Tuesday, November 27, 2007

No Taxi Shortage In Uptown

Do you ever walk around the 46th Ward and wonder why there are so many taxis parked on the street? Wonder why you never notice that in other neighborhoods? Well our ward, along with one other ward, is the only ward in the city that allows taxi drivers to park their taxis on the street. Uptown has become a haven for taxi cab drivers and if you are a resident who happens to have a car, you surely have had trouble finding a spot to park. Check out the "City of Chicago" permit application site here.


  1. Obviously the taxi drivers need to park somewhere. This isn't about banning taxis from street parking.

    But -- again -- WHY just the 46th and 15th Ward? (If anyone truly believes that only taxis belonging to ward residents park on our streets, well, let's talk about some beachfront property in Arizona, shall we?)

    Rather than making our ward the parking haven for North Side taxi drivers, perhaps St. Shiller should instead try backing a resolution that taxi drivers can park outside their own homes, on their own blocks, in their own wards.

    Safer for them. More convenient for them. Better parking for all residents of the 46th Ward.

    But that would make too much sense. And how can she feel like the Savior of the Downtrodden if an ordinance makes that much sense?

    (BTW, back in the Dark Ages of her tenure, there was a non-binding question on the ballot, asking whether residents supported giving taxis street parking in the 46th Ward. It failed. The voters didn't support it.

    But, unlike the non-binding question about providing low-income housing to seniors that the alderman keeps bringing up -- and which she uses to justify the Wilson Yard/Cabrini Green 100% low-income poverty towers -- this taxi parking failure was simply ignored. The alderman did what she damn well pleased about it, as usual. "Constituents be damned," that's her motto.)

  2. Hey, I like the good Taxi service so I don't care where they park.

  3. Speaking of taxis, there is at least one driver I witnessed who must be part of an Uptown prostitution ring. From the window of BodyFit gym a couple days ago, I watched a hooker working the ever-popular corner of Leland and Racine. After 10 minutes of no luck, her pimp sauntered up for a quick counseling session and left. After five more minutes of no luck, a taxi pulled to the curb a few feet ahead of the hooker (who hadn't made eye contact with the driver), and she got in nonchalantly, and the taxi pulled away immediately. One could just tell from the interaction that the driver was just acting as a chauffeur. I used to wonder why BodyFit didn't have a television, only to realize that there's constant drama and a Fellini-esque parade of characters to keep viewers entertained.

  4. Her pimp probably paid the driver to relocate her.

    I don't think they are in on it.

  5. Sure they are in on it. The four crack whores who lived with the crack cooker in my lakefront highrise always told our doorman to phone "their" cab for them. The exact same cab arrived each time for each of them.

    Don't you wish you could afford your own private cab to be at your beck and call? I have the taxi company and number for any police officer who wants to contact Uptown Update.

  6. Workers from past elections might recall that the Shiller quid-pro-quo is free taxi pickup and delivery to the polls for her voters in exchange for free parking on our streets. It works for her - to hell with us who live and need to park here.

  7. What makes anyone think that just because the taxi drivers' park here that the taxi's stick around to make there fares' here? With Uptown's proximity to downtown and the airport, they don't hang out on Agatite and Windor trying to make a buck.

    The taxis just use our neighborhood as their parking lot. They have no intention of serving our poor community when there are bigger bucks to be made elsewhere. And, the alderbeast knows this.

  8. When I was traveling every week for work, I would say at least half of my earlyt morning cab pickups to the airport would come with 2 cabbies in the car. The non-driver would be dropped off at his cab parked on a street in Uptown.

  9. Doesn't that taxi parking ordinance limit taxi parking to only those drivers who live in the 46th Ward and only on streets near their home (i.e. like the junk truck ordinance)?

  10. Speaking of illegally parked vehicles, has anyone noticed that lime green moving truck parked at Lawrence and Dover all summer? It has "The world can't wait.org" written in orange on the side.

    I couldn't figure out what it was doing there until I saw Emma Lozano on the public access channel leading a protest at city hall against Bush and the war in Iraq. Emma is the wife of professional activist Slim Coleman, Shiller's mentor who relocated to the west side (Mexican immigrant) area. It figures that even they stash their illegally parked vehicles in Uptown so that Helen can make sure it isn't ticketed!

