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Residents Embark on Quest to Address Parking Quandary

WPB SSA #33, CMAP and WPB community members met in the WPB Library to address the problems of transit that face the neighborhood and discussed their solutions.

Community members attended a workshop Wednesday at the WPB Public Library to address transit issues facing the neighborhoods—specifically, parking.

The goal of the meeting, CMAP senior planner Lindsay Bayley said, is “to improve the vitality of the neighborhood” and “get input on transportation priorities” from all members of the community with a stake in the neighborhood, including non-residents who travel into Wicker Park and Bucktown.

Structured with group collaboration and response cards, the public meeting pulled people together to present their remedies for existing problems.

Activities included discussing why residents like or dislike Wicker Park and Bucktown and then elaborating on what causes problems such as parking and congestion.

Attendees decided that the most prevalent problem is the congestion caused by people looking for places to leave their car.

Solutions were presented, and community members discussed which should be put into practice, such as employee incentives to use public transit, unbundling parking costs from housing costs and eliminating parking minimums with zoning changes.

The most popular of all ideas was creating demand-based parking meter prices.

For example, during hours of the day with heavier parking traffic in specific areas, costs would be higher. When fewer people are looking for parking, the rates would be reduced.

The workshop ended with a presentation on CMAP’s website, which was created to obtain more data on the parking issues facing residents. The website leads a user through a short five-part survey on the issues facing the neighborhoods.

About 30 people attended, including city planners, transportation authorities, local residents and neighboring residents.

Bayley encouraged meeting attendees to share the website with friends as a way to collect opinions on transportation issues.

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