Chicago police implement new parking restrictions to reduce crime on lakefront

CHICAGO — Chicago police imposed new overnight parking restrictions on Friday night in an effort to cut down on crime along the lakefront.

Seven people were hurt at Lake Shore Drive and Fullerton Avenue, steps away from the Theatre on the Lake last Saturday at 3 a.m.

Alderman Michele Smith sent an email to residents this week and said it’s part of a disturbing pattern of people coming to the lakefront after the park is closed and parking on Cannon drive and walking to the lake. She said the temporary parking restrictions are an effort to curb the number of illegal parties and disturbances happening near the lakefront.

Cannon Drive from Fullerton Parkway to Diversey Harbor will be a temporary “Parking Prohibited Tow Zone” overnight. This started Friday 11 p.m., but there’s confusion over what time it ends. The posted signs say 5 a.m., but flyers left on cars say the ban is from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. The alderman's website said the parking restrictions end at 5 a.m.

Some in the neighborhood said the restrictions are unnecessary and don't want to lose the parking.

"It was a shock  to see the notices after this has been free parking for years and years," Roger Mroczek, Chicago resident, said. "Problems can happen everywhere, but why should an entire neighborhood suffer because of one incident that happened there."

The city is also prominently posting signs reminding everyone the park closes at 11 p.m.

OEMC also placed a new camera with a license plate reader on Cannon Drive after the shooting.

Smith said her office will monitor this pilot program after this weekend to see if there should be changes.

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