2021 Parking Improvement Opportunities

Dear Neighbors,

As we enter 2021, the 40th Ward office is pleased to offer the following opportunities for residential parking improvements in the Ward. These are all suggestions based on residential feedback, Department of Transportation or Department of Finance (Parking Enforcement) maps, and the requirements of the City Code.

We encourage neighbors to provide feedback on any of the measures below that would impact their lives in the Ward! Some suggestions are local, while others are Ward-wide.

At present, all of these are only suggestions under consideration, open for comment — no legislation or administrative measures have been introduced that would move these forward. Please use the links attached to each section to provide feedback where you wish!

We will leave all comment forms open through the end of January and evaluate neighbor feedback before proceeding to next-steps with any of these proposals.

Yours in Service,

Ald. Vasquez

Parking Zone Consolidation Recommendations

The 40th Ward currently contains over twenty unique Residential Zone Parking (RZP) zones. Some cover many blocks, while others are only one block long.

In areas where multiple small, separately-designated parking zones sit in close proximity, parking can be extremely difficult, with some residents restricted to only their block or one adjacent block, and prohibited from other nearby blocks that have different parking zones.

New parking zones must be established by the petition and review process detailed in MCC 9-64-090 — the Ward office does not have the ability to unilaterally expand or alter parking zone boundaries.

Existing zones, however, can be modified or combined into a single shared zone number by legislation — this would not alter the boundaries of zoned vs. non-zoned parking, but would allow larger areas to share a zone designation, giving residents several blocks of nearby parking within their zone.

Currently the Ward office recommends consolidation of the following zones into single zones:

In cases where the adjacent zones have differing time restrictions, we recommend combining to the restrictions of the most-restrictive zone, i.e., the one with the longest daily window of parking restrictions.

Wheels-Up Curb Parking on California South of Carmen

The City Code allows “wheels-up” parking — meaning that two wheels can legally hop the curb and rest on the parkway — in designated sections of street. This is most commonly enacted on narrow streets with low curbs where wheels-up parking has been historically common. In the absence of specific legislation, wheels-up parking is technically illegal and can result in a ticket.

California Avenue from Carmen to the first alley north of Lawrence is an unusually narrow two-way street with parking on both sides, and drivers for many years have parked wheels-up on the parkway. Ticketing is not frequent, but to avoid any possibility of ticketing in the future, legislation could be introduced to formalize the practice.

Click here to provide feedback on legalized wheels-up parking on California Avenue

Residential Zoned Parking – Letters of Exception

Under Chicago’s Residential Zone Parking (RZP) law, Ward offices have the ability to issue “letters of exception” to residents who live near a RZP zone, but whose address does not fall within the specific address range of the zone. The Letter of Exception allows those residents to purchase zoned parking stickers from the City Clerk. This is intended to provide a solution for corner buildings with address that fall outside of the zone but physical footprints that fall within it, etc.

To ensure that RZP zones are available only to the immediately affected residents, the 40th Ward office recommends providing Letters of Exception only to residents at addresses immediately adjacent existing zones. Under this policy, eligible addresses would be required to be:

  • Directly adjacent to the edge or terminating intersection of a Residential Zoned Parking zone. Buildings more than two street addresses away from the terminating street or intersection, or separated from the terminating street or intersection by another physical building, are not eligible.
  • Fully residential or single-family. Multiunit dwellings on business/commercial streets are not eligible.
  • Exceptions to the above: Ward residents who live within one block of Residential Zoned Parking are eligible for a Letter of Exception if they meet any of the following criteria:
    • over 65 years of age
    • holder of a state disabled parking placard
    • licensed home care provider of a resident within the zone

Please note that the above applies to Letter of Exception eligibility only. Residents who are not eligible for a letter of exception, but who reside on residential streets, are encouraged to use the Residential Zoned Parking petition process to add zoned parking to their block, if desired. RZP zones are only available on residential streets — residents on business/commercial streets are not eligible for letters of exception and cannot petition for zoned parking.

Click here to provide feedback on the proposed eligibility requirements for Letters of Exception.