Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Vote For Marilyn Manson

An Uptown Update reader sent us photos showing the new parking zone that impacted voting on Tuesday. Voters were shocked to find parking access to two 46th Ward polling places blocked by singer Marilyn Manson’s set-up crews.

The Lawrence House (4th pct.) and United Winthrop Towers (6th pct.) at 1020 W Lawrence and 4848 N. Winthrop, respectively, suffered from parking woes from 6:00 a.m. to late afternoon. The Chicago Bureau of Traffic Services provided the Aragon Ballroom with two Police Tow Zones and 20th and 23rd District Police provided local residents with tickets and tows. The tow zones, in force on for both sides of the 1100 block of West Lawrence and south end of the 4800 block of North Winthrop, forced those voters not living in those two low income high rise buildings to walk from blocks away (or not vote.)

Marilyn Manson crews also blocked the alley and sidewalk on Lawrence, next to the Aragon, for several hours yesterday as well.

It seems like Marilyn Manson was the real winner on Tuesday, and Uptown residents lost out on easy access to their voting locations.


  1. Residents living west of Broadway regularly experience the same issue with the Riviera Theater. They zone parking on Lawrence from Broadway to Malden and it is quite frustrating.

  2. And where were the Democratic and Republican Ward Committeemen, whose job it is to run the polling places, as this occurred?

    And why did the Alderman and local police, who receive advance notice of tow zones awarded, not take action to prevent this?

  3. Give me a break you complain no matter what about Uptown. You want it vibrant, want concerts then you complain when a show goes on because of parking, etc.

    I am starting see why Shiller won't listen to most of the residents in Uptown. Nothing makes you happy.

    Don't you think if the Uptown Theater gets rahabbed parking for event trucks will impact the area.

    Do any of you ever venture to any other part of the City events all the time impact parking such as Streetfairs, the Taste, Obama at the Hyatt etc.

  4. It's the nature of living in an entertainment district--you will, on occasion, be inconvenienced by shows.

  5. There is no reason why Aragon has to take over the neighborhood on election day.

    #1. Aragon control a parking lot across the street. They did not bother to use that lot and it remained unused yesterday. They could have unloaded there and wheeled things across the 4-way stop or have offered it up for election day parking.

    #2 Aragon has a rear parking lot that a handful of employees park in. That city-owned lot can fit several semi-trailers. The employees could park across the street in Aragon's other empty lot and walk 25 feet to work. That would free up the rear lot for unloading. That rear lot provides access to the same side door and alley as the Aragon currently uses.

    In other words, the Aragon is simply being a community parking hog when it's really not necessary for their operations.

    Most of the time Aragon's private use of public strees is tolerated by Uptown residents. But hey, itizens should get first priority to their public streets for important public purposes such as voting for President.

  6. Do Lakeview citizens get lamblasted for being whiners who don't deserve to be listened to by their alderman when they complain about the CUBS parking issues?

    Does the Lakeview Citizen's Council get told that they can't have any community development unless they swallow whole all the deleterious impacts of developers' proposed projects?

    Oh, Hell no. So why must we in Uptown constantly endure these challenges to our right to participate in deciding what is desirable in our community?

    Give us a frickin break. We just wanted to vote like everyone else in the nation.

  7. Well, I hear a lot less complaining in Lakeview and besides no you really don't have a right to bitch in Lakeview either you knew the Cubs were there before you moved there so you should have been smart enough to know about the parking issue. The parking issue you should only have had was does my residence come with a parking space or garage!

    I suspect a lot of you don't drive to vote by the way and if you do why when you can take a cab, bus or the El. Most of the polling places are not too far away anyway.

  8. Check the front page of this weeks Inside local newspaper.

    "Residents to voice opinion of hotel development next to Wrigley Field."

    It disproves your statement. Big Time.

  9. Hello. Did you see the snow storm we've been having for the past few days? You walk so Aragon doesn't have to.

  10. I am still interested in finding out what it takes to zone a neighborhood for parking. I think Uptown is hit more often then Wrigleyville for parking issues. They have permit parking around the field why can't we do the same around the theaters? If and when the uptown theater gets rehabbed parking will be next to impossible for residents.

