Friday [June 28] was the last day for residents of Berwyn to acquire the city’s necessary parking stickers while avoiding doubling fees. Finding myself among those at city hall at 3:30 p.m. this afternoon, I expected to find a line, but assumed after a wait I would acquire my required sticker.
This was naive on my part as I noticed a line snaking through the entire city hall, only two or three people processing payments and hundreds waiting. Those at the front informed us they’d been there at least three hours, and I soon discovered the back of the line was the courtroom, where a seat on a hard bench next to dozens awaited me.
Why were we forsaken? As we were informed by a parking official multiple times, we lacked a pre-printed form sent to us by the city. Such a form allows you to bypass the lines, but if you have a new car, or are a new resident like me, you’re not sent such a form. Instead, you are gifted with the privilege of a line that I left after two hours, informed it would be at least three more [five hours for parking stickers] to acquire what I needed.
There I sat, slowly shifting benches for two hours, waiting while older people struggled with the stiff old benches and parents worked unendingly to keep squirming kids quiet. Need a drink? Restroom? Sure, but you aren’t getting your sticker today.
All the while, a parking official worked the room with one or two police officers, informing us that unless we were accessing parking-related information, our phones would need to be off “or we may be removed.”
Yes, I saw working moms forced to tell tired and overheating kids to turn off devices over concerns of what cops might do to them – over parking stickers.
Mayor [Robert] Lovero, we understand lines and we understand deadlines. We also understand efficiency, and a sense of decency. We also have votes. Consider that in how you assess your department’s handling of this situation.