  11. From the link on Uptown Update...
    = Applicants must reside in either the 15th or 46th Wards.
    = A picture of the front and side of the vehicle must be submitted with the application.
    = The applicant must have no outstanding parking tickets on their record.
    = The application must be accompanied by either a copy of the vehicle registration form or proof of the applicant's lease agreement with his or her lessor.
    =Proof of residence must be submitted with the application. Acceptable forms of proof include a copy of a lease, a utility bill or a signed affidavit from the applicant's landlord.

    "Caring" claims that those who park taxis don't live in Uptown.


    Many taxi drivers are West African (mainly Nigeria & Ghana) or South Asian (Indian, Pakastani). Both Rogers Park & Uptown have those populations.

    WHy don't you see taxis in other neighborhoods? Because they have more off-street parking, so unles syou drive the alleys, you probably wouldn't notice.

    I can show you an alley in West Rogers Park that can have up to10 taxis parked on one night, and that's just a 1/2 block stretch (parking for 3 buildings).

    Parking in Uptown, particularly for those living in high rises, is scarce and/or expensive. There are many Nigerians at 4640 N. SHeridan Road as well as the apartment building on Magnolia, behind the shopping mall with Subway.

    If you see drivers being picked up and driven from their parked cabs...have you bothered to follow them to see where they live?

    If you are bothered by the lack of parking -- thank the boom in condos for that one. They take up the parking for their cab driver neighbors (who will come home after the parking's been filled up).

    Approximately how many spaces are these taxis taking up? And how many are form "outsiders"? And how many are actually your fellow 46th ward residents.

  12. The blog troll is back. Let's ignore him as he has lost his way from HIS SUBURBNAN SINGLE FAMILY HOME IN THE FAR SOUTH SUBURBS.

    Call a taxi and GET LOST JP. You haven't lived here for years and have no clue what is going on here other than you own stereotypes and delusions.

  13. A few years ago a cabbie who lived in Rogers Park was killed in the 46th Ward. He had just parked his taxi overnight in Uptown when it happened.

    Other cabbies rallied, demanding the right to park on their own streets, in front of their own homes, rather than having to travel to and from the 46th Ward, where their colleague was killed.

    I take that as "proof" that not every taxi driver who parks here lives in the 46th Ward. And that they'd prefer to be able to park where they live, just as the police cars do.

    As the non-binding referendum showed, the majority of 46th Ward residents ALSO would prefer the cabbies have that right.

    JP -- what is the parking situation in your neighborhood like? Where exactly is your neighborhood? Why do you, like the cabbies, continue to "park" here in Uptown when you don't live here? When you moved from Rogers Park, why didn't you move back to Uptown?

  14. The only time I have problems parking is when there is a show at The Riv and/or the Aragon. If there is a show it is IMPOSSIBLE to park between 6pm and 10:30pm. It drives me crazy. They need an underground lot or something around Lawrence and Broadway to keep the damn suburb kids and their parents cars off the streets.

  15. There's free, or reasonable, parking in the Combined Insurance/AON Building parking structure when there are concerts. A shuttle bus takes passengers back and forth between the venues and the parking(something Uptown United set up with AON). There's really no excuse for the parking mess on our streets during concerts.


    And where exactly is this mythical house?

    Suburbs? i grew up in the Northwest Suburbs, specifically, Hoffman Estates.

    i do not live in the suburbs, and haven't in over a decade.

  17. "Caring" neighbor,

    i park in Uptown because i visit friends, go to theshop, and eat at restaurants in Uptown.

    Since you're well-connected with Truman Square community, ask the cab drivers at 4640 how many cabs are owned by those live in the neighborhood.

    If you think they aren't 46th ward residents, go call the police on them. Stop letting crime go on.

    Caring neighbor, do you have a reference for the murder (i.e. a web site that has the news story, or the date it happened, names of people quoted, etc.)?

