CDOT Programs Eliminating Street Parking Getting Mixed Reaction

Lincoln Avenue "People Spot"

Recent programs being spearheaded by the Chicago Department of Transportation are, in some cases, removing parking spaces for motor vehicles.

But the public seems to be divided on the issue.

Bike stations for CDOT’s brand new Divvy bike share initiative are in some locations being placed where they eliminate street parking. DNA Info reports about one such location in Wicker Park.

Initially, CDOT had placed the Divvy station in the 1300 block of N. Milwaukee Ave.  (at Wood St.)  which took up over two metered parking spaces. The station was then moved to Wood Street where it now eliminates five to six free parking spots.

This move has angered at least one local business owner.

In a similar vein, CDOT’s “People Spot” program places chairs and tables surrounded by barriers on streets adjacent to the curb. Again, in some cases these People Spots remove street parking.

According to DNA Info, the People Spots have many fans. Although, a People Spot planned for a location on Damen Avenue in Wicker Park is getting some resistance from Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd).

Waguespack doesn’t seem to have a problem with the concept, but in this particular case this new People Spot would take up two metered parking spots. Because of the parking meter lease deal, City Hall is telling Waguespack the city would have to install 10 new metered parking spots on another block to compensate the meter company for the lost revenue from the two metered spots eliminated on Damen.

Read the two stories from DNA Info on the subject:

Divvy Bike Station Eliminates Free Parking Spots, Angers Bar Owner.”

People Spots Before Parking Spots? Public Spaces Snag Parking in ‘Hoods.”

32 Responses to CDOT Programs Eliminating Street Parking Getting Mixed Reaction

  1. DoR Employee says:

    “Must install 10 new metered spaces to replace the revenue lost from the TWO metered saves on Damen.”

    Now we really see one of the problems of the lease rear its ugly head.

    A 5 to 1 ratio is bad math and BS economics.

    I could understand a 1/1 remove/replace requirement in the lease, as that was pretty much procedure before the lease.

    But 5 new spots for every 1 removed isn’t acceptable.

    Meters in the 32nd Ward charge (at most) $2.25 per hour per slot and are currently active from 8am to 9pm.

    For 1 space that is a potential earning daily of $29.25 per space and a potential weekly earning of $204.75.

    The various Chambers of Commerce in the 32nd Ward are already fed up with the meter lease and the way it affects business during the week especially in Wicker Park. And a large percentage of the streets around Damen are already under the Cities Residential Permit program around Damen and North Ave.

  2. Jeff says:

    Another anti business move brought to you by the Stalinist mind collective at the Chicago Department of Transportation.

  3. Jeff says:

    Once again, Rahm and CDOT Commissioner Klein open another front in their all out, total war on motorists. This time Rahm and Co. are adopting a half-baked idea from San Francisco (the 9th Circle of Hell for motorists) — the parklet. Not only do these parklets take up scarce parking in dense commercial areas that support local business. These PC monstrosities have given San Francisco residents the added benefits of:

    (1) a gathering place for the homeless;
    (2) a city subsidized outdoor ashtray;
    (3) a ready made kiosk for streetside drug sales;
    (4) excess noise;
    (5) excess trash; and
    (6) a traffic hazard waiting to happen.

    Accordingly, for Chicago to pursue this cockamamie idea is beyond understanding.

    In addition, Chicago will have to compensate LAZ parking for all those parking spaces taken over by the new parklets. Isn’t Chicago already giving these pirates enough money already, for meters put out of service during festivals, street repair, etc?

    Lastly, why should Chicago be subsidizing a parklet, giving free/unlicensed outdoor seating for restaurants, when actual city parks are left to rot. Shouldn’t scarce city resources be redirected to city parks, instead of these ramshackle eyesores? I would rather have my tax dollars spent on safe parks for kids to play, rather than a fancy sitting area for espresso swilling, hipster douchebags.

