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Schulter’s Last Minute Parking Zone – Update

By Mike Fourcher | Friday, June 24, 2011

The new parking zone on the block of 4300 N. Bell, Eugene Schulter's home block. Credit: Mike Fourcher.

UPDATE: Schulter responds. See at bottom.

On April 13, with just a month left before he was to leave office, then-Ald. Eugene Schulter (47th) successfully moved an ordinance through City Council that would create a special permitted parking zone on his home block of 4300 N. Bell Ave. It was one of 17 new permit parking zones legislated that day, and part of an extensive package of street redirections, tow zones and other traffic changes sponsored by Schulter that day.

The zone is a “All Day” zone, and took effect on June 9, 2011. Only cars with permit #1679 #1619 can park on the street – at any time.

But since the issue was first raised by the Inside Booster newspaper two weeks ago (there is no online version of the paper), we’ve heard from a number of you about the new permit. The zone and its creation is perfectly legal. In an older day, it would be considered a small perk of the office for out-going Aldermen.

What do you think? Should the permit zoning be allowed to stay? To remove it, new Ald. Ameya Pawar would have to sponsor legislation to remove the zone. Tell us in the comments!

UPDATE: Late this afternoon we received this response from former Ald. Schulter:

Mike,

I just read your article regarding the permit parking zone on the 4300 block of North Bell. I appreciate your concern and admire your dedication to the area through your journalism. There are a few issues I would like to address.

This issue had been under consideration for a number of years. While this area has increased in popularity with the many restaurants, entertainment venues and athletic programs offered nearby, parking has become an issue for residents. The office had received complaints from residents, who may not necessarily qualify for the traditional disabled parking zones, who were forced to walk several blocks while lugging groceries. Many of these residents were senior citizens.

Residents on the 4300 blocks of North Claremont, Oakley and Bell passed petitions for a permit parking zone. While an overwhelming majority of residents on Bell and Claremont showed support of the permit parking, residents on Oakley were opposed to the permit parking on their block. With the concerns of residents in consideration, I proposed an ordinance creating a permit parking zone on the 4300 blocks of North Bell and Claremont.

This permit parking zone was done only for the residents, not myself. As you may, or may not know, I am lucky enough to have a driveway and garage capable of parking in excess of 3 cars off of the street.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me.

Thanks for your consideration,

-Gene Schulter

A car ticketed this morning because it lacked the correct new zone permit. Credit: Mike Fourcher.

Ordinance to create Schulter parking zone

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  • Anonymous

    Unless there’s a specific reason (e.g. Wrigley Field, Metra station) I don’t think there should be ANY permit parking zones.  None.  This particular one should be removed as a signal that political favors won’t be tolerated under Pawar’s administration.

  • http://twitter.com/sidedownaudio Joshua Wentz

    If it’s such a bad thing, then shouldn’t we be annoyed with City Council?  I mean, I’d rather just have given him an unlimited free parking sticker or something, but unless the rest of the residents on that block are complaining about the new zone, no harm no foul.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Wood/100000243591998 Mike Wood

    As a matter of principle we should not be slipping “perks” to outgoing alderman into legislation. If the city council wants to formalize that perk than pass one bill stating that any outgoing alderman’s block becomes permitted upon leaving office.

    On the other hand, Alderman Pawar should should prioritize other issues for his time and capital. Perhaps he will act by example and not sponsor similar legislation when he moves up to his next office and leaves the city council.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Schipper/1316601065 Mark Schipper

    Mike did a nice job attributing this story to Inside-Booster. Jeff Borgardt broke it and reported it first last week. Our newspapers, Inside-Booster & News-Star, cover some of the same ground as Center Square, but also report on Edgewater, Andersonville, Rogers Park, Lincoln Park, and Lakeview. You can find us on Facebook at Inside-Booster & News-Star. We’ll begin posting stories there in the next week. Stay tuned for breaking news on a return to the internet via standard website. Thank you very much for the time, and tip of the cap Mike for making the attribution. Sincerely, Mark Schipper, Inside Publications

  • Anonymous

    This is terrible and my previous respect for Schulter has pretty much evaporated. These zones are an anathema to a healthy neighborhood and lead to an arms race between blocks to push parking demand onto your neighbors’ streets. A huge inconvenience to those on the block also who must now get yearly permits and have permits for their guests. The only times parking was difficult on this block was in the summer due to demand from Welles park. Makes city living a little less friendly to families which is the last thing we need right now.

