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CHICAGO (CBS) — A booting ban went into effect in Chicago’s 1st Ward this summer, and Near Northwest Side businesses are already complaining.
They say it is making it even harder to provide parking spots for customers.
But CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas showed us that the alternative — towing — could be much worse.
Peter Vaselopulos keeps the shelves stocked at Vas Foremost Liquors, 2300 N. Milwaukee Ave. But at least one thing can be hard to find at his Logan Square store.
“Customers have complained there’s no parking,” Vaselopulos said.
Vaselopulos shares a parking lot with a few other nearby businesses, but he said many of the parkers aren’t customers.
“They might be visiting a friend, they might be going to the post office, they might be taking a quick run to the restaurant,” he said.
A private company used to watch the lot and boot cars. But a new city ordinance bans companies from booting in the 1st Ward.
Now Vaselopulos says the parking situation’s gotten worse.
“Now we either got to wait it out or we got to call the tow truck – which is another evil, so to speak,” he said. “So it’s a no win situation for us.”
Towing is more expensive for drivers, and leaves them with the hassle of going to retrieve their car.
Mike Denigris of Innovative Parking Solutions says the 1st Ward was their busiest area. Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st) told CBS 2 last month he introduced the ordinance after a slew of complaints from constituents.
McNicholas: “There are people out there that describe this as a predatory practice.”
Denigris: “When they say predatory, it’s a very hard thing to say – because we feel the people that park on private property. They’re the ones being predatory, because they’re trying to do something that is advantageous to themselves.”
Last month, we reported how the new ban sparked confusion straight out of the gate after the city gave companies the wrong start date. Thus, drivers like Karyl Allanic got the boot despite the ban – only to later get refunded for her fine after our story aired.
“There were plenty of open spots.” Allanic said.
“Listen to the business owners too,” Vaselopulos said. “The way it’s going right now, we might have to have a spotter out there all the time just to minimize it.”
The manager of another building in the ward tells us he’ll also be increasing his calls to tow companies.
We asked Alderman La Spata for an interview about the businesses’ concerns, but he said he wasn’t available and doesn’t have anything new to add.
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