October 18, 2007

Parking Problems in Uptown, 1928

Anyone who lives near Broadway and Lawrence knows that parking can be tough when there is a concert at the Riv or Aragon. But parking problems are nothing new in Uptown, as this article from the October 18, 1928 edition of the Chicago Daily Tribune attests:

Ban Parking on Uptown Streets, Alderman's Plea
Aims Blast at Drivers from Farther North

Directing a broadside at automobile drivers of Evanston, Rogers Park, and North Edgewater, who, it is claimed, park their cars in the Uptown Chicago business district and then take the Wilson avenue elevated to the loop, Ald. Jobe A. Massen (49th) is seeking an ordinance to abolish parking in specified streets of the Uptown district. This measure, which is the first of its kind ever attempted, expresses the [unclear] of the Uptown businessmen.

Ald. Massen proposes to end this menance by precuring the [unclear] of the council of an ordinance prohibiting parking on Broadway between Montrose Avenue and Ainslie street, on Lawrence avenue between Magnolia and Hazel avenues, and Leland avenue between Broadway and Sheridan road, and on Wilson avenue between Magnolia and Hazel avenues, and would have the parking ban in effect between the hours of 7 and 10 am.

Ald. to Business Men
Enforcement of such an ordinance would, Ald. Massen determines, break up the current all day parking practice and would restore to the use of customers of Uptown Chicago business a tremendous amount of curb space during the course of every business day. At present, it is explained, this space is now used only for dead storage purposes.

"It must be remembered," Ald. Massen says, "that curb space used by an automobile parked all day is used only once during the day while curb space devoted to customers is used by many persons during the course of a day."

According to Ald. Massen, a recent [survey] of the automobiles parked on one side of Broadway in a block of Uptown Chicago established the fact that out of 20 cars found parked there early in the forenoon 14 were owned in Evanston and remained parked all day. He says there is no doubt drivers from Evanston, Rogers Park and North Edgewater are using the Wilson ave vicinity as a storage center.

Calls it a Difficult Problem
The traffic and parking problem is the most difficult local problem with which I am compelled to deal," declares Ald. Massen. "Scarcely a day goes by without some busines man urging me to procure the enactment of a no parking ordinance covering the stret immediately in front of his place of business.

"If I had acceded to every request of this sort, there would be no spot in the central Uptown business district where anyone could park. The average business man wants no one to park in front of his place of business, but seems to expect that parking be permitted everywhere in the vicinity of his place as long as it is in front of establishments conducted by other business men."

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