FACT CHECK: Alderman Releases Pride Parade Summary

Malt liquor and mixed drinks decorate Halsted Street
after this year’s Pride Parade.

As promised by his director of outreach on Monday, Alderman Tom Tunney’s latest weekly newsletter includes some statistics about the 2015 Pride Parade.

Virtually every measurable, objective metric is worse than last year. But, all of the subjective, unmeasurable and unprovable goals are said to be greatly improved. (Surprise!)

The parade was longer than last year, it generated more arrests than last year, and streets did not open until nearly an hour later than in 2014.

The alderman’s summary does not mention how many citations were issued for drinking on the public way. 230 so-called “ANOVs” were issued last year, compared to 10 in 2013.

Here are some stats from the alderman’s newsletter along with comparisons from 2014 and 2013.

Parade length: It ran 4 hours, 42 minutes. That’s 1 hour, 32 minutes longer than last year and nearly two hours longer than 2013 according to this Streets & San recap from 2014.

Per the alderman, “the extended duration of the parade was because of an unanticipated protest.”

Well, not really. That protest only lasted 10 minutes. And the wayward driver who cruised into the parade route could account for another 20 minutes. So, without those delays, the parade was still over four hours long.

Liquor bottles were everywhere in the hours after this year’s parade.
The city says this is a marked improvement.

The real reason that the parade continues to run way past its promised window of 2-1/2 hours is that it is too long.

The number of entries this year (223) is virtually the same as last year (232) and 2013 (215).  So, we’d opine that the parade continues to be obscenely long because the parade is not being shortened. (Crazy talk, right?)

Suggestion: Cut the number of parade entries by 35% and increase the entry fees by 35%.

Other details shared by the alderman:

• 52 Pride parade-related arrests were made this year. That’s up from 46 arrests last year and another 46 in 2013.

• 206 cars were towed this year, up from 189 last year.

• 115 ambulance runs, 60 transports

• Streets & Sanitation began cleaning along the parade route immediately after the last float and the streets were opened to traffic at 7:42pm. That’s 52 minutes later than streets were reopened in 2014 according to this Streets & Sanitation parade recap that we secured.

The alderman concluded:

“Overall, it was noted that there was a significant decrease in the number of open containers along the parade route which was attibuted [sic] to a greater security presence along the route and the alcohol checkpoints implemented this year.  The CTA institued [sic] an improved transportation and safety strategy as well.  Due to these improvements, the Belmont ‘L’ stop did not need to to close like it has in previous years due to overcrowding.  

Based on the incredible (and it was incredible) number of liquor bottles that we saw along Halsted and side streets this year, we’d suggest that the real liquor enforcement should be rolled out at sunset.

Of course, arrests only count the number of crimes in which an offender was taken into custody.

Not counted are the number of crimes committed by offenders who got away—including all of the offenders who were involved the 3 robberies and 3 stabbings that were reported this year. Serious crime summaries from recent parades:

• Stabbing/Gunshot victims: 3 stabbings this year. 1 shooting last year. None in 2013.
• Robberies: 3 this year, compared to 5 last year and 4 in 2013.
• Aggravated batteries: 8 this year, compared to 3 last year and 2 in 2013.
• Resisting police: 2 this year. None in 2014 or 2013.
• Weapons violations: 1 this year. None in 2014 or 2013.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com