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:
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,