Ticket crackdown targets high school Metra lot scofflaws
The Buffalo Grove Police Department is going to ramp up tickets this fall for illegally parked cars in the Metra station near Stevenson High Schoo.. and New ashpalt was recently laid down to upgrade the lot. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 3, 2012 6:09AM
With the assistance of Vernon Township and the Buffalo Grove Police Department, some Stevenson High School students will likely get an extracurricular education in economics once school begins again.
Teens who try to prevent the subtraction of cash from their wallets this fall by parking in the nearby Metra lot without a permit may instead see a greater deduction, in the form of parking tickets.
Township officials said this week that they are renewing efforts to get students to buy permits for the about 75 spaces reserved for them in their nearby lot. Sharon Weiher, who handles parking for the township, said most of their Patriot guests are their legally, but that the problem is sometimes big enough for them to ask for police help.
“It’s kind of cyclical,” Weiher said Monday. “Sometimes you get a batch that pays all the time, and sometimes you get a batch that doesn’t.”
Should this fall’s batch prove to be cheapskates, they will encounter take-home assignments from Buffalo Grove officers. Although the school campus is in Lincolnshire and the neighborhood next to it in unincorporated Lake County, Buffalo Grove annexed the lot about five years ago.
And although the lot is there to serve commuters using Metra trains, it is owned and maintained by Vernon Township; the agency has an agreement to offer spaces to Stevenson students, the majority of whom are ineligible to park in the school’s lot. Only seniors may apply for one of SHS’ 660 student spaces, which Mark Michelini, assistant superintendent for business, said cost about $300 annually.
Those permits sell out every year, Michelini said — and though the district’s enrollment is dropping, it is improbable that the demand for parking there will ever be satisfied.
“If you were a taxpayer, would you want us to build a garage?” he asked. “A parking deck would be above and beyond.”
He said the school was grateful for the township opening its lot to students.
“What’s nice about it is they have excess parking there,” Michelini said.
The Metra lot is about a one-mile walk west of Stevenson’s main door — if the kids stay on the sidewalks, and do not partake of the tempting shortcuts through the yards of the houses in between. That has been a problem in past years — as has the residents of the neighborhood between the lot and the school leasing spaces on their driveways, a practice Lake County outlawed a year ago.
A permit from August through the end of the year in the Metra lot is $110, Weiher said, and can be purchased at the township’s office, 3050 N. Main St. in Buffalo Grove.