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Paid Sunday Parking Returning to Lakeview

By Erica Demarest | September 12, 2014 7:16am
 On Sept. 28, paid Sunday parking will return to main roads in Lakeview. Side streets are still free.
On Sept. 28, paid Sunday parking will return to main roads in Lakeview. Side streets are still free.
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DNAinfo/Erica Demarest

LAKEVIEW — Starting Sept. 28, Lakeview drivers can say goodbye to free Sunday parking on main streets.

A City Council measure backed by Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) to reinstate paid Sunday meter parking on main thoroughfares like Broadway, Southport and Halsted goes into effect later this month. Meters on side streets will still be free.

Tunney said the move will help small businesses by increasing customer turnover.

"Saturday and Sunday are the No. 1 and 2 days of economic activity in the ward," Tunney said. "We need the turnover specifically on those busiest days."

Last year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushed a deal through City Council that established free Sunday meter parking across most of the city. In exchange, meter enforcement was extended an extra hour to 10 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays.

Under the new ordinance, which passed in April, paid Sunday parking will be brought back to select busy streets from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Residents will still be required to pay the extra hour on weekdays — a fact some called unfair.

"It did go from 9 to 10 p.m., so there is a legitimate beef," said Tunney, who voted against the mayor's deal. "But we don't look at meters as a revenue source. We look at it as vital for customers to be able to shop in our commercial streets.

"Regardless of whether you were for against the deal, or whatever you think, meters were installed to help businesses."

Maureen Martino, who heads the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce, said she was excited to see paid Sunday parking return because it'll move traffic on busy streets like Broadway.

"I am a little concerned about communications," she said. "We know it's paid, but will the masses know? ... It's not all of Lakeview. It's kind of like, 'This street is paid. That street's not.' They're supposed to put up signs, but people are creatures of habit. They might just think: 'Sunday. It's free.'"

Bennett Lawson, Tunney's chief of staff, said LAZ Parking will begin changing signs on Sept. 22. The first Sunday of paid parking is Sept. 28.

While some business owners were pleased with the move, locals weren't too happy.

"Chicago itself is not a cheap place to live," said Lakeview resident Nathaniel Hayes. "It's just another bill. Another tax to live here."

"I know the city needs whatever revenue they can get, but I think it's a deterrent [to visiting Lakeview] to make people pay," said Ellen Davidson, an Edgebrook resident who was meeting her son in Lakeview.

"This is a vibrant commercial district. You want people to come."

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