End to resident parking sought for partial block
by BRIAN NADIG
A proposed ordinance would lift the residential permit parking that exists on a portion of the 5500 block of West Balmoral Avenue.
Alderman John Arena’s chief of staff Owen Brugh said that the permit parking restriction on the block was imposed years ago even though it did not meet the city’s minimum standards. Area residents brought the issue to the alderman, and an ordinance introduced in September by Arena would eliminate the restrictions on the block, Brugh said.
The permit parking restriction is only in effect in front of an apartment building at 5536-40 W. Balmoral Ave. City law requires a minimum 2-block stretch for residential permit parking, Brugh said.
Brugh said that it is not clear how the permit zone was approved. He said that the zone is 100 feet long and that it often is vacant.
To park in a residential permit zone, vehicle owners must provide the city proof that they live in the zone and pay an annual $25 sticker fee for their vehicle. Guest passes also are available for purchase.
Brugh said that since Arena became the alderman in 2011, there has been little expansion of residential parking in the 45th Ward. He said that permit zone was expanded near the Jefferson Park CTA terminal, 4917 N. Milwaukee Ave., and two zones were combined, with the hours of parking restrictions reduced on the blocks closest to Cicero Avenue, near the Six Corners shopping district.
"There are times when it is necessary, (but) we’re not big fans of it," Brugh said of permit parking. Many aldermen have said that once they allow permit parking on one block, the residents of the next block want it, creating a "domino effect."
To obtain permit parking in an area, residents must submit a petition with the support of at least 70 percent of the vehicle owners living there, and a determination is made on the least number of hours that the parking restrictions would have to be in effect in order to address the residents’ concerns, Brugh said.
The city Department of Revenue also studies the number of available parking spaces on a block and the number of parkers who do not live there as part of the decision-making process.