O’Hare Airport, one of the busiest freight airports in the United States, has a truck parking issue. In the northwest corner of the airport lies Elk Grove Village, a suburban community built around the industry brought in by the airport.
Like most U.S. cities and towns, it has its parking issues. But instead of trying to develop solutions, Elk Grove Village chose the heavy-handed approach and upped its penalty scheme 10-fold. Parking tickets for commercial vehicles are now $300, up from $30. There is a maximum fine of $750, but there is no sign that the big fist has dropped that amount yet.
What happened to being “a friendly city”?
FreightWaves’ John Kingston broke the story this morning, and has been trying to contact local officials. The local police chief, Chuck Walsh, has been quoted by The Daily Herald as saying, “We want to be business-friendly during the day, but at night when the factories are closed, there’s no reason for the streets to be filled.” Apparently the chief doesn’t realize that if you want trucks to service your town, they need a place to go (and/or park).
The new Love’s Travel Store that opened last year was filled to capacity almost as soon as the ribbon was cut. And getting more spaces for trucks is hard, as most town leaders see them as undesirables as soon as the products they carry are received. But trucks (and their drivers) have a right to safe harbor. So why don’t these civic leaders do their job and try to make logistical parking part of the town’s industrial expansion projects? Oh, yeah… truck parking does not generate tax revenue like a 300,000-square foot warehouse does…