Over the last few months, I have hosted several community meetings to discuss parking and traffic issues in the Jarvis Square business district (Jarvis and Greenview). The discussions focused on two proposals to support the continued revitalization of the business district: (1) the conversion of Jarvis Avenue from a one-way street to a two-way street from either Sheridan to Ashland or Sheridan to Clark and (2) the installation of parking meters in Jarvis Square.
The last meeting occurred on July 16th, at which community residents and business owners reviewed two studies, which I asked the City of Chicago to conduct. The first study recommended AGAINST making Jarvis a two-way street. The study determined that Jarvis was not wide enough to accommodate two-way traffic.
The overwhelming number of residents who weighed in on this issue, both at the July 16th meeting and in e-mails and letters to my office, concurred with the study’s recommendation. Accordingly, I will maintain Jarvis as a one-way street.
The second study recommended that parking meters be installed in the Jarvis Square business district to encourage parking turnover and attract new customers to the area. The study recommended a rate of 25 cents for 15 minutes, with a two-hour time limit, and that the meters operate between 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
While opinion was not unanimous, a majority of the community residents and business owners who attended the meeting, and a majority of the community residents who shared their thoughts with me through e-mails and telephone calls, supported the study’s recommendation to install parking meters in the Jarvis Square business district. Most residents, however, supported a lower parking meter rate than was recommended in the study.
Based on that community input, I will introduce an ordinance to install parking meters in Jarvis Square at the rate of 25 cents for 30 minutes, a rate half that recommended by the City study. The meters will be placed on the 1500 block of West Jarvis and on the 7300 and 7400 blocks of North Greenview in front of commercial storefronts only. They will have a two-hour time limit and operate between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The parking meters should be installed before the end of the year.
I have asked the City of Chicago Department of Revenue to explore the possibility of installing “Pay-and-Display Boxes,” rather than meters, but it appears that will not be likely given the high cost of the Pay and Display Boxes ($8,000 for a Pay-and-Display Box vs. $400 for a parking meter).
If it is later determined that the parking restrictions on Jarvis are creating an undue burden on neighboring residential streets, I can ask the City to amend the hours or rates, or remove the meters altogether.
I know we all agree that the revitalized Jarvis Square business district is a benefit to our neighborhood, and it is my hope that the parking meters will help the new businesses succeed. Thank you for your thoughts and comments.