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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Are New Division Street Parking Meters Hurting West Town Businesses? Survey Aims To Find Out

Survey responses will guide the local Chambers of Commerce' decisions to either issue a letter of support or a letter of opposition to the parking meters.

Hannah Alani/Block Club Chicago
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WICKER PARK — Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st) and two local chambers of commerce want to hear from business owners along Division Street in Wicker Park about how new metered parking is impacting their businesses.

The West Town Chamber of Commerce and the Wicker Park-Bucktown Chamber of Commerce put out an online survey to collect information about business owners’ opinions on the meters.

The deadline to fill out the survey is 5 p.m. Oct. 8. Survey responses will guide the chambers’ decision to issue either a letter of support or a letter of opposition to the parking meters.

Responses will also help La Spata’s office determine whether to schedule a community meeting related to the meters, said 1st Ward spokeswoman Ally Carvalho.

The meters were installed in early September following a Jan. 23 ordinance introduced by La Spata’s predecessor, former Ald. Joe Moreno.

According to the survey, some business owners on Division Street once complained cars could “stay parked in the Division Street commercial corridor for multiple days or weeks without being moved.”

Not every business owner agrees.

Jeff Wang, the owner of Modern Asian Kitchen, 1924. W. Division St., opposes the meters. He said his employees and his customers have difficulty finding parking.

He also claimed business owners were never notified of Moreno’s decision to install the meters.

“I’ve been a member of the community for almost seven years and want to see our neighborhood continue to prosper and thrive,” he said in an email. “It’s crazy to me that the city can just come in and install parking meters on such a busy street without any warning.”

It’s within La Spata’s power to remove some or all of the new Division Street meters.

But if he makes that call, he’ll be required to move the meters to another street within the 1st Ward, as per city law, Carvalho said. The process of moving the meters would be lengthy, she added.

Residents who do not own businesses but live near Division Street can feel free to fill out the survey, too, Carvalho said. They can also email their opinions to info@the1stward.com.

The parking meters exist on Division Street between Damen Avenue and Wood Street in the following locations:

  • Wood-Honore streets, both sides of the street
  • Marion Court-Wolcott Street, north side of the street
  • Wolcott Street-Damen Avenue, north side of the street
  • Wolcott-Winchester, south side of the street
  • Winchester-Damen, south side of the street

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