  • Anonymous

    What I don’t get is that there wasn’t a parking problem on that block in the first place – now, with the permits, all the surrounding blocks have parking problems… a non-issue on one block became a problem all-around!  I can’t figure out how anyone benefitted – even the late-alderman!

    • Anonymous

      Let’s call him the “former” alderman.

  • Anonymous

    We live by Metra and asked for zoned parking during the day and Alderman’s office said “no- we don’t want to become known as the place with all zoned parking”  Guess that doesn’t count for his block.  Give him his own parking spot if you want- but don’t create zones for no apparent reason that make it hard for others to use our public streets. 

  • Anonymous

    I live right down block from Schulter.  I cannot tell you how hot under the collar I got when I saw that sign. I have been here for 13 years and have never had an issue parking. Other neighbors I have talked too feel the same. I think it should be removed. If not only for principle. It is this kind of action that Schulter has shown over & over I believe is why his hand picked cronie didn’t get elected and Ameya Pawar did. It’s already costing more than I could have imagined for the guest passes! Let’s have Schulter pay for our guest passes or get it removed! 

  • Anonymous

    I live right down block from Schulter.  I cannot tell you how hot under the collar I got when I saw that sign. I have been here for 13 years and have never had an issue parking. Other neighbors I have talked too feel the same. I think it should be removed. If not only for principle. It is this kind of action that Schulter has shown over & over I believe is why his hand picked cronie didn’t get elected and Ameya Pawar did. It’s already costing more than I could have imagined for the guest passes! Let’s have Schulter pay for our guest passes or get it removed! 

  • Anonymous

    If the residents don’t want it there is a procedure in place to have it removed.  They can petition for removal and should collect signatures from 80+% of the block for removal.  One signature per household required.  The majority rules and this would be the voice of the stakeholders involved.  No other voice matters.

  • http://artificialmemory.com/ artmem

    I’ve lived on that block for 12 years, and for the first few years, parking was never a problem, but as the neighborhood has become more popular, condos have gone up along Montrose, and more restaurants have opened in the area, parking has definitely become more difficult. The main problem, though, is Wells park. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to park blocks away because the block was filled with minivans from the parents of kids playing baseball in the park. It’s like that pretty much every evening and weekend all spring and summer long. 

    While I don’t like how it was done, and I’m against zoned parking in general, I have to say the parking situation on the street has improved tremendously since the restrictions went into effect. 

  • http://artificialmemory.com/ artmem

    I’ve lived on that block for 12 years, and for the first few years, parking was never a problem, but as the neighborhood has become more popular, condos have gone up along Montrose, and more restaurants have opened in the area, parking has definitely become more difficult. The main problem, though, is Wells park. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to park blocks away because the block was filled with minivans from the parents of kids playing baseball in the park. It’s like that pretty much every evening and weekend all spring and summer long. 

    While I don’t like how it was done, and I’m against zoned parking in general, I have to say the parking situation on the street has improved tremendously since the restrictions went into effect. 

    • Anonymous

      I’m sure it has improved. But those people (I like to call them “taxpayers”) continue to use the park. Where do they park now? You pushed the *hit downhill. This is how we wind up with zone after zone, block after block. How long will Oakley hold out? Then which block is next?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AEPXK5ZDVQXBWN466553NKYY5Q Burbgirl09

    I just moved to Chicago and went through the whole rigamarole (and expense) to get the city sticker etc. Once this sign went up, I had to take time off of work plus spend more dough for this parking permit. (FYI, correx needed above — it is permit #1619, as the photo shows.)  I guess this is my point-blank introduction to Chicago politics … this would never fly in NY.

    That said, I do think it has eased parking on the block, esp. w/r/t Welles overflow as others have noted. My bigger complaint (as a newbie) is the seemingly arbitrary street-cleaning days that strike without warning and leave unexpected tickets in their wake.

