Brookfield’s village board is poised to restrict parking on the 3700 and 3800 blocks of Arthur Avenue in response to complaints from residents that employees of a neighborhood business monopolize street parking there six days a week.
Arthur Avenue is the only street west of Maple Avenue where there are no parking restrictions in the 3700 and 3800 blocks. Over the years, the village board has moved to restrict parking on the 3700 and 3800 blocks of Eberly, Blanchan, Cleveland, Morton, Harrison, Raymond and Madison to Brookfield residents only from 7 to 9 a.m.
Those decisions, however, came in response to resident complaints over Metra commuters parking there before heading over to the Congress Park train platform. The issue on Arthur Avenue isn’t so much about commuters, though they have been known to park there occasionally.
Instead, the problem is employees of the Moore Construction Company/Unified Roofing, 9250 Southview Ave., who park on Arthur Avenue early in the morning and sometimes don’t return until late in the evening, neighbors say.
Despite the fact that there is some parking onsite at the business on the north and east sides of the building, employee vehicles spill over into the neighborhood.
“The issue has become very prevalent in the last couple of years,” said Sharon Schmidt, who lives across the street from the construction company. “They are there from before 7 in the morning until well after dark. We have as many as 11 vehicles parked on Arthur Avenue going from the stop sign as far north as about five houses.”
The parking crunch is especially severe on street-sweeping days, when parking is limited to one side of the street,” Schmidt said.
“When you’re talking about street cleaning, there’s nowhere for residents to park,” Schmidt said.
While commuters have been an occasional parking nuisance, Schmidt said she preferred them to the employees, because they arrive later in the morning and are gone earlier in the evening.
Schmidt said the last straw was a situation a couple of weeks ago when she came home late in the morning after working a 12-hour overnight shift and there was nowhere to park on the south half of the block.
“Not one car that was parked on the block that day was registered in Brookfield,” Schmidt said. “That seems a little unfair.”
The owner of the business, Michael Moore, who was on vacation last week, did not respond to a phone message from the Landmark prior to press time.
Brookfield Village Manager Keith Sbiral said his staff will reach out to Moore to talk about parking options. Sbiral also said his staff was looking more comprehensively at parking restrictions throughout the village and particularly around the railroad line to make sure they make sense.
There are spaces available both north and south of the tracks, along Brookfield and Burlington avenues, and at the commuter parking lot just south of the Congress Park train stop. Those options require paid permits.
“If there is opportunity for shared parking amongst these businesses, I would love to encourage that,” said Trustee Michelle Ryan. “This is a great scenario for something like that.”
But trustees didn’t appear ready to simply allow any company’s employees to crowd out residents looking to park near their homes.
“Our streets can’t become their employee parking lot,” said Trustee Michael Garvey. “I’m glad the business is doing well, but they can find other parking.”
The village board could act to restrict parking on Arthur Avenue as soon as June 26, when they are scheduled to meet again.