  4. Bill says:

    I live down the street from the Wicker Park Divvy stand and think its a great addition to the neighborhood. Its a highly used facility that is quickly appearling to become an asset to the community, offering a new transportation option to the neighborhood and giving visitors a new way to get here. Let’s take in stride the opinion of one grumpy bar owner who himself admits that his clients are local and business has not been affected.

    The 5:1 parking swap in the meter deal is jsut one more embarassment for the all former city officials and still standing Alderman who approved the deal. What a mess. That must go down as one of the worst public policy decisions ever for a major metro area. Everyone like to point blame at Daley, but lets face the fact that almost all current aldermen approved the deal.

    The only way I can see to lessen the profits of the Morgan Stanley robber barons behind the new meter deal is for more people to use public transportation and bikes. Not only good for the environment, but good for the city. I’m all for continued expansion of what seems to be a very popular new program.

  5. Uncommon Sense says:

    Another lie told by Wags. It’s amazing that the media spreads his lies. Anyone who believes the City has to trade 5 spots for 1 spot is a fool and buying into the BS Wags is spewing.

  6. Uncommon Sense;
    I believe the story referred to the City stating the 5 to 1 swap not the Alderman.

  7. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Uncommon Sense,

    Ald. Waguespack does not oppose People Spots. In fact, the very first People Spot in the city was in his ward, and he was behind that. However, he can’t justify adding a People Spot on Damen which would remove metered spots which would have to be replaced with 10 other metered spots elsewhere.

    The discrepancy is probably due to where the other 10 spots would be located. Presumably these would be not on Damen, but on a side street where meter revenue would be less than if they were on Damen.

    Make sense?

    Very truly,

    The “Fool” Parking Ticket Geek

  8. Uncommon Sense says:

    The story does refer to the City stating anything. The story refers to Wags saying what he was “told” by the City.

    Again, Wags is a proven liar and he’s trying to make political gain off of people’s ignorance. It would appear he’s doing well in that effort.

  9. saucexx says:

    “Again, Wags is a proven liar and he’s trying to make political gain off of people’s ignorance”. That’s gotta be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.

    Go back to your daddy Rahm for a head pat and a snack. Leave the critical thinking to the adults, it’s obviously out of your “uncommon” grasp.

  10. Drew says:

    I got to agree with Sauce.

    Scott W isn’t the most adroit politician I’ve met…but he does have one thing 90% of the other Aldermen/women don’t have…

    An Honest Desire to reduce the amount of screwing the tax payers take from City Hall.

  11. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Uncommon Sense,

    First, I spoke to Ald. Waguespack’s office today. Both the alderman and his chief of staff confirmed to me that a CDOT official told the two of them in a meeting, that the city and CPM were ok with taking 2 metered spots off of Damen for the People Spot as long as those spots were replaced with 10 metered parking spots in Roscoe Village.

    Both Ald. Waguespack and his chief of staff disliked the idea of creating a People Spot in Bucktown, while having residents in Roscoe Village bear the burden of 10 new metered parking spots.

    The Alderman reiterated he’s not against the idea of the People Spot, but does not want it at the expense of bad policy. He said his office is still trying to work out a compromise where a People Spot can be installed on Damen.

    Secondly, you accused the alderman of being a “proven liar.” If this is the case, and there is proof, you should have no problem supporting your accusations with facts. Please feel free to enlighten us.

  12. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Sauce, Drew,

    I’m not sure where Mr. or Ms. Uncommon Sense is coming from in regards to this issue or the attack on Ald. Waguespack. It seems more of a personal beef with the alderman than a substantive one.

  13. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Drew,

    I thought about your comment about Ald. Waguespack.

    To my mind, the fact that he’s not a polished politician is a GOOD thing.

    The problem with this city is we have too many smooth politicians and not enough regular people looking out for the rest of us.

    Whether you agree or disagree with his policies, he is thoughtful about his policy decisions and I think that’s a good thing.