  • Anonymous

    There are now over 1,400 individual RPP zones in Chicago. That is a problem. Why are some people’s parking spaces more equal than others? If you reside in Old Town 1-block north of North Ave. you can’t park your car in Old Town 1-block south of North Ave. Why? We all pay for the streets and unless you have extenuating circumstances no RPP’s should be created. There are still RPP’s around Ravenswood and Edgewater Hospitals… those zones were put in to keep hospital employees from parking on residential streets. Well the hospital’s employees are long gone but the RPP live on. Long after the Schulter Family has moved on that RPP zone will still live on in infinity. They never go away. As Orwell said in Animal Farm: “Some animals are more equal than others.”

  • Sarah Dandelles

    I’m genuinely surprised that this came from Alderman Schulter who seemed to resist permit parking in general. If neighbors are truly upset by this (it’s not just those on that block who are stakeholders, remember – it’s anyone who might live or need to park in the area, anytime – guests, neighboring streets and businesses, etc.) they can and should organize and go through the correct procedure to have that overturned.

  • Anonymous

    Schulter responded to your comments. See the update in the article.

  • Anonymous

    If parking was such an issue for the Alderman, maybe Schulter should have voted against (or even read) the parking meter lease deal.  With the increase in meter rates more people are looking to side streets to avoid giving LAZ any more money.  I know I do.  

  • http://twitter.com/sidedownaudio Joshua Wentz

    Great response from Schulter, in my opinion.  I had all of my expectations met by his service to our community, and expect the same from Pawar continuing onward.

    And Gene, if you want to come to dinner, I’ll gladly write you a sticker for my permitted block.

  • Patty Wetli

     I’m just floored by the “garage capable of parking in excess of 3 cars.” Where is his house? Naperville?

    • http://twitter.com/sidedownaudio Joshua Wentz

      I’m flanked by two three car garages on Winchester.  Both single family houses, too!

    • http://artificialmemory.com/ artmem

      It’s 

  • Anonymous

    I read Schulter’s response -

    Wow, he has a driveway. I wonder how he got that permit passed. I hear it’s hard to get those in the city. My street presented his office a petition to get permit parking even though there is a L and Metra stop near me and parking gets tight. We also have residents that have to walk while lugging groceries and some of them are senior citizens. Just like 99% of every block in Chicago. The alderman’s office’s justification then was the Alderman is dead set against permit parking and doesn’t want his ward to turn into Lincoln Park.    

  • Anonymous

    I read Schulter’s response – It’s kind of funny that we had a petition to get permit parking on my street as well and it was turned down by his office. Even though there is a L and Metra stop near me and parking gets tight. We were told the Alderman is dead set against permit parking and doesn’t want his ward to turn into Lincoln Park. I really could c His justification that residents had to walk while lugging groceries including senior citizens can be applied to any block.
     
    I don’t think that just because  

  • Anonymous

    I read Schulter’s response – It’s kind of funny that we had a petition to get permit parking on my street as well and it was turned down by his office. Even though there is a L and Metra stop near me and parking gets tight. We were told the Alderman is dead set against permit parking and doesn’t want his ward to turn into Lincoln Park. I really could c His justification that residents had to walk while lugging groceries including senior citizens can be applied to any block.
     
    I don’t think that just because  

  • Anonymous

    Try this:
    Issue free parking permits in an amount corresponding to the amount of legally zoned residences per building – one free permit per zoned residence.

    Charge $50/month (what a bargain) for any others and allow for more hourly paid/metered spots within the wards jurisdiction (not parking lease company!).

    The crux of the problem is too many vehicles per amount of zoned residences.

  • http://twitter.com/amandaccrowley Amanda Crowley

    I lived on that block of Bell in 2008-2009 (and had no idea Schulter was my neighbor!) – the parking was not that bad, and it’s not any worse now (it’s tough during Ribfest, but that’s what, two days a year?). That area is NOT that dense, and parking is almost always easy to come by. Plus, this sucks for local businesses – we only moved a mile away, so we pick up take-out from Royal Thai and Drew’s a lot, but this will definitely be a deterrent.

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