“It’s all about public safety,” he said.

That’s also the purpose of a second proposal to limit the number of overnight parking exemptions issued by the village. 

Homewood has a ban on street parking between the hours of 2 and 6 a.m. The ban allows police to have a better idea which cars belong in a neighborhood and which ones might not, Alcott said. 

But it has been common practice in recent years to give exemptions to anyone who asks for them.

“We’re at the point now where everyone is getting exemptions,” Alcott said.

The result of so many exemptions is that sometimes vehicles from one household can cause parking congestion that affects neighbors.

Staff plans to propose limiting exemptions to three per household per year. The limit would not apply to temporary exemptions, which are granted when residents have overnight guests or host social gatherings. 

Village officials are also considering whether to impose a distance limit for exemptions and a small fee for acquiring them. If approved, vehicles would have to be parked within 300 feet of a residence. 

That would go into effect immediately. Alcott said if a small fee is added, it would begin when village stickers are sold in April 2017.

Village President Richard Hofeld also reminded residents that time is running out to get 2016 village stickers. After midnight on May 31, residents could be subject to a ticket for failure to display a sticker, and an additional $25 fee is added to the cost of a sticker.

Stickers can be purchased at Village Hall, 2020 Chestnut Road, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturday.

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