  14. Pete says:

    These “parklets” are sheer liberal loonacy. For one thing, San Francisco does not get any snow to speak of. What will happen to these things (and for that matter the stupid bike lane dividers) the next time Chicago gets 2 feet of snow? Snow removal efforts will be seriously impaired. Does Rahm want to be Bilandic II?

    The only good thing about the parking meter lease is that it prevents the city from going forward with Gabe Klein’s dream ideal: removing ALL street parking.

  15. Jeff says:

    Pete:

    If Gabe Klein had his way, transportation would be socialized, and private cars forbidden. He is a truly dangerous person, who needs to be stopped. His crackpot ideas are truly destroying Chicago.

    If there is any such thing as poetic justice, Gabe Klein will be:

    – run over while riding one of his divvy bikes (the ones which are “coincidentally” being installed by one of his former consulting client)

    – in a protected bike lane (which used to be an easy way for cars to enter/leave downtown)

    – by one of his own Rapid Transit Buses (the ones that will be turning Ashland Avenue into an all day traffic jam)

    – when the bus blows past a speed camera (installed purely in the name of “child safety”)

    – at a “pedestrian scramble” intersection (where formerly free flowing car traffic now backs up for blocks)

    – on a street where, a few years ago, the bus could have avoided the accident by turning into the other lane (before a “road diet” eliminated that other lane, along with half the businesses on that street)

    – wedging his lifeless body between a bike corral and a parklet (in front of a store that has now closed after its customers could no longer find parking)

    – in a curbside lane that used to be a convenient parking spot (before the parklet took over the formerly metered space, and put Chicago taxpayers on the hook for lost meter revenue with the Abu Dhabi owners Chicago Parking Meters).

  16. David says:

    I hesitate to reply to Jeff, but his comment was so incredibly hateful and full of false facts that it really can’t stand.

    Jeff wrote:

    f Gabe Klein had his way, transportation would be socialized, and private cars forbidden. He is a truly dangerous person, who needs to be stopped. His crackpot ideas are truly destroying Chicago.

    My comment:
    It doesn’t help your case to start with mis-definitions and mis-statements. You can find NO evidence or statements that Gabe Klein has called for the socialization of all transportation and a ban on private cars. None. Because he hasn’t said so. That being said, certain aspects of transportation are necessarily “socialized” because market forces are unworkable. Such aspects have always been the responsibility of government. This includes roads, bridges, tunnels, and mass transit.

    Jeff wrote:

    If there is any such thing as poetic justice, Gabe Klein will be:

    My comment:
    My goodness that’s a high degree of hatred for someone in the public sector. Someone who could make a lot more money in the private sector but has decided that the overall good of society outweighs private gain.

    Jeff wrote:
    – run over while riding one of his divvy bikes (the ones which are “coincidentally” being installed by one of his former consulting client)

    My comment:
    Bike Share has proven to be successful in many cities all around the world. The company that has put these in has been successful in many cities installing these systems. Except for your near paranoid and irrational fear of bicycles, there is no good reason not to have Divvy.

    Jeff wrote:
    – in a protected bike lane (which used to be an easy way for cars to enter/leave downtown)

    My comment:
    The thing is that a system which relies solely on private cars is neither environmentally nor economically sustainable. Since certain drivers (and I would clearly place you in this category based on your contempt for your fellow man) are unwilling or unable to share the road safely with others, protected lanes are necessary. And these protected lanes are not on primary access routes.

    Jeff wrote:
    – by one of his own Rapid Transit Buses (the ones that will be turning Ashland Avenue into an all day traffic jam)

    My comment:
    The initial proposal sounds like it will not work. But not everything works the first time it is tried and this will need to be adjusted if you are right and Klein and the professionals are wrong. Bicyclists hate the idea also.

    Jeff wrote:
    – when the bus blows past a speed camera (installed purely in the name of “child safety”)

    My comment:
    Since arrogant assholes such as yourself regularly ignore speed limits, speed cameras appear to be necessary. Pedestrians are regularly put at risk. Don’t want speed cameras, don’t speed.

