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Strict Parking Ban In Force Along Bucktown Rails-To-Trail Project

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Roseanne Tellez Roseanne Tellez
Roseanne Tellez is the co-anchor of CBS 2 Chicago′s midday News at...
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(CBS) — It’s been an unofficial bike and jogging path for years, but starting Friday you could be arrested if you go on the Bloomingdale Trail.

As work begins on a project to build a nearly three-mile trail along this old rail line on the North Side, police are cracking down on trespassers.

Some residents say it’s not a moment too soon.

Yet residents who live near the “606 Project” are not very happy about another development: a parking ban.

CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports.

The elevated trail utilizes the old rail line above ground along Bloomingdale Street. But at ground level, residents are talking about a seven-day-a-week parking ban.

“If they’re working on a certain section you could see shutting that area down, but doing a mass overhaul of all the street just seems a little excessive,” resident Meghan Richards says.

Parking is banned along Bloomindale avenue from Ashland to Ridgeway. The signs say for two months but the 606 project website (BT fri ingest) say its  banned through the end of the project in fall 2014. a full year.

“I guess the concern of construction people was people wouldn’t move then in the morning – they’d just leave it parked there — but that’s what tow trucks are for,” resident John Knoerle says.

Residents say they already compete for parking with commuters who use the Clybourn Metra station and churchgoers.

Ald. Scott Waguespack says project managers are not willing to relax the parking ban, not even to allow parking on weekends.

The Chicago Department of Transportation said adjustments may be made in the future.

“While we understand residents’ concerns