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Park District Apologizes For Problems With Online Registration

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A Man Uses A Computer Mouse. (AP Photo)

A Man Uses A Computer Mouse. (AP Photo)

Nancy Harty Nancy Harty
I was a fan of WBBM Newsradio 780 long before joining the staff as a...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – The Chicago Park District’s newly-redesigned website crashed Tuesday morning as thousands of people flooded the site, trying to register for spring programs.

WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports veterans of Park District programs know they need to be at their computer the moment registration opens, or risk having to settle for being placed on a waiting list.

But the recently redesigned registration site crashed Tuesday morning after experiencing four times the amount of expected traffic.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports

The Park District said it brought extra servers online after noticing the extra traffic.

Park District Supt. Michael Kelly apologized for any inconvenience, saying “the Park District does not take lightly the problems people encountered.”

Rhonda Gettelman was on the site at 9:04 a.m. and was able to sign up for some programs, but when it came time to pay, the site froze.

“It timed out,” she said. “It expired. It basically looked like it was processing my credit card for like seven minutes.”

Allison Wilkes said she couldn’t even get into the Park District’s program registration site for 40 minutes.

“It was probably the most frustrating experience with the Park District, and I’ve had some doozies with the Park District, trying to click, click, click as fast as I possibly could to get that swimming class,” she said.

Wilkes eventually got the two classes she wanted, having to settle for a different time for one.

The North Side mother said it’s probably a good thing the glitch was worked out now, instead of during the even busier summer program registration.

Tuesday was the first test for the redesigned Park District website, which a spokesperson said has new functions, including improved searches and instant confirmation.

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