  18. So, my husband and I just moved to Chicago in May. After a few months of renting near Lincoln Square, we bought a condo in Uptown. So I've been going through the last month's blogs and comments and everyone seems to agree: Uptown's icky! Then along comes one person who dares to suggest that some of the cab drivers who park here, live here - more of a different take than an argument against what commnters have been saying - and he or she is immediately told to get lost. We can agree that not everything in Uptown is clean and pretty and our public officials are cagey. But do we have to be in lockstep about everything?

  19. If you are new to Uptown then you have not been around long enough to experience the craziness that is J.P. Paulus.

    J.P. does not comment on this blog to contribute to any discussion. Rather, J.P.'s one goal in life is to do the one thing he likes to do, that is disrupt for the sake of disruption. He gets off on it. Professional webmasters advise that users ignore the attention seeking trolls so that they crawl back under their bridges (or south suburban single family homes, as the case may be.)

    For your reference:

    Wikipedia Definition: Internet Troll
    "In Internet terminology, a troll is a person who posts rude or offensive messages on the Internet, such as on online discussion forums, to disrupt discussion or to upset its participants. "Troll" can also mean the message itself or be a verb meaning to post such messages. "Trolling" is also commonly used to describe the activity."

  20. Caring neighbor, do you have a reference for the murder (i.e. a web site that has the news story, or the date it happened, names of people quoted, etc.)?

    No, I'm not a reference librarian. Do a web search, go the library, or talk to people who might remember.

    I'm not here to do your legwork or provide you with an annotated bibliography. Why the hell are you so obsessed with demanding "proof" when something -- anything! -- offends your delicate sensibilities? This is a blog for UPTOWN RESIDENTS to discuss issues of OUR community, not a thesis or background for a "60 Minutes" report.

    I remember the incident because it was the first time I realized the 46th Ward is the only place on the North Side where cabs can street park.

    I'm in favor of cabbies being able to park in front of their homes. Stop making it seem like this is an attack on the fabled Nigerian cabbies at 4640.

    However, the cabbies who live in Rogers Park, Portage Park, Edgewater, Little Vietnam, etc. etc. should have that VERY SAME RIGHT. They want it. The residents of the 46th Ward want it.

    For some reason -- your own egotism? -- you've decided to make this an issue. Pretty cute way to hijack a thread. Because now it's not about the cab situation, it's all about ME-ME-ME-JP-JP-JP.

    I reiterate: what is the parking situation in your neighborhood like? Where exactly is your neighborhood? Why do you, like the cabbies, continue to "park" here in Uptown when you don't live here? When you moved from Rogers Park, why didn't you move back to Uptown?

    And why do you continue to post on every Uptown blog that hasn't banned you when you are so clearly out of your element?

  21. I'm aware of the meaning of troll and that the poster in question might have made inflammatory posts in the past. His triumphant return, however, wasn't that rude, offensive, disruptive or upsetting.

    At any rate, at the risk of drawing fire and making it about me, me, me as the previous poster said, I just wanted to see if it's ok on this blog to not always agree with everyone else.

    As for the taxi issue, I can't weigh in on lack of parking caused by taxis since we had to buy a parking spot with our condo. But like an earlier poster I do appreciate one of the positive results - the ease of hailing a cab when I need one.

    A mile up the road, near my friend's place in Edgewater, there aren't nearly as many taxis yet parking for residents is still a huge problem. One of the trade-offs of living in a city is less room for the individual.

  22. (latest) Anonymous: You made a very good observation. As opposed to Rogers Park, which has its share of “opposition” blogs, I think a few people in Uptown have bullied their point of view across, and have not fostered a good environment for discussion (most of the time).

    Uptown is a diverse neighborhood, right? And divsersity means many points of view, or people groups. One of the reasons I post is to share that there are people groups that are being ignored. West African immigrants are among them, and by both sides.

    As negative as it sees, they DO give a point of view of SOME Uptown residents. The message Board at buenaparkneighbors.org is a good one. However, I have some suggestions, so you don’t get attacked right away.

    Feel free to e-mail me at jp (at) uptown-chicago.com and I can give you more details

  23. “Caring”: “I'm in favor of cabbies being able to park in front of their homes. Stop making it seem like this is an attack on the fabled Nigerian cabbies at 4640.”