  11. Funny . . . when I moved into the area 3 years ago, I walked around the neighborhood and saw the Aragon, Uptown and Riviera and said to myself "hmm . . . better find a place with offstreet parking."

    Your constant complaining is like the people who moved to the condos on Halsted street and then complained because the bars were making too much noise!

    It's unfortunate that the concert and voting occurred on the same day, but it is what it is.

    If you haven't noticed, restaurants are opening and the neighborhood is becoming more vibrant. It is on the upswing.

    But, we are not at the tipping point yet. We are still in the stage where if one of these venues closes, the neighborhood will suffer drastically.
    In a few years though, if we become a destination area, then regulated parking will be just like going into Lakeview at night; you know it's regulated and you deal with it because you want to be there. If we started regulating parking in Uptown now, it may slow down progress.
    Yes, it is unfortunate that people can't park close to their homes on occasion. But it's a temporary, small price to pay for reduced crime and to rebuild the area by encouraging people to visit instead of going back to the days of all the gangs, shootings, and boarded up storefronts.
    Progress can be painful at first, but in time we'll see the fruits of our labors.

  12. Repeat. It was totally unnecessary for Aragon to unload on the street given that they had two - count them - two empty parking lots adjoining the theatre.

    Three semi's had to be unloaded. They blocked off enough parking space for 10. And since when does anyone get to block city alleys for two days straight for any purpose?

    You are making a false dichotomy when you keep tryng to say that there is only a choice between no development and unfettered abuse of public streets. The third choice is for reasonable and responsible use of public streets only as necessary. What happened yesterday for the Marilyn Manson concert was not necessary by any stretch of the imagination.

  13. How does regulating parking slow development when a few big venues are hogging all the community parking thus preventing small businesses from getting a foothold? Isn't the small businesses the serve the community and the neighbors that live here?

    Is Uptown's only role to serve the mental health and substance abuse community along with those outsiders who want to come here to party at night? What about us who live here?

  14. What about you, you mean nothing.

  15. All these anonymous comments make these conversations impossible to follow. These are great discussions that need to be had, but it's unfortunate we don't know who's doing the talking.

  16. I agree, the Aragon could use its parking lots. But are we seriously complaining that this caused problems with respect to voting? Come on, people. These precincts aren't that big that you need to drive to them. If you can't walk a few blocks in bad weather to go vote, that says a hell of a lot about you.

    I live in the heart of the theater district and all I keep reading is about the fear of congestion if the Uptown gets renovated or the movie theaters get built or how people have trouble parking on the street (which I had to laugh when someone mentioned my block, on which I haven't had any trouble for 2 years) near their homes.

    I'm sorry, but I'll agree with the other anon on this thread. I'll take some traffic/parking headaches if it gets me five more restaurants, a grocery story and a movie theater in the neighborhood.

    I'm all for holding business to good neighbor standards, but to complain you couldn't park in front of Lawrence House to go cast a ballot? Only 300 people or so cast ballots there. My guess is 95% of them walked to the polls. Happily.

  17. If you can't walk a few blocks in bad weather to go vote, that says a hell of a lot about you.

    Like maybe you're old, or disabled?

  18. Repeat. This is not about a two way choice between no development or allowing unfettered abuse of street parking. Aragon does not have to block off both sides of two streets, including a main arterial street, to run its events. It has two parking lots, which it isn't even using to unload.

    This is about unneccessarily hogging street parking on election day. On an election day, of all days, private players in the community should not be allowed to upsurp public uses of the streets.

    I seriously doubt that asking Aragon to unload its semi's on the two adjoining parking parking lots (one owned by the city)will kill future development in Uptown. Besides, Peter Holsten and Shiller's TIF seem to have the corner on that market.

  19. Didn't I get a robo phone call from Helen Shiller three months ago asking me to attend a fundraiser to "Get Out the Vote" for Barack Obama? She sure didn't do anything on election day to make sure we could get out and vote at these polling places on election day. Ditto for Tom Not-So-Sharpe Committeeman.

    Where's Axelrod and Joyce when you need them?

  20. "Like maybe you're old, or disabled?"

    Somehow I doubt many old and disabled people who live in Upton had their days ruined by the parking situation.

    And that's because I doubt many of the old and disable who live in Uptown currently even own cars.


  21. Question: Was anyone on this blog not able to vote because they couldn't park near the Aragon?

    hmmm . . . all I hear are crickets.

    'nuff said.

    If you're tired of the parking situation, then call the City or the Alderman to find out the process for permit parking.

    Channel all the negative energy used for complaining into getting somethind done about it!

  22. Somehow I doubt many old and disabled people who live in Upton had their days ruined by the parking situation.

    And that's because I doubt many of the old and disable who live in Uptown currently even own cars.


    Look who's calling who names.

    As someone who volunteered for many hours yesterday -- DRIVING PEOPLE TO THE POLLS SO THEY COULD VOTE -- the parking situation was horrendous. Mostly due to the weather, but tour busses didn't make it any easier.

    For some people, particularly some people who live at Lawrence House, just going to the corner drugstore is a big deal.

    Don't assume because someone can't walk a couple blocks in bad weather that they don't care about voting.

    Besides, the Aragon could use their own parking lots. I bet the roadies are in better shape than some people who tried to vote and couldn't get there.


  23. If these people are so unable to walk to their polling place, they should have done the early voting. My mom is older, 78, and does that so she doesn't have to worry about getting out on election day.

    I really doubt that other then the poster on here who has their panties in a bind that this is a huge issue.

  24. Nice theory, but no one would know to vote early because no one in the community was informed that the streets would be blocked off on election day. Who could plan for it? Most communities don't have their polling places blocked on election day. It was an unexpected election day surprise.

  25. I don't know if 50 years qualifies me as old but my Medicare card says I am disabled. And yes, it was an issue for me and my panties to get into that polling place after circling the block and all the surrounding one-way streets several times. And my Rehab Institute feet didn't think it was so easy either.

  26. I would suggest that the problem was NOT AT ALL the Aragon's perfectly legitimate actions and good planning/forethought, but rather... poor planning on the part of whomever decided to place the polls where they would not necessarily have adequate parking for voters in general or access for the disabled. Is there nowhere nearby with a parking lot that could have been used?

  27. Can people please start posting with a name--make up something, who cares--but it's impossible to keep track of people's snippy comments when everything says "anonymous" Is there only one person or ten in this conversation?

  28. It seems marilyn and the Aragon have joined forces to undermine the community!

    And a big thumbs down to anonymous haters.

  29. Problem Solved. I called the Office of Emergency Management, which issues the permits for the parking tow zones. Jam Productions was granted permits for 3 trucks at$25 each for Election day,Feb 5. There was no coordination with the Board of Elections because no one ever thought to do that. (Note: People apply directly to the OEMC for a tow zone permit for their special event. Tow Zone permits for local moves are acquired directly from the alderman.)

    For the next election, OEMC will coordinate with the Board of Elections and Aragaon to make sure that Jam Productions does not overtake the polling place streets with their tow zones.

    OEMC also will proactively contact both Ald. Shiller and Ald. Smith to discuss how tow zones should be issued for Lawrence Avenue. They pointed out that the Chinese New Years Parade will be going down Lawrence today, which also requires OEMC tow zones.

    So hopefully we're coordinated for the next election.

  30. Why does Chinese New Year get to go down Lawrence today? Dint they know that Friday is very busy and people just want to get home to start their weekend?

    Just kidding !!! Have a great weekend everyone.

  31. And after all this tension Marilyn was slammed by the Tribune Music critic in the Friday Feb 8, 2007 edition.

    But in a final note of irony the Trib reported that Manson "struggling in vain for context, didn't let the chance slide to poke a stick in the eye of Tuesday night primaries, deriding the contest as the same old thing. "The only thing that's real," he told the not-quite-capacity crowd, "is this right here!

    So that's it. I'm living that wrong reality again. Got some weed?