47th Ward Permit Parking Task Force Releases Findings

By Patty Wetli | Monday, January 30, 2012

Permit Parking Task Force attempts to improve broken system. Credit: Patty Wetli

Convened in August 2011 by Ald. Ameya Pawar, the 47th Ward’s Permit Parking Task Force has now released its assessment, which boils down to: can’t live with it, can’t live without it so let’s try to fix what’s broken. Findings and a plan of action going forward were originally presented Jan. 18 and will be shared again tonight, Jan.30, 6:30 p.m., at the Bethany Retirement Community, 4950 N. Ashland Ave. Whereas the first meeting focused on permit parking issues surrounding Lincoln Square, the second will address the Ravenswood Metra area. A third meeting, yet to be scheduled, will cover permit parking in the section of the ward south of Montrose Avenue.

The primary aim of the task force: to remedy failings of the current permit process, while balancing the pros and cons of a system that benefits some while frustrating others. On the one hand, according to the report, “a resident shouldn’t be subject to unreasonable parking restrictions.” On the other hand, “a resident shouldn’t be subject to unreasonable excess of parking by non-residents.”

In assessing the parking situation, the task force concluded that the typical block can accommodate a maximum of 120 cars, whereas the densest blocks in the ward are home to nearly 400 housing units. Telling us what we already know, there is, quite simply, not enough space for all of us to park directly in front of our house or condo.

The task force determined that a two-block walk was the maximum distance a resident should have to park from their home. But with different permit parking zones surrounding certain blocks, overflow cars are frequently left with few, if any, nearby options. This led the task force to recommend the consolidation of multiple adjacent zones into a single zone, thereby establishing neighborhood zones.

Recommendations were also made regarding requests for new permit zones or changes to existing zones. Important criteria for consideration include:

  • Must be a clear and reoccurring major impact to parking on a block (ie, Cubs games, Metra)
  • Hours of restriction must match impact
  • 65 percent of housing units must be in favor

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  • http://spudart.org spudart

    People with cars amuse me. I like buses, trains, and bicycles.

  • Anonymous

    Parking permit zones should be very rare, time sensitive at a minimum, and reserved for areas of high impact (like around transportation hubs) or available for people with actual, impactful disability.  The notion that just because you own a private real estate parcel entitles you as an area resident to control anything on a public thoroughfare or right of way is not only nonsensical public policy, it’s patently unfair to those who paid for the infrastrure but are restricted from using it. Former Alderman Schulter’s 24/7 permit only zone on his own block, Bell Avenue, adjacent to Wells Park, is exhibit “A” for permit abuse, his protestations notwithstanding. 

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