A municipality next door to O’Hare International Airport has pushed through a big increase in fines for illegal overnight truck parking.
Elk Grove Village has approximately 32,000 residents. Its eastern edge abuts the northwest corner of O’Hare. And with a significant industrial presence in the town, fueled in part by the proximity to O’Hare, the village believed it needed to take stronger steps against what it deemed excessive overnight truck parking.
Village officials did not respond to several phone calls from FreightWaves. But the head police official told local media that the changes, which went into effect May 6, were necessary given a reported rise in the amount of overnight parking.
“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,” Police Chief Chuck Walsh was quoted as saying in The Daily Herald, a newspaper that covers suburban Chicago.
The village board agreed with Walsh’s request to increase the minimum fine per offense to $300 from $30. The fine will be levied for parking illegally in areas throughout the town after 10 p.m. According to The Daily Herald, parking is prohibited between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., but a grace period means that the higher fines won’t be assessed against truckers until after 10 p.m.
The maximum fine that can be assessed is $750. It was not immediately clear what the maximum fine had been prior to the change.
The village has a ban on all parking on village streets between 2 and 5 a.m.
Matt Hart, the executive director of the Illinois Trucking Association, described Elk Grove Village as “one of the biggest transportation areas in the state” because of its proximity to the airport.
He said the airport’s location next to O’Hare has made the town a key area for warehouse operations. “It’s really no surprise that today, with so many demands on the trucking industry, that we would see many truck drivers just looking for a place to safely park.”
Hart said his organization had no contact with the Elk Grove Village police or the village board as it moved toward approval of the higher fines.
But he did say that among steps taken by Illinois localities frustrated with the amount of truck parking on local streets, “this is the most excessive one I have heard of.”
Other localities will “do their best to discourage truck parking,” Walsh said. “But by and large, most local governments understand how hard it is to work in this industry.”
In the newspaper story about the increased fines, Walsh said that between 7 and 10 p.m., police would tell drivers to “move along” before the higher fines were imposed.
In the article, Walsh provided a very specific timeline for when the parking situation in Elk Grove Village began to deteriorate: nine months ago. However, he did not provide any reason why the situation had become acute since last year.
Walsh cited truck parking availability at a Love’s Travel Stop in Elk Grove Village located at Busse Road as an alternative.
But the Trucker Path app recently announced the results of a survey regarding truck parking availability in various regions around the country. Asked to supply information on the availability of parking at that specific Love’s, a spokeswoman for Trucker Path demurred but did provide this statement: “Truck stop availability in that region of Illinois appears to be lower than the national average, according to input from the Trucker Path community of drivers.”
The Trucker Path app’s truck parking information, according to the spokeswoman, is based on “real-time input from the over 1 million drivers using the Trucker Path app.”