New changes mean more options for parking

Commuter lot opens for daily parking, permits now come in weekly, monthly increments

Commuters who aren't traveling into the city every day now have the option of paying for daily parking.

Instead of having to purchase a six-month blue permit for $316.50, commuters now can pay by $3.50 a day, plus a small processing fee, to park in the village lot north of the tracks off Washington Street.

Signs posted at the lot include a QR code for drivers to pay by text.

Blue permits also will be sold by the week for $22.50 and by the month for $53.50.

"I don't know if this is the new normal or not at this point," said Brad Bloom, assistant village manager. "I know ridership is down significantly, especially on Mondays and Fridays, according to the information we get from Metra."

Even midweek, ridership is at only 46 percent of prepandemic levels, Metra officials told the village two months ago.

"If you look at the capacity of our parking lot on Mondays and Fridays, you can see that," Bloom said. "We used to have a three-year waiting list for blue permits and only open it to village residents."

Daily and permit parking also will be available in the lot behind the post office off Garfield Street, along Burlington Avenue between Garfield and Washington and Hinsdale Avenue between Lincoln and Grant streets (see blue areas map).

The spaces along Burlington have been designated as "premium parking." Designed to be used for the short term, these spaces cost $10 a day.

Commuters also now have the option to purchase permits through a portal on the village website at

Village officials reminded employees and merchants that they should use the parking deck or purchase a permit to park in a red zone.

"Village enforcement efforts have found that rather than parking in areas designated for employees and merchants, some users are parking within the three-hour permit zone intended for customers," Police Chief Brian King told The Hinsdalean. "Then these parkers are moving to the commuter lots."

Previously commuter lots were free after 9:30 a.m. Now a driver must have a blue permit or pay the daily fee to park there any time between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Red permits cost $180 for six months or $31.50 per month. Purchasers must provide documentation that they work in downtown Hinsdale.

Free six-month permits for the purple parking zone - along Hinsdale Avenue between Grant and Clay Streets - are available for merchants and employees.

"Hopefully people take advantage of that," Bloom said.

Village officials' main objective is to keep the three-hour free parking spaces downtown available for those who are shopping, dining or obtaining services there.

"The goal of the village's parking management in the central business district is to open up spaces for the benefit and use of our retail customers," King said.

The village also is selling permits for Hinsdale Central students to park at Robbins Park. Thirty permits are available for $400 a semester on a first-come, first-served basis.

Bloom said the village will continue to monitor parking.

"We're willing to make adjustments to this and we know we're going to have to," he said. "We'll have to see how people's parking habits change and what happens with demand."

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean