Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Truman Parkers Get Residential Permits?

Update: A resident contacted the alderman's office and has already gotten a response. The alderman's staff said there were instances they neglected to ask for proof of residency when selling daily permit parking passes, and that they will do so in the future. Readers, let us know if the situation improves!


We're hearing from readers who live around Truman College that their permit-only parking has become difficult since work began on the TIF-funded parking structure:

"We have had a major issue finding parking each night because of the Truman students parking on our street, plus the workers for the nursing home. We worked with Alderman Shiller's office to make the street residential only 24 hours a day...

This passed about 8-10 months ago, but we then started to find that the exact same students now all had parking permits (daily), as did all the workers for the nursing home.

This morning a nice guy in a beater (clearly parks by Braille, bumping all the cars to get a 10' car into a 10' parking spot) parked in front of our house, hitting our car a few times in the process.

I politely asked him if he lived on the street, knowing he does not, and asked where he got the parking permits... He replied "the alderman's office".

They need to start checking ID's before selling these books of permits which I believe is the law for distributing those. Her office knows these students do not live on our block and yet they continue to sell without ID. We wrote Alderman Shiller's office with no reply."

Let's see if we've got this right ... Uptown residents are paying into the TIF to fund a parking structure for Park-N-Ride commuters and out-of-area Truman students.

They're also paying the city for permits to be able to park in front of their homes. But they can't find parking on their block because the alderman's office is handing out permits to non-residents like Halloween candy.

All this is happening about a hundred yards from an el stop and several bus routes that the out-of-area students could use to commute to school.

And the person who's stirring the pot and being paid to represent Uptown's residents - the ones who are actually paying for all this, as well as for "representation" - won't answer or even acknowledge residents' concerns about the situation.

Yeah, that sounds about right.


  1. I live close to Truman on a permit street and the last month it has gotten a lot worse. If it turns out that our alderman's office is selling permits to nonresidents, that is outrageous.

  2. I went in to the office to purchase permits and they did not ask for my ID to verify my residence. I watch numerous kids park their car, post their permit, and walk down to Truman. Truman is also utilizing the parking lot at Wilson/Lake Shore during the construction and has shuttles to take them between the lot and school. Guess that's not convenient enough for the students...

  3. Is there any recourse for this? It defeats the purpose of having permits in the first place!

  4. rather than the issue being the alderman perhaps giving permits to the wrong people, can we step back enough to ask, why is our legislative rep involved in administering a permit parking program? giving this responsibility to an elected official is an obvious blunder from a good govt point of view. this is the kind of thing that blurs the distinction between the branches of govt in our home town and turns our aldermen into sheep

  5. UptownMom left out that Truman runs a shuttle between the campus and the parking garage on Clarendon across from Weiss (btn Eastwood and Lakeside).

    There are usually 2 or 3 LEVELS of parking available, there.

  6. Agree with Hugh - I would prefer that Shiller's office did not sell the permits. Even if it means a trip downtown on a monthly basis, atleast the City Clerk can verify addresses and it would discourage non-residents from trying to buy them.

  7. are we talking about the sticker you put in your car for zone parking; or the paper temporary visitor passes?

  8. From the City of Chicago website:

    "Residential parking permit (RPP) zones limit parking to residents and their guests during specified hours. This program helps to ensure that residents of densely populated areas have reasonable access to parking near their residences. Vehicles parked in an RPP zone must display an RPP annual permit or daily pass on their windshield or they may be ticketed. Motorcycles and scooters may park in RPP zones without displaying an annual or visitor residential parking permit."

  9. Absolutely outrageous.

    Also, I agree, Shiller's office should not be selling the permits at all.

  10. Last summer, Shiller pushed through an ordinance that, City-wide, diluted the exclusivity of the permit parking program and increased the customer base for the parking permits the aldermen sell.

    Traffic Control & Safety Committee agenda 7/23/08

    full City Council Passage 7/30/08 (see PDF page 184, Journal page 34890)

    What this ordinance did was widen, not every permit parking zone in the City, but the number of people eligible to purchase permits for that zone - for 2 blocks in all directions. So you can get a permit to park in a zone 2 blks away even if you don't live in that zone. It relaxed the expectation that Chicago's permit parking program gives you the exclusive right to park in front of your home.

    But you guys already knew all this from Shiller's newsletters.

  11. The solution I propose may be much quicker and easier. You can go online and purchase brightly colored, VERY sticky, parking violation stickers. When you see someone who has wrongfully obtained permits park on your street, simply take a sticker and slap it on their window. They are difficult to remove. Do it enough and they will likely choose to park somewhere else.

    Sometimes a little self help works wonders. Here is a link to a site that sells them (I just did a quick google): http://www.myparkingpermit.com/MPP/parking_violation_stickers.aspx

  12. What is the website address to write and complain. I live on Racine (24 hour permit). This needs to be stopped. I have had so many problems parking on my street because of all of the paper permits.

  13. Hugh said...
    "turns our aldermen into sheep"

    That train left the station a long, long time ago!

  14. Hire an attorney. Sue the city. Sue the alderman. Defend your rights.

    I recommend hiring Ed Burke's law firm. If they won't take the case. Ask them for a referral.

    Truman has an entire web page that details where students, faculty, and visitors can park to catch the shuttle. It's all free of charge to the users.

    If the Alderman's office is handing out parking permits of any kind to non-residents it is a complete abrogation of her legal responsibilities.

    Hire counsel. Tell them to write some scary letters to the City and the Alderman's office. Get them on the record admitting to this activity. Your property rights are being counterfeited by your alderman. Do something about it.

  15. to Uptown Girl- I too live on Racine and see ALL the time people parking on our street going to classes, morning, afternoon & evening as well.

    Last summer I was given a lecture at the aldermans office about how "to call ahead to make sure the office has paper permits and that it's a privilege to buy parking stickers, because our alderman can only get so much per month."
    I looked at the guy and said "You're kidding, right?!" The scowl I got back from him. THIS IS WHAT OUR PROPERTY TAXES ARE GOING TO?

    I see this every day. Somehow these jerks are getting the paper permits.
    In the begining it was bad enough we have to have permits from 6pm to 6am, but then the street went without ANY NOTICE turned into permit parking 24hours.
    And yet Truman students are getting paper permits.

    I just don't get it.

  16. the daily permits are 15 for $5

    I hope the garage costs less than 33c for students because if not the dailies are a bargain

    residents are limited to a max of 2 packs of 15/mo but non-residents have no limit, that's odd

    I wonder what cash controls are in place in the aldermen's offices?

  17. The new parking garage is going to be free for Truman students. Not for residents though. Do you think they'll be as lenient in who they issue those permits to?

  18. Meanwhile the school buses that are shuttling students to and from the parking at Weiss are pretty much empty...yet they still run up Racine to Sunnyside to Magnolia every 10-15 minutes, daily from morning until after 10pm. Wasting gas and polluting our air with exhaust (I'm a teacher, I know all about school bus exhaust).

    If there are a limited number of permits sold once a month, the residents of that street should find out when they become available and go and buy them all up before the students get them. Not exactly convenient, but at least the right people will get them.

  19. Well, there's another reason why Helen is opposed to having alderpersons investigated by the City Inspector General. Way to go, Helen. Fraud and abuse, who cares? Show me the money!

  20. Widening the definition of who gets to park in residential zones is just another bid for revenue. Like most things in this city, it's meant to bring in cash not serve the constituency.

    We are, in fact being charged to park on public streets. Just as we are being charged an extra fee (SSA) to clean and decorate them.

    The building inspectors are out in force as well. Looking for fines....

  21. "Widening the definition of who gets to park in residential zones is just another bid for revenue. Like most things in this city, it's meant to bring in cash not serve the constituency."

    my question is, is it bringing in revenue to the City or to alderman's office?

    the aldermen are basically selling pieces of paper at $5 for a pack of 15

    so, at the end of the month, are the aldermen required to turn in any unsold packs, plus enough cash & checks to account for the sold?

    you know, basic inventory-cash mgmt controls

    just wondering

  22. are the dailies numbered? anything to prevent color photocopying?

  23. I also live on Racine. Edward, it did not simply change over night to 24-hrs, I sent email after email for a year requesting the change, documenting the problems we faced with Truman, nursing home, Riviera, etc. Michilla from Shiller's office was actually the person who helped me get the zoning change through. She was very helpful - goes to show, sometimes it just takes a few people to make a change. I was delighted to see something positive come from their office.

  24. That's a good question Hugh. Who does get the revenue?
    Although since everything is in place to serve the mayor, it all trickles up. No?

  25. Hey Uptown Mom,
    Just so you know most people including me did not know or any way were informed that there would be a change on Racine. It would have been nice to receive a letter from the aldermans office letting the residences know about changing the signs. Not all of us are for it either. The fact students have temporary passes and are parking on our street all day- what's the point?

    Though I do think it's great that you had help from the aldermans office! It was Alderman Shiller herself that told me Racine will become a one way after the construction of the student parking lot. And that can not come too soon!

  26. If the permits were regulated as they are supposed to be, parking on our street would be less congested. I also make it a point to call 311 whenever I notice illegally parked cars so the police ticket. Since street parking is my only option, I am trying to do what it takes to make it less hectic for myself and our neighbors. I don't think it's nearly as bad as it was 2years ago, when it took an hour to find a spot at all hours of the day. I guess I don't understand why you would not prefer 24-hr permit vs. the old 6pm-6am?? The permit costs the same...Not trying to be rude, just frustrated w/ the system and street parking. Yes, should have bought a place w/ a garage.

  27. Also, I cannot wait for one-way either. We have had many hit and runs thanks to our street. It's too narrow and people barrel down at excess speeds. I feel for the firemen - they continually battle oncoming traffic trying to get to an emergency via Racine.

  28. "They need to start checking ID's before selling these books of permits which I believe is the law for distributing those."

    my read of the law is that they are allowed to sell the dailies to non-residents

    "Upon application, individual "one-day" permits shall also be issued to residents for theír use and for the use of non-residents who are temporary visitors of the resìdential permit parking pennit zone."


  29. apparently a student id qualifies you as a temp visitor

  30. I guess I read that as selling to residents to provide to their visitors/non-residents.

  31. Hugh, I don't think any neighborhood in the city interprets the temporary pass provision that way.

  32. ok, re-reading it, I'm with you

  33. Uptown Mom---I noticed a huge difference for the better on Racine after the permit parking restrictions were established. But lately, the street seems to be filled with parkers again. If you see cars parked there illegaly ( without permit) it is acceptable to call 911 and report it. License plate and make and model help. It's obviously not a priority call but the police will respond if they have time.

    We used to have a huge problem with cars not being moved on street cleaning days but once we started calling after 9 am, the lazy parkers started to pay attention.

    Just as an fyi......don't call 311 if it occurring at that moment.

  34. Uptown Mom,

    I didn't think you were being rude. And I would never tell a person "you should have moved to a place w/a garage" because not all places have parking & we don't have a garage either. (LOL)

    I do feel though that everyone who lives on the block should have been notified, there were more than a few that live on the block and didn't know about the change and received tickets, sorry but that's B.S. Apartments & condos should have been told. And I don't feel that having 24hr. permits is helping much.