Des Plaines

Air travelers parking for free on residential streets in Des Plaines could soon be ticketed

NBC Universal, Inc.

Just north of O'Hare International Airport is the suburb of Des Plaines, a city of over 60,000 with many residential areas.

With its proximity to the airport, some air travelers have utilized these residential areas as free parking lots before they depart on their flight.

Residents say it’s happening on streets closest to the airport at all times of the day in recent weeks.

“They come here – park, then call an Uber to go to the airport,” Millie Phillips told NBC Chicago. “What they are doing is trying to avoid paying the parking, and it is not right. They are taking up space that belongs to the neighbors. They just don’t want to pay a parking fee.”

Mark Walsten, the 6th Ward Alderperson in Des Plaines, says that he has seen it happen as well, and wants to take concrete action against the trend.

Walsten is asking the city to consider putting up resident parking signs only on several streets in his ward first, followed by tickets to travelers who leave their vehicles parked for several days at a time. The restriction would be police-enforced, who would respond to resident complaints.

The alderperson added that he had not determined how much a potential fine would be, saying that he wouldn't want it to be low enough to where people would rather pay the ticket than the parking fees at O'Hare.

The proposal could be voted on by the Des Plaines City Council next month.

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