|The intersection of Cannon Drive and Fullerton Avenue. | Google|
Overnight parking is being eliminated on a half-mile stretch of Cannon Drive this weekend as a “pilot program” that the city hopes will reduce late-night problems in Lincoln Park.
The move is a direct response to a shooting incident that claimed seven victims last weekend at nearby Theater on the Lake.
CWBChicago reported exclusively on Saturday that police supervisors twice summoned additional units to clear out large crowds along Cannon before the shooting.
|Police will put flyers on cars to warn motorists. | Ward 43|
No parking will be allowed on Cannon Drive from Fullerton Avenue to Diversey Parkway between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. starting Friday, July 26th, Alderman Michele Smith (43rd) said in an email to constituents.
That will be unwelcome news for many area residents who have enjoyed free, no-permit parking on Cannon for years.
“Police have informed me that [the shooting] is part of a disturbing pattern in which individuals come to the lakefront long after the park is closed after parking on Cannon Drive,” Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) said in an email to constituents on Thursday. “Police are concerned about increasing numbers of illegal parties and disturbances.”
Cops will be putting flyers on cars in the area to warn motorists of the impending changes.
Smith said her office will see how things go this weekend to determine if the restrictions are effective or need to be adjusted. She did not say how long the test will run.
Town Hall Police District leaders have been using no-parking restrictions to address street crime in the Boystown neighborhood for years. Police initially addressed overnight “car parties” in the area by eliminating late-hour parking on a one-block stretch of Halsted Street about five years ago.
Last year, the weekend no-parking zone quadrupled in size and now stretches for a half-mile from Belmont Avenue to Addison Street.
“Essentially, the problem is people loitering or ‘hanging out’ without any reasonable purpose,” Town Hall’s Commander Marc Buslik told us at the time. “[They’re not] patronizing the businesses or visiting residents.” Buslik retired in May after 39 years on the force.
Meanwhile, CWBChicago has learned that at least four of the seven people who were shot at Theater on the Lake last weekend are convicted felons.
Court records show that one of the male victims was charged with attempted murder in 2013 and eventually served six years for aggravated discharge of a firearm. Another male victim received a seven-year sentence for burglary in 2010. One of the women who was shot was charged with a 2009 robbery in Lincoln Park. And one of the other women received probation after being accused of forgery.
Two of the victims have no criminal records in Cook County. We did not have enough information to check the seventh victim’s history.