Alderman Leslie Hairston (5th) to introduce ordinance asking for permit parking along lakefront

Fourteen residents of the 5400 block of South Shore Drive meet with Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) to discuss permit parking for the block at the Shoreland, 5454 S. Shore Dr., Thursday afternoon. -Marc Monaghan

Fourteen residents of the 5400 block of South Shore Drive meet with Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) to discuss permit parking for the block at the Shoreland, 5454 S. Shore Dr., Thursday afternoon.
-Marc Monaghan

By LINDSAY WELBERS
Staff Writer

Hyde Parkers living on the 5400 block of South Shore Drive could be the first in the neighborhood with permit parking.

Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) told residents Thursday night, in a meeting at the Shoreland, 5454 S. Shore Dr., that 65 percent of the blocks’ residents had signed a petition requesting permit parking.

The signatures were gathered before the newly renovated Shoreland began accepting tenants last fall.

Hairston plans to hold a meeting with Shoreland residents before she will bring a resolution requesting permit parking on South Shore Drive between 54th and 55th streets to City Council.

Hairston made it clear she does not think the addition of permit parking would solve the problems stemming from a 2012 incident where a man was shot over Memorial Day weekend.

Chicago Police Department increased patrols in the area but residents said they believe permit parking would limit the number of people loitering in Jackson Park at night.

“I don’t want people to be under the impression this will solve the parking problem,” Hairston said. “The issue is there are more people with cars than parking spaces.”

Permit parking would allow anyone living on the 5400 block of South Shore Drive block with a car registered to their address to exclusively park on that block between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. from May 1 through October 1.

The sticker itself would be $25 per year, in addition to the Chicago city sticker fees, and those residents could purchase 30 guest passes for $16 each month.

Hairston said she would bring the resolution forward to City Council because residents had met the requirements.

“I struggle with this because I think the lakefront should be open to everyone,” Hairston said. “You’re not solving an issue by creating permit parking because the issue is a police issue.”

Gerald Marsh, a resident of East View Park, 5427 S. East View Park., said the residents in the area had been working on getting parking permits on their block for 10 years before the shooting in 2012.

“This just another tool to help us solve this problem in the future,” Marsh said. “It’s an insurance policy.”

Hairston said permit parking was not an insurance policy against any “unsavory characters” in the park.

A meeting, at a date that will be determined at a later time, will allow the residents of the Shoreland’s 125 occupied apartments to weigh in on the issue.

Shoreland resident Sheila Phillips said she rents an underground parking space for $250 per month and has the option to rent an outdoor space for $170 per month.

Phillips said she would be unlikely to get a parking permit if one were offered to her because she likes the convenience of parking indoors.

l.welbers@hpherald.com