Alderman seeks to remove limits on rush hour parking
by BRIAN NADIG
A proposal to lift the rush-hour parking restrictions on Bryn Mawr Avenue between Milwaukee Avenue and Northwest Highway is intended to improve pedestrian and traffic safety near Hitch School.
Last school year a vehicle struck a crossing guard near the school, which is at the northwest corner of Bryn Mawr and Austin Avenue, according Alderman John Arena’s chief of staff Owen Brugh. Arena introduced an ordinance to eliminate the parking ban at the Sept. 14 meeting of the City Council.
"We get a lot of reports of aggressive driving (on Bryn Mawr)," Brugh said. "Going down to one lane slows cars down."
Bryn Mawr consists of two lanes of traffic in each direction during the morning and evening rush hour due to a parking ban that is in effect from 7 to 9 a.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. The proposed ordinance would eliminate those parking restrictions, leaving only one lane of traffic in each direction all day.
Brugh said that it is not unusual for drivers to ignore the parking ban, forcing rush-hour traffic to weave from lane to lane around an illegally parked vehicle. He said that Bryn Mawr may be a good candidate for bike lanes because both Milwaukee and Northwest Highway already have them.
Also at the council meeting, Arena introduced an ordinance that would create an industrial permit-parking zone on Austin Avenue between Northwest Highway and the Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way, where the Gladstone Park Metra station is located. The restriction would be in effect from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
Original plans called for the city to vacate that section of Austin to accommodate the delivery needs of Orion Industries, 5492 N. Northwest Hwy. On a recent day six cars were parked on Austin, which dead ends at the right-of-way.
However, vacating the street would have required owner of Orion to relocate a water main that is under Austin, and that was cost prohibitive, Brugh said.
Another proposed ordinance would remove parking meters from the east side of the 3900 block of North Monticello Avenue and add metered parking to Milwaukee Avenue between Cuyler Avenue and Belle Plaine Avenue.
The meters on Monticello are located in front of an apartment building and have a low use rate, as the businesses are around the corner on Elston Avenue, Brugh said. The ordinance would make it easier for the apartment tenants to park, he said.
The affected stretch of Milwaukee is in the Six Corners commercial district.