    What you seem to be denying is that many cabbies ARE people from 4640, or 850 Eastwood, or the building on Magnolia near WIlson (behind) the strip mall with marking), or several other places in the community. Why else are there so many Afican businesses on Leland, Wilson, and other streets in Uptown?

    Cabbies usually come home later, when the parking near their home is filled up. Having at least something in their ward is helpful to them, no?

    “Why do you, like the cabbies, continue to "park" here in Uptown when you don't live here?”
    The answer that you missed: i park in Uptown because i visit friends, go to the church, shop, and eat at restaurants in Uptown. Y’know the same reasons why other outsiders, who could help development, choose to park in Uptown. Isn’t that what you want?

    As for the cabbies…approximately how many are you talking about that are “aliens” of the 46th ward? 100%? 50%? 10%?

    A comparison would be with condos in Uptown. You can’t deny that some people have bought condos purely with the intent to sell them quickly and make a quick profit, which has contributed to the rapid increase in home value over the past decade. But it would be wrong to say most condo owners are like that, correct? In the same way, I believe it is wrong to imply that most cabbies are “outsiders”.

    The application requires proof of 46th ward residency. The City Clerk’s office now deals with the permits (not the dept. of Revenue, though it’s still on the website). They said they issue “very few” taxi cab permits. If you have questions, call them the City Clerk at 312-744-5346

    Write down the Cab co. & taxi numbers, and we can call them up and verify who’s in the 46th ward & who’s not.

    By the way, the only blog that has “banned” me is IrishPirate. It’s certainly his right, but that sure doesn’t add to an image of “free speech”. He’s stated on BPN that he likes to ridicule me, so letting me comment on his board won’t give him an edge, so I understand.

    Regarding info on the cabbie murders – I DID do several searches, and came up with nothing (thousands upon thousands of web pages, but none related to the what we ware discussing). Do you at least remember the YEARS the vote and/or murder happened? The more details, the more likely I can find the article and not try to “interrogate” you on it.

  24. Belch,

    do I hear a voice. Harken, is that someone who lives far outside the neighborhood injecting himself into the discussion.??? ?????

    Nah, as for my "banning" of a certain self loathing, yuppie hating, gay averse,weasel of a Christian that is true. I only did it because I thought it would be best if he got over his obsession with Uptown and focused his obsessions on something else.

    Plus I found his talking about "Jesus" annoying.

    To get an idea of what I'm talking about check out post 11 in this link. The individual we are dealing with clearly has some mental health issues.

    JP Paulus is nuts

    As for the cabbies the solution is simple. There should not be a standard for one ward and a different standard for another. Let them park anywhere. Do I think many of those cabbies live in the ward. Yes. Do I assume a few cheat and the cops don't catch them. Yep.

  25. I just got off the phone with my senior assistant associate pastor at Uptown Baptist Church. He informs me that there are approximately 14,132 West African cab drivers living in the vicinity of Sheridan and Wilson.

    And they all park their taxis in Uptown.

    Now, to those who claim that I play the race card by pointing out that my friends are african and african americans and that I hide behind the metaphorical shield of Jesus Christ...

    You're right.

  26. Actually, i talked with a deputy director at the City Clerk's office (they are actually the ones dealing with the permits -- not the Dept. of Revenue, though the website says otherwise).

    It was great taling with him, and he was very knowledgable and friendly.

    He said that only 2 permits for taxis parking on RESIDENTIAL streets were issued. That doesn't suprise me, as those permits, $30 each are NOT a gurantee to find parking -- just that they would be alloed to. ANd since they usually come home late, it's just throwing away money for most. Those that 4640 may nt realize that they have a right to buy permit parking for Kenmore. Taxis would need to buy 2 permits to park on Kenmore.

    COMMERCIAL streets, however, are legal for cabs to park in the 46th ward. Streets like Montrose, Wilson, etc. are commercial -- NOT residential.

    They weren't sure about the area around Clarendon Park, but thought it wasn't residential.

    With all the photos taken of what makes Uptown bad, why not take photos of Taxi violators? Instead of blaming all taxi drivers, you can systematically knock out the violators.

