Permit denied for Everyday Edgebrook Block Party
by BRIAN NADIG
The Everyday Edgebrook “Block Party” festival on Saturday, Aug. 24, in the 5400 block of West Devon Avenue has been canceled after the city Department of Transportation reportedly refused to issue permits to close Devon to traffic.
“It’s a huge disappointment,” said Everyday Edgebrook president Jan Kupiec. “For all these festivals they’re closing streets, so why are we being singled out.”
The festival had been scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and would have featured live music, children’s activities, food, beer and raffle prizes. Devon would have been closed between Central Avenue and Kinzua Avenue.
The festival was intended to showcase area businesses which were being encouraged to offer specials to help attract more shoppers to the area during the festival.
In June Everday Edgebrook ran a craft beer tasting event on Kinzua near the Edgebrook Metra Station but sought to have the block party directly in front of the storefronts on Devon. Permits were issued to close Devon last year for a festival during a sewer project, but it is believed that CDOT allowed the closing of Devon at that time because access to the street was already limited due to the ongoing construction, according to Alderman Anthony Napolitano’s chief of staff Chris Vittorio.
Napolitano had issued a letter of support for the Aug. 24 block party to CDOT, Vittorio said. In addition, Alderman Samantha Nugent (39th) was a sponsor of the block party.
The transportation department has not issued an official reason for the permit denial, but it likely has to do with the traffic congestion at the Central-Devon intersection and safety issues related to the railroad crossings which run through the business district, Vittorio said. 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District commander Maureen Biggane raised objections to the closing of Devon for the block party.
The city regularly closes main thoroughfares, including Milwaukee Avenue and Lincoln Avenue, for neighborhood street festivals.