Owners of pickup trucks would have to pay a new $350 annual fee to park in front of their homes under a plan to be discussed by Evanston City Council members Monday.

In addition to targeting light trucks that carry “B” plates, the new fee would also be imposed on passenger cars with fleet or “FP” plates.

Only vehicles that did not have attachments to the front, sides or rear would be issued the permits. Forbidden attachments would include a plow, trailer or side ladder.

And, no more than 200 of the new permits would be issued. That would accommodate about 20% of the B-plate vehicles that now pay Evanston’s wheel tax.

Interim Administrative Services Director Michael Rivera says issuing permits to more B-plate vehicle owners “could cause significant congestion” on certain residential streets.

The proposal from city staff is the latest round in a months-long effort to develop a solution that would let owners of light trucks and persons who drive fleet-owned cars home from work park on residential streets overnight without having the curb clogged with commercial vehicles.

The current city ordinance bars overnight parking of commercial vehicles on mostly residential streets and wherever signs are posted indicating that parking is for passenger vehicles only.

Vehicles with company logos on them are most likely to get tickets, but under the existing ordinance the absence of logos doesn’t make it legal for the designated types of vehicles to park overnight.

The proposed ordinance would also create a $30 parking permit fee for passenger vehicles that have commercial markings. Passenger cars whose only commercial marking was a small sticker for a ride-sharing service would not be classes as commercial vehicles.

The new permits would be limited to one vehicle per residential address.

Some council members have favored loosening the existing rules to let people park work vehicles in front of their homes, but others have objected to the proposed changes, saying streets in their neighborhoods already are congested with commercial vehicles.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Another example of how this City Council continues to think “big.” The pettiness of their agenda never ceases to amaze me. How about thinking of bigger issues like attracting businesses and residents to Evanston rather than giving them reasons to leave? Where is the Mayor on setting a substantive agenda and leading the City? The months long debate and ensuing leaf blower ordinance will be this Mayor’s and this Council’s crowning achievement. Well done!

    1. Winnetka is looking more and more appealing every day. The reasoning here is seriously flawed. I have a B plate truck and that is my only vehicle. If I didn’t have a garage, my choice would be to sell my vehicle, which I need several times a year to pull a trailer I park in another city, or to sell my house. If I sell my house, the buyer would almost certainly have a vehicle. How does this reduce congestion?

      1. You can still park your truck on the street, you just have a pay a higher registration fee–which makes sense since trucks take up more space and destroy the roads quicker. But this does mean that somebody with multiple vehicles used for business gets to park for free on the public’s dime. Don’t forget that trucks >6000lbs already get a way bigger write off on taxes if they’re legitimately used for business. It’s mainly the urban cowboys with a truck for style who get impacted by this.

    2. Joe, I couldn’t agree with you more. City Council? More like bubblegum council of Green Acres…

  2. So you could potentially be fined for parking a rental car with FP plates you’re using while your car is being repaired? How is this fair?

  3. And Evanston finds yet another way to drive people away. We’ve already decided to not stay here once out of school. As I talk to more residents, the general feeling is that the city always sacrifices good will for the sake of a few hundred dollars.

  4. This really does demonstrate how astoundingly elitist and out of touch our elected officials have become. And further down the rabbit hole we go.

  5. Seriously what is wrong with you council members? Old money folks who think they own the town yet fail to recognize other levels of economically struggling residents.
    Your infamous parking regulations and your police department personnel. Your beach entry cost .
    All for what purpose are you trying to inflict further financial burdens on your constituents?
    You’re city government. Totally living on another planet. Out of touch with reality in light of the current changing economic environment.

    You all should be voted out of office and let every day people set the rules .

  6. This looks like a regulation aimed at the working poor and an effort to drive them out of town. Has the Council done a study to determine the income and race/ethnicity of the owners of these trucks that are registered in Evanston? If we are talking about truck owners/drivers without sufficient driveways, this proposed regulation certainly will have a disparate impact on Evanston’s Latino population, as well as other hard working folk.

    And unless one person is parking his whole fleet on the street, a vehicle is a vehicle and to discriminate against truck owners is classist and wrong.

    The frustrations of congestion and limited parking have always been part of the deal with much of Evanston, as with Chicago. Anyone who has a problem with that should have known better before moving here and should consider a move out to a less urban area.

  7. More government attacks on small business owners. But boy, if you need a plumber, don’t complain when you can’t find one.

  8. Well it sounds like the busy bodies & Karen’s are back at it, trying to fix a non-problem. How about this for a solution: leave it alone!

  9. Who do these people think they are!? We pay house tax, road tax, school tax (even if we don’t have children in school), grocery tax, gas tax, death tax, property tax, clothing tax, and on and on! When social security starts you steal our income. (There’s a lot more about SS than this!). Now, you want to tax us for parking our truck and vehicle and say we can only have one vehicle to a residential house!? This is communism!

  10. This seems like another tax on poverty. If a person need a pickup truck for their job, and cannot afford a home with a driveway or garage, they have to pay more? Street parking is already more expensive, the risk of damage to your car is greater, and you are far more likely to be ticketed for minor parking infractions. Instead of making life harder for working class citizens, impose a tax on gas-guzzling high-performance sports cars or base the wheel tax on the value of the car.

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