Alderman hopes to rein in downtown craziness with parking bans and pedicab rules

A downtown alderman hopes to rein in some of the nighttime craziness in River North and Streeterville with a set of new ordinances. One proposal by Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) would restrict parking to prevent loitering and all-night car parties in some hot spots. The other ordinances would target “nuisance” pedicabs.

Reilly’s proposals come as the downtown area continues to see an increase in shootings in the downtown area, River North.

In the month leading up to Reilly’s proposal on July 21, a man was shot on the 400 block of North State, and another man was shot on the 100 block of West Hubbard. Four days after he filed the proposed ordinances, one man was shot and two others were stabbed on the 100 block of West Kinzie. All of the shootings and stabbings took place between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m., according to police records.

Overnight parking would be prohibited on stretches of after seven streets, and the city would be authorized to tow violators under one set of proposals.

“These new restrictions will assist the police department and ensure groups do not continue to loiter in the late night hours when payment for metered parking ends,” Reilly said in an email to constituents.

The parking ban is similar to a series of restrictions that Lakeview Ald. Tom Tunney(44th) began introducing along the Wrigleyville and Boystown bar strips as long as ten years ago.

Overnight parking would be restricted along the red-shaded streets under Ald. Brendan Reilly’s plan. | Google

Reilly said his ordinances would ban parking on:

  • the south side of Superior between Fairbanks and Lake Shore Drive
  • on Kinzie between State and Wells
  • on Hubbard between State and Wells
  • on Ontario between Fairbanks and McClurg
  • on Erie between Fairbanks and Lake Shore Drive
  • on Grand between McClurg and Lake Shore Drive

The alderman is also taking aim at late night pedicab operations that “have been the source of many noise complaints downtown.”

“In fact, pedicabs have recently been hired to serve as mobile DJ services for individuals hosting illegal curbside parties downtown,” Reilly said in his email. “This ordinance would prohibit the amplification of music from pedicabs.”

Another ordinance would restrict pedicab operation in the River North hotel and nightlife district to the hours between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

“Currently, groups of twelve or more pedicabs are operating overnight along River North streets and creating significant safety issues as they block ambulances and emergency vehicles,” Reilly said.

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