If you want to get something done in Naperville, just find one person to complain about it, and the city council is more than willing to use heavy handed methods of regulation to force residents into complying. A few years ago one resident complained that a bee was in her birdbath which then lead the city council to place restrictions city-wide on beekeepers. The city council’s effort to make life more miserable for honeybees failed miserably. As residents learned more about honeybees, beehives became more prolific, giving nature’s little friends more of an opportunity to help residents and nature.
The newest one-resident complaint involves 19 stand-alone driveway aprons in one neighborhood. An apron is the small area between the curb and the sidewalk. A property owner had parked on the apron which initiated the complaint. Naperville code allows parking on the apron as long as the vehicle does not overlap the sidewalk, even by 1/4 of an inch. Other than one person, neighbors in the area have no problem with the ‘offender’.
Enter the conversation at the dais, with solutions to the horrific ‘problem’, Naperville councilwoman Judy ‘chickens don’t bark’ Brodhead. Watch and listen as she advocates for ticketing the vehicle (into submission) followed by her incredibly creative idea of encouraging residents to purchase tiny little cars that can fit into the little tiny space.
Pay special attention at the end of her suggestion when she seeks affirmation which is met with silence, at which time she responds with “what are you going to do, say no to me”.
She will forever be remembered for her ultimate bit of wisdom when she said:
No one will say ‘no’ to her on that one.
First lets be clear, the area between the curb and sidewalk is called the parkway. When there is a curb cut with a solid surface covering a portion of the parkway to provide access to a driveway or parking area it is called a driveway apron. Naperville has very restrictive ordinances about parking, two of which is that first vehicles have to be park on a hard surface (no grass or gravel) and second that they can not in anyway encroach on the sidewalk.
There is no point in getting into a discuss of how much encroachment is a problem because any encroachment is an ordinance violation. Further if you did asked 100 people how much encroachment is acceptable you would most likely get 100 different answers. The person in a wheelchair or the mother pushing a carriage while walking past pedestrians going the opposite direction will tell you that frequently either they or the pedestrians have to leave the sidewalk and go on to the grass to pass each others so any encroachment into the sidewalk is going to be a problem for someone.
Vehicles parked in the parkway are not only unsightly they are a potential safety hazard (they block the view of traffic and pedestrians). Parkways and parking restrictions exist to make sure that traffic and pedestrians can be easily seen by other people operating a vehicle in the area.
If police can not pick and choose which laws to enforce residents should not be allowed to pick and choose with laws to obey.