About fifty members of the South Lakeview Neighbors gathered in the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church basement last night to meet the church’s new pastor, vote to support the return of the Lincoln and Wellington Aves. People Spot and to sort through the nitty-gritty of city life with 32nd Ward Ald. Scott Waguespack.
The group welcomed Rev. Michael O’Connell, a North Side native, who moved to St. Alphonsus in July after twenty one years of assignments to parishes in Orland Park. Although O’Connell says some parishioners at the traditionally-German church have expressed a bit of concern about his Irish name, O’Connell speaks German as well as French, Italian and Spanish.
That evening, after a brief discussion, the group voted 34-9 in favor of supporting the return of the People Spot at 2959 N. Lincoln Ave. in front of Heritage Bicycles. The temporary sidewalk widening, heavily championed by the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce and paid for by SSA #27, is meant to foster increased pedestrian activity on commercial corridors. The People Spot will be removed on December 1 for the winter months, and if reapproved by the city, would be brought back on April 1, 2013.
One of four locations selected by the Chicago Department of Transportation, creation of the People Spot on Lincoln Ave. required the city to relocate a group of parking meter spots to the 3000 Block of North Ashland Ave. to satisfy the city’s contract with 75-year meter privatization contract with LAZ Parking.
Ald. Waguespack also delivered his annual state of the ward report to the neighbor group and answered questions from the group, which, as fitting to an Alderman, was less focused on policy and more on neighborhood issues. Among the major issues Waguespack touched on: