Beach-goers and park users have made it hard for some residents in Hyde Park to find parking and they’re calling on their alderman for help.
Ald. Leslie Hairston has been “inundated” with complaints of parking congestion in a portion of her 5th Ward. As a result, the alderman’s Chief of Staff Kimberly Webb told the Chicago Citizen, that six months from now, certain areas of several blocks near Lake Shore Drive from 53rd Street to 55th Street might require permit parking.
Webb said Hairston has already held three constituent meetings on the issue and petitions are now circulating among residents of the affected blocks. Roughly two-thirds of the affected residents would have to sign off in support of parking stipulations that would require residents to purchase parking permits for the time period of May 1 to October 1 each year, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The permit would not “guarantee” parking “because there will always be more cars than there are spaces on the street but it will make it a little easier,” said Webb.
The six-month spring to end-of-summer period is the most congested for residents on the blocks, said Webb. Though nearby parks and the beach area close at 11 p.m. parking, still often is a hassle.
“If 65 percent (of residents on the block) sign the petition then I will formulate an ordinance on your behalf which would be introduced to the City Council for passage,” Hairston said in a letter to impacted residents.
If the parking frustrations materialize into an ordinance allowing permit parking, residents would be able to buy permits for $25 each and pay additional for guest permits for their visitors. The community is in the early stages of the process, according to Webb, and is still working to collect the needed petition signatures. City engineers would have to survey the area, among other inspections and provisions, before a possible ordinance is introduced first in committee and then to the full council
Webb said another meeting may be held in mid-October to further research the issue.
By Rhonda Gillespie