    Jeff wrote
    – at a “pedestrian scramble” intersection (where formerly free flowing car traffic now backs up for blocks)

    My comment:
    Again, this was brought about by the need to provide pedestrians as safer way to cross the street due to the overly aggressive nature of drivers in Chicago. And, again, you have no actual proof that the car traffic was “free flowing” and experiences additional back-ups. Car traffic would back up far less if drivers did not block the grid and rush the yellows. This backs up traffic, makes it unsafe for pedestrians crossing the street and is the real evil.

    Jeff wrote:
    – on a street where, a few years ago, the bus could have avoided the accident by turning into the other lane (before a “road diet” eliminated that other lane, along with half the businesses on that street)

    My comment:
    Actually a properly done road diet improves traffic flow by eliminating those points where overly aggressive drivers try to “get ahead” thereby messing up the smooth flow.

    Jeff wrote:
    – wedging his lifeless body between a bike corral and a parklet (in front of a store that has now closed after its customers could no longer find parking)

    My comment:
    Again this comment is contra-factual. The New York City experience shows an increase in foot traffic on streets where pedestrian and bicycle traffic has increased.

    Jeff wrote:
    – in a curbside lane that used to be a convenient parking spot (before the parklet took over the formerly metered space, and put Chicago taxpayers on the hook for lost meter revenue with the Abu Dhabi owners Chicago Parking Meters).

    My comment:
    See above.

    The good news is that we progressives are eventually going to win and the first thing we will do is find the bad drivers and take them off the streets. And you will be at the top of the list… assuming that you are not already serving time for vehicular homicide.

  17. Jeff says:

    David:

    You took a satrical comment from me and somehow interpreted it as some kind of death threat. Obviously I disagree with Mr. Klein’s policies, and I chose the format of a black humorous fate for Mr. Klein to make that point.

    In your post, on the other hand, you have included the sort of votriolic name-calling we have come to expect from you. You are obviously have deep-seated anger issues, and are likely in need of aggressive psychotherapy (and perhaps electroshock therapy as well). Seek help.

  18. Jeff says:

    David:

    You took a satirical comment from me and somehow interpreted it as some kind of death threat. Obviously I disagree with Mr. Klein’s policies, and I chose the format of a black humorous fate for Mr. Klein to make that point.

    In your post, on the other hand, you have included the sort of vitriolic name-calling we have come to expect from you. You are obviously have deep-seated anger issues, and are likely in need of aggressive psychotherapy (and perhaps electroshock therapy as well). Seek help.

  19. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    David,

    I’m not so convinced Divvy will prove to be successful in the long run.

    If the bike sharing concept was so awesome, why didn’t a private, profit driven firm try to do it with the city before now? It is my opinion, (admittedly an unsubstantiated one at this point due to lack of historical data) that the city will end up underwriting the costs on Divvy. In other words, it won’t be profitable in the long run.

    While profitability is the basis of how I define success, I admit, it may not be criteria the city or how others will define the success of Divvy.

    In additon, while CDOT is bragging about how many Divvy riders there are in the middle of summer, I look forward to seeing how ridership is in, let’s say November through April.

    My one last point is the irony of seeing a diesel truck running around the city picking up and redistributing bikes to Divvy stations where they’ve run out of bikes. I find it hilarious that program designed to get more people using bikes has to use a petroleum burning vehicle to actually make the concept work.

  20. David says:

    Divvy isn’t done by a private company because it requires, for example, the ability of a city to set aside areas for the bike corrals. Its not feasible for private enterprise simply because of the number. Its exactly the kind of project — good for the society as a whole and impractical for private entities — that should be undertaken by the Government. Other such projects include road building, sewers, parking meters and the like. The question is whether enough people will understand the purpose of DIvvy. It is NOT a system designed for tourists nor for people that want to take long bike rides. It is designed to take a person the “last mile” from, for example, Northwestern Station to Grant Park. Or from the Merchandise Mart to Fields at Lunch time and back.