    For more details on the law, Check the city code at chicityclerk.com
    And click under "Legislation", "selected municipal code"

    Look under title 9, chapter 9-64, section 9-64-170, paragraph b

    Finally, the City Clerk's office wanted to emphasize that they process the applications and can explain the law, but don't make judgments on it.

    If you want it enforced, call the police.

    The issue of allowing taxi parking in a ward (and changing the policy) is the alderman's responsibility, so if you have a problem with the 46th ward, you know who to complain to. Or, if you were to be positive, and actually care about the "foreign" taxi drivers, call up THEIR alderman, and have them change their policy.

  27. Sancho!

    Bring me my lance! I am going on a quest to find Dulcinea!

    To dream the impossible dream
    To fight the unbeatable foe
    To bear with unbearable sorrow
    To run where the brave dare not go
    To right the unrightable wrong
    To love pure and chaste from afar
    To try when your arms are too weary
    To reach the unreachable star

    This is my quest
    To follow that star
    No matter how hopeless
    No matter how far

    To fight for the right
    Without question or pause
    To be willing to march into Hell
    For a heavenly cause

    And I know if I'll only be true
    To this glorious quest
    That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
    When I'm laid to my rest

    And the world will be better for this
    That one man, scorned and covered with scars
    Still strove with his last ounce of courage
    To reach the unreachable star

  28. Trolls....
    Well, now that we have been disrupted, back to the discussion at hand.

    Anonymous at 10:26:
    One can't presume that your ability to get a cab at certain locations in Uptown is due to lenient parking policies at night. There is a huge Muslim population that drives cabs and they have traditionally stopped in Uptown to do their prayers during the day. That is one of the major reasons why you can get a cab in certain Uptown locations during certain times of the day.

  29. I live on Magnolia and although parking is tight, I don't notice a lot of cabs parked on the street as a general rule. What does bother me is the two very long (taking up 2 car spaces) vans that have the name of some church WAY on the south side on them. They might even exceed the length limit for street parking. Why are THEY allowed to take up our spaces?

  30. to the last post living on magnolia - you have permit parking, no? see if the vans have parking stickers. if they're from a south side church maybe they don't, or maybe they belong to someone who lives on your block. Even then, there might be restrictions on oversized vehicles that apply to your street. One way to find out is to call 911 and have them come take a look. It's definitely ok to call 911 to report parking violations, and the city loves the revenue!

  31. It sounds like "Thy Way church", which used to be on Hazel just North of Montrose. The church moved to Howard Street, though i am sure some parishoners form Uptown go there now.

    The pastor is Stephen Chan, who according to the online yellow pages lives on the 800 block of 842 W Agatite Ave, so he is an Uptown neighbor.

    Contact him at his church (the number is on the van)

    It's a passenger van, so it should be much different than an SUV or Hummer.

    For more details on the law, Check the city code at chicityclerk.com
    And click under "Legislation", "selected municipal code"

    Look under title 9, chapter 9-64, section 9-64-170, paragraph b

  32. I also live on Magnolia, north of wilson, and I have noticed a few cars that never move. The old rusted blue caddy just north of wilson is one of them. When I lived in lincoln park years ago if a car was in the same spot for more than a week it was towed. Around here it seems like you can park a non operating car forever.

    No, we do not have permit parking but I wish we did. It might help the parking situation when there is a concert.

  33. You're not noticing alot of cabs on Magnolia because there has been a special parking enforcement emphasis on that area recently. Over the summer, we noticed Penske and Uhaul storing their rental trucks and cars in your area (perhaps so that they could free up their own lots to make extra money from CUBS parking.) They were ticketed and some other illegally parked vehicles were dealt with in the process.

  34. Regarding those cars that never move:

    If you call 311 and report them as abandoned vehicles, Streets and San will investigate and will call you back if you choose to leave your phone number.

    If you call 311 and report them as illegally parked cars, then 311 sends you to the police department (911) to have and officer come over to possibly ticket it. This usually is a waste of your time because you have to wait 30-40 minutes for an officer to show up for a non-priority call and then they will argue that you can't prove that it hasn't moved. If you suggest that they should watch it for the next few weeks to see if it moves, they'll throw that request into the black hole.

    Therefore, call 311 and describe it as an abandoned vehicle and they will investigate properly.