Summit parking woes

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Summit parking woes

Couple takes troubles to the village board

By Steve Metsch

Parking is at a premium in Summit. And few know that better than Danny Spataro and Daniele Drain-Tinder.

After getting no help from their landlord, the couple brought its case to the Summit Village Board on Sept. 16.

They live in an apartment building at 6000 Archer Road, just south of the bridge. The problem, they told the board during the public comments portion of the village board meeting, is the parking.

That’s because seven to eight people live in one apartment in their building. And each one has a vehicle.

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Often times, that makes it difficult for Spataro and Drain-Tinder, who share one vehicle, to park in the lot beside their building.

“The problem is, you can’t have seven or eight people living in a two-bedroom (apartment). I’ve lived there 16 years, it started off with two of them, then they brought the whole family over. This has been going on five, six years,” Spataro said.

All the vehicles have Indiana license plates, he said, and don’t have Summit village stickers.

The family even uses an extension cord that’s run out of their window to an ice cream truck overnight, he said, adding “that’s a fire hazard.” But, for now, parking is their main concern.

Danny Spataro and Daniele Drain-Tinder addressed the Summit Village Board last Monday night about parking problems at their apartment building. (Photo by Steve Metsch)
Danny Spataro and Daniele Drain-Tinder addressed the Summit Village Board Sept. 16 about parking problems at their apartment building. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

“It’s so bad, I have to sometimes park two or three blocks away and walk home at 10 or 11 at night. That’s dangerous in Summit. It’s a little rough,” Spataro said.

“You hear about innocent people getting shot in the crossfire. I don’t want to be that next story because we have inconsiderate people (in our building),” he said.

Talking “numerous times” with their landlord has resulted in no changes, they said. And that’s why they brought their problem to the meeting, seeking help from the village.

Police Chief John Kosmowski said, “They used to park alongside the Public Storage, alongside that fencing, and we put signs up there. It looked like there were a lot of Indiana plates. They were ticketed a lot of times because my guys are watching over there.”

Kosmowski said he’d check on the extension cord, “make sure it’s not plugged in. The village (building) inspector will take it from there.”

Mayor Sergio Rodriguez acknowledged that parking “has always been an issue” in Summit.

“There’s no easy solution. You really can’t say people can’t live with you and you can’t tell them how many cars they can have.”

“It’s hard to enforce. I grew up (in Summit) in a family of 10 people in that house at one time. We had maybe four or five cars. We had room (to park)”

“We have to look at this. We’ve talked about some regulations we can do. It’s just a matter of putting it together. We don’t want to hurt landowners, but at the same time, safety is a key thing,” Rodriguez said.

“We don’t want to have 10 people living in an apartment and then there’ a fire one night. That’s our biggest fear.”

“We’ll definitely do more checking there, make sure everyone is registered,” he added.

Summit has looked into banning out-of-towners from parking on village streets, he said. “If you don’t have a Summit village sticker, you get a ticket. Berwyn does that. Cicero does that, too.”

How precious is parking at 6000 S. Archer?

Rather than drive, Spataro and Drain-Tinder, who is pregnant, walked from their apartment to the village board meeting. They didn’t want to lose their space in the parking lot.

In other action, the board approved by a 6-0 vote at contract for $12,000 with American Road Maintenance for pavement rejuvenation on 63rd Place.

A motion to approve a contract with MYS Inc., in the amount of $429,539 for work on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District’s Green Alley Program was tabled.

Dardovski made a motion to table the contract, and the trustees voted 6-0 to table the deal.

After the meeting, Dardovski said the village needs more information about the project before committing to it.

“It’s supposed to replace where they had concrete, so the water can go through it. It’s a new concept. How are they going to do with (snow) plowing? Is it going to be the same? And the cost? This is astronomical, it’s a half-million dollars,” Dardovski said

Rodriguez said there are many questions about the project that need to be addressed.

“The water has to go somewhere,” he said. “That’s the problem. With concrete, the (storm) sewers are going to be overwhelmed. We’re trying to find a solution.”

In public comments, the board heard from Beverly Bojanowski who is concerned about large, heavy trucks driving down residential streets. She asked the village to post weight limit signs. Rodriguez said staff will look into the idea.

Faye Watkins, who lives at the Summit Senior Villa near Argo Community High School, requested that the board place “no parking” signs near the building “because we only have one.”

They’re needed to have room to pick up and drop off seniors, some of whom have health woes, she said. Sometimes, she said, kids from the high school take up spaces near the senior villa.

“The problem is,” Trustee Marvel Parker said, “there’s a parking lot on 63rd (Street) that’s been closed to the kids. So, now there’s a squeeze for parking. The (school) buses are practically empty.”

— Desplaines Valley News

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Steve Metsch

Steve Metsch is an award winning veteran reporter who previously worked for the Daily Southtown Newspapers, Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times. Metsch is a writer and editor at the Southwest News Newspaper group based in suburban Chicago, and a freelance writer for a financial newsletter, a health magazine and the Naperville Sun.
Email Steve Metsch at sm4610@sbcglobal.net
Steve Metsch

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