  21. Jeff says:

    Geek:

    The worst part about Divvy is the ethical slime surrounding that contract. As Crain’s Chicago Business reported last year, this contract was

    (1) awarded to a company (Alta) for which Gabe Klein was formerly a consultant; and

    (2) awarded to Alta, despite the fact that the bid of its main competitor was millions of dollars less in both startup and operating costs.

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120430/BLOGS02/120439966/chicago-inspector-probes-mayors-bike-sharing-pact

  22. Jeff says:

    Geek:

    Another pair of reports from the Chicago Reader and the Sun Times, regarding the questionable ethics surrounding the divvy bike contract:

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/bike-sharing-contract-may-be-inside-job/Content?oid=6274245

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/transportation/11341996-418/rival-citys-bike-sharing-program-tainted.html

  23. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Jeff,

    I remember when these stories first surfaced. Although, I’ve been told Squires has backed down from his position and for whatever reason, is not pursuing whatever action he was taking.

    Perhaps he came to his senses and realize the bid was awarded fairly without any outside (or inside) political influence. Or perhaps, since he has his own contracts and licenses with the city, someone in City Hall pulled him aside and told him to sit up and shut up.

    Although, the Reader article says the contract was for $65 million. Holy crap! That’s a lot of bike rides!

  24. Jeff says:

    Not sure who was telling the truth about the bike share contracting process. But the allegations that Squire made seemed awfully specific to me. I suspect that someone at City Hall (or someone acting in the interest of the Mayor/Commissioner Klein) either:

    (1) forced Squire to withdraw his complaint (or lose his current contract); or

    (2) bought Squire off, to keep the US attorney from getting involved.

  25. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Jeff,

    It’s sad, but your speculation is somewhere in the vicinity of the truth.

  26. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    David,

    There is a private company involved with Divvy. I am unsure of the details of how it operates. But, my impression is the private firm operating Divvy is guaranteed revenue even if the program does not turn a profit.

    My contention would be that if there is really a demand for this type of service, the city and a private company could have crafted a deal that did not put taxpayers on the hook. This happens all the time. Private entities operate public venues like restaurants and other concessions located in parks. Divvy could have been set up the same way.

  27. Jeff says:

    What’s worse than dibbers hogging parking spaces in the winter? God awful street junk taking up parking spaces the rest of the year:

    http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20140319/lakeview/lakeview-people-spots-expected-return-april

    Don’t we have enough douchey cafes in Chicago for hipster taintwipes to sit all day and drink their overpriced, pussified, diarrhea tasting, Euro-coffees. Why take up parking spots that are better used for paying business customers?

  28. Jeff says:

    Neighborhood says no to “people spots” that eat up scarce parking spaces:

    http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20140603/portage-park/irving-austin-business-district-facelift-be-scaled-back

  29. Pete says:

    The people of Chicago have spoken: they do NOT want these stupid wastes of space. Many of these loony liberal ideas from the west coast work very badly in a city with winter weather lasting as long as 9 months in some years.

  30. Jeff says:

    Now Uptown is getting its own giant traffic clogging people spot, to go along with the bike lanes that are now choking off traffic on Broadway:

    http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20140618/uptown/uptown-entertainment-district-plans-revealed-plaza-street-overhauls-more

    With traffic slowed to a crawl on Broadway, and a people spot vantage point, Uptown gang members can shoot each other more easily/accurately from a car or on foot. Another CDOT triumph.

  31. David says:

    Ah, Whistle Speak.

  32. Jeff says:

    David says:

    Ah, Whistle Speak.

    My comment:

    To the extent that Uptown has become a free fire zone for warring gangs:

    http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20140529/uptown/uptown-shooting-spurs-retaliation-fears-more-concerns-about-strip-mall

    it raises the question of whether a large open plaza like this will become a flash point for gang conflict, rather than a perk for pedestrians.

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