Flossmoor to revisit downtown parking limits
By Sarah Zylstra Correspondent December 5, 2012 11:22PM
Updated: January 8, 2013 6:19AM
The Flossmoor Village Board will take another look at parking regulations in front of downtown businesses, where merchants and their employees must move their vehicles every few hours.
“I’ve been begging the mayor to take care of this,” said Anne Aboushousha, owner of Sweet Annie’s Bakery.
“Last week I was working my tail off, rushing around, and I rush out to move the car, and of course, I’m late. I’m always late,” she said.
She ran into a police officer ticketing her car with a $50 fine. Exasperated, she took the matter to the village board Monday.
Most parking spaces have time limits of about three hours, said Kimberly Richardson, assistant to the village manager. A few spots are only available for 15 minutes at a time, while others, off the main streets, can be used for four hours.
Parking times are limited to prevent train commuters from parking in the spots all day, village manager Bridget Wachtel said.
“If there are no time limits, there can be an encroachment of commuter parking into the downtown business area, thereby detrimentally impacting the businesses,” she said.
Wachtel said she will discuss parking options with the Flossmoor Business Association, of which Sweet Annie’s is a member, and bring back options for the village board to discuss.
“It’s been an age-old juggling act,” she said.
Long-term spaces are available for merchants to rent, but they cost $85 a quarter, which is too much, Aboushousha said.
“Customers want me to put my money into butter and eggs and chocolate,” she said.
Her employees — a single mom with three kids in high school and a 22-year-old fresh out of culinary school — also can’t afford the spots, she said.
Aboushousha said the need to move vehicles every couple of hours means employees and owners park close to their businesses, taking up parking that should be used by customers.
“If we didn’t have to worry about that, we’d park down the block or around the corner,” she said.
As it is, employees of the downtown businesses rush outside every few hours to switch parking spots, Aboushousha said.
“We’re just playing musical cars,” she said.