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updated: 4/14/2014 6:03 PM

Residents in certain neighborhoods consulted on odd/even parking

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Residents of two neighborhoods in Elgin will be asked if they want to try odd/even street parking as the city implements reduced parking fines.

Odd/even street parking means parking is allowed on the side of the street with addresses ending in an odd number on odd numbered days, and vice versa.

The NorthEast Neighborhood Association area and the Sunset Park neighborhood are good candidates after some residents and council members expressed interest in that, City Manager Sean Stegall said last week.

Odd/even parking takes place only in the historic district and the Southwest Area Neighbors area.

The practice makes it easier to plow snow, pick up leaves and deal with nuisances such as abandoned cars, Stegall said.

Staff also proposed reducing parking fines from $50 to $25, and issuing two written warnings before that.

City council members said they liked both ideas. The less expensive fines are expected to take effect as soon as the council votes, possibly next week.

The warning system would go into effect in a couple more months, Stegall said.

Councilman John Steffen said he liked the warning idea. "We don't have to be so punitive in order to get compliance."

City staff will first give presentations about odd/even parking for residents of NENA and Sunset Park, and later survey residents' opinions via postage-paid response cards.

Should a majority of residents want the new parking, the city will go ahead with a trial period of nine months to a year, Stegall said.

It will be up to the city council to make that permanent, he added.

The city's police, fire and public works departments could provide data about where odd/even parking might be needed elsewhere in Elgin, Councilman John Prigge said.

Any concrete action should have residents' support, Councilman Terry Gavin said. "Taking parking away from people can be a very sensitive issue," he said.

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