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West Loop parking wars: Suburban drivers vs. city dwellers

  • Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) was the first alderman to speak out against the parking meter ordinance during debate in the city council.
Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) was the first alderman to speak out against the parking… (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune )
June 20, 2013|By Leonor Vivanco, @lvivanco | RedEye

Some drivers have been parking their cars in the West Loop to save money and avoid parking at garages and meters downtown.

The neighborhood is close enough to downtown to walk, take the CTA or ride the water taxi to get to offices. Plus, some side streets are without any parking restrictions.

“We get so many people that come there early and spend the whole day there and park their car,” said Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd), who decided to test a pilot parking program to address the parking issue.

Often times, the cars stay for 12 hours from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and sometimes longer, the alderman said. He said the vast majority are from the suburbs because they have city stickers on their windshields from various burbs and townships. The cars that take up spots have a negative impact, he said, on residents who want to park near their homes and businesses who want customers to be able to park on the street.

Temporary no parking signs will be posted no later than July 10 only on one side of various streets for a block or two. The signs will prohibit parking for two hours from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays - right in the middle of the work day - to discourage “daytrippers.” The restrictions will apply mainly to side streets.

He expects the program to last no more than six months. The pilot parking program had input from residents, businesses and city officials and was created after a West Loop parking study was done, he said. Officials will assess the pilot program before implementing a more permanent solution.

The pilot program’s parking restrictions will be:

-East side of Morgan Street between Randolph and Madison streets and between Jackson and Van Buren streets

-East side of Sangamon Street between Randolph and Washington streets and between Jackson and Van Buren streets

-West side of Sangamon Street between Washington and Madison streets.

-East side of Peoria Street between Randolph and Madison streets

-East side of Elizabeth Street between Washington and Madison streets

-West side of Racine Avenue between Washington and Madison streets and the east side between Madison and Monroe streets

-East side of Throop Street between Madison and Monroe streets and west side between Adams and Van Buren streets

-East side of Aberdeen Street between Madison and Monroe streets and between Jackson and Van Buren streets

-North side of Monroe Street between Loomis and Throop streets

-North side of Tilden Street between Aberdeen and Morgan streets

-West side of Laflin Street between Adams and Jackson streets and east side between Jackson and Van Buren streets

-East side of Loomis Street between Adams and Jackson streets and west side between Jackson and Van Buren streets

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