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Parking Resolutions Still Pending, Despite Minor Roadblocks

Find out how you can help people in your neighborhood fix the parking problems on your street.

While Six Corners is fairly navigable mid-day, drive through the intersection around 5 p.m. on a Friday, and you'll notice some of the congestion problems.
While Six Corners is fairly navigable mid-day, drive through the intersection around 5 p.m. on a Friday, and you'll notice some of the congestion problems.
It’s a Friday night. Your friends are waiting for you at your favorite bar, and you’re ready to unwind from the week.

You roll up in your car, only to find there is no parking available on the curb, and the closest lot is a ten-minute walk away. You join the endless caravan of cars as it circles the block, looking for that one spot that will get you off the road and into that bar with your friends.

If that sounds like a typical intro to every weekend you’ve spent in Wicker Park, don’t lose hope. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and WPB Special Service Area #33, along with the Chamber of Commerce, are working toward solving this and other problems like it, with the Innovation in Parking Management Plan.

“The Chamber and SSA developed this project with a vision for the neighborhood,” CMAP senior planner Lindsay Bayley said.

The goal of the plan includes “balancing diverse community needs and supporting local businesses,” according to the CMAP website. And this will be accomplished by addressing parking management.

Currently, those working on the plan are collecting data. That portion of the project should wrap up this week, but it took longer than initially expected, Bayley said. 

Although the plan predicted that a final strategy report would be in the works by now, an "existing conditions" report must first be prepared based on the data collected.

For the past two months, interns and volunteers with clipboards have been counting cars on roads in Wicker Park and Bucktown.

And sometimes, they’re just counting open parking spots.

“Specifically on Friday nights, we don’t even walk around. We just drive around and note every time we don’t see a car,” Bayley said.

One of the main ways CMAP and the SSA obtain feedback and data is through a survey website created to give residents the chance to mark spots on a map with comments on whether they “need improvement”.

At the public meeting held on June 26, many strategies were discussed to solve parking problems, such as employee incentives to use public transit, unbundling parking costs from housing costs and creating demand-based parking meter prices.

But there is still much to be done before you’ll see these put into effect on the street.

“At this point, we need to just finish gathering the data to see what strategy is most appropriate to pursue, and then develop a plan for that,” Bayley said.

The online survey is not only for Wicker Park and Bucktown residents, but any community member invested in the area, such as people who work, shop or eat in the area.

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