Metra Permit Parking Meeting and Ward Council Meeting #3 Notes

Hello Neighbors,

We had tentatively scheduled an East Ravenswood Neighbors meeting for January 30. However, the Ward Office has schedule the Metra area permit parking meeting for that evening. Permit parking is first on the table in 2012 and since we live near the train tracks, this will affect many of us, if not all. If you can, please attend the permit parking meeting to learn more and voice your opinion. The dates are confusing on the website, so I am contacting the office to clarify. Keep checking the Alderman’s website for more information. This is the most recent information I have for the meeting:
Monday, January 30th, 6:30pmBethany Retirement Community 4950 N. Ashland

If you have any questions please call the ward office at 773-868-4747 or email

Notes from Ward Council, Meeting 3, Tuesday, January 17th.

Linda Wilson (East Ravenswood Rep Alternate) and I attended the third 47th Ward Council meeting on January 17. These are my notes.
Alderman Pawar spoke for about half an hour.
Protests, Parades, and Assemblies
An ordinance was passed in advance of the upcoming G8/NATO meetings, which gives the police more power to intervene in protests. Some Chicagoans are angry because they weren’t included in the discussion. If you want to protest, let the Alderman and Mayor’s Office know–they can answer your questions for legality. If you can’t afford liability insurance, the city will waive the fees but you have to get clearance first. The Alderman’s office will be sending out an email about the G8/NATO events that will be occurring this summer.
Redistricting and Remapping
A compromise map passed on Tuesday. The district is changing very little, but the 47th Ward will probably shrink by about 2,500 people. The whole city lost 200,000 people and the City Council is looking to have fair representation. In every version of the map, there is a cut at Ainslie or Winnemac. The Black Caucus map cuts at Lawrence, and was more popular. It preserved North Center as a whole–the other map would cut the southern part of the ward and the northern part. The Alderman said remapping is “all politics,” and he had to play it that way to keep up working relationships. Many other wards are getting even more distorted–this ward may be changing the least citywide. He said he’s being strategic to negotiate. Constituent groups or citzen groups may force a referendum, which would be very expensive. In terms of services, we’re moving to a grid-based systems so the remap shouldn’t affect that. The Alderman now represents your “interests,” not so much services anymore. Redistricting happens ever 10 years after the census to comply with the Voting Rights Act. If there is interest, Ald. Pawar may put put together a special meeting to explain the changes. The TIFs for Chappell and Amundsen will be affected but students that go to those schools still live in the ward. The Mariano’s/Ravenswood Station project could be in the 40th Ward, but again not for 10 years. But these remapping lines won’t effect voting until 2015.
Permit Parking (Presented by Bill Higgins, 47th Ward Transportation Expert)
The Alderman wanted to figure out the state of permit parking before making changes, because changes were made without notice as he came into office. In 1930–3.3 million people in the city, few cars. Now 2.6m, with over 1 million cars, so there are pros and cons to permits. Ald. Pawar put together a Transportation Committee last August, with a permit parking task force to deal with the 13 residential permit parking zones including LV2 (Cubs Night Game parking) in the ward.
Goals/Steps for the Committee:
1. Rationalize the neighborhood parking zones
2. Criteria for approval policy of residential permit parking, inc.uding surrounding blocks and busineesses
3. Interpreting input from neighbors
4. Alderman approval and implementation.
They’re looking at grouping the zones into permit parking regions. So, for instance, they’d combine Lincoln Square permits into same number. The hours of enforcement would vary within each area. They’re planning to do an annual review. 65 percent of blocks must in favor of changes. All units including non owners especially for a major event like at Wrigley field. They want to finalize this before city stickers need to be purchased. They may start by consolidating in Lincoln Square and Metra this year and others next year. The permit policy is on the website, as well as new  procedures for a block to get together and change or improve the permits. Bill Higgins is in charge of this project ( at the Alderman’s office and will join at your meeting to discuss all the changes and they are holding public hearings now for the different areas to explain. They strongly urge you to attend if it will effect you.In Area 5, they are going to combine permit parking for the part of the area close to Metra. This will be from Lawrence to Wilson along Ravenswood to Paulina. If you are in a corner building you will probably be included but they didn’t go into the specifics. They said they would explain it at the Metra Permit Parking meeting.
Block Audits
The Alderman’s office is asking block clubs to do “block audits” to give the ward office an overall picture of the block, to help find out what is happening as it’s happening so they can better implement city services and workshops. They passed out surveys for the block audits but they will be revising them. Questions on the audit include, how many single family homes on your block, how many neighbors above 65, etc. They’d like to have each block accounted by April. Volunteers from each block of our area will be needed to thoroughly report the information.
The vast majority of the crime in the ward is property crime. If you see something suspicious call 911 and let them make the decision. It’s better to call than not. The more feedback the better. Our CAPS officer will most likely change after the merger of police districts. We always should have a representative at CAPS meetings. The email to send questions to is:
There is a new system that the new Police Chief is implementing called COMPSTAT. This system drills down and holds commanders accountable based on data. There has been no beat realignmenet in 40 years. That’s going to change soon based on crime patterns. There will always be at least one car in our beat. If they go off to respond, there will be a roving car to back them up. After the merger, we’ll have the second-most amount of police coverage in the city. The Alderman’s office is looking for a community liason between the alderman’s office and the police. They’re looking for a direct line from their office to continue a conversation and be able to hold someone accountable.If you call 911, the police report may get changed to 311. This is okay. You want to be able to be proactive, and keep officers on the street for more effective policing. You can follow up with your CAPS office to find out what happened. There are court assistance for the community who can show up at trials–that helps the trials.
Odds and Ends
Mayor Emanuel has been making a lot of public information available (see Ald. Pawar is going to Google camp with city CIO John Tolva to learn about changes to Open 311. Google technology has created a system  so we can proactively spot and react to crime trends.
The next Ward Council meeting is Tuesday, March 6th.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Linda Wilson on January 22, 2012 at 6:32 am

    There is a link In the Jan 20th 47th Ward Newsletter that shows the existing ward boundaries and what the new ones will look like.
    Here’s the link (copy and paste into your browser),-87.680426&spn=0.056487,0.132093
    Now I’d like to also see the changes to the wards north, south and east of the 47th.


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