NILES - City officials are looking to ban late-night parking on city streets to help the safety forces.
City Council members at their meeting on Wednesday voted 6-1 in favor of the ban in a second reading to legislation that would prohibit parking on city streets between 2 and 6 a.m. daily.
Ten residents attended a public hearing on the overnight parking regulation proposal, which is scheduled for final reading at the July 16 meeting.
Councilman at-large Reggie Giancola, safety committee chairman, said residents will still be able to speak on the matter before council takes final action next month.
Giancola said the restrictive hours is a safety issue because of problems with hit-and-runs of vehicles parked on the streets and the breaking of vehicle windows. The restrictions will also help with thefts and break-ins, allowing for getting license number of vehicles on street during the night that shouldn't be there, he said.
Officials said the street sweeper can't sweep streets due to the vehicles either.
''Our streets are not parking lots. They should be kept open at all times,'' Giancola said.
Giancola had said that driving late in the city one weekend, officials counted 256 vehicles parked on streets, even next to open driveways.
If the ordinance passes, there will be a 60-day grace period during which vehicles on roads will have typed notices placed on their windshields. After the 60 days, violators will be ticketed.
Fourth Ward Councilman Ed McCormick said council will review comments from people who spoke both for and against the legislation.
''This was at the request of the safety forces. We have some narrow streets and fire engines and other safety vehicles can't always get through and there is also the concern of accidents when it is very dark on the roads,'' McCormick said.
He said with the streets cleared it may also help curb burglaries at night.
Casting the ''no'' vote was Third Ward Councilman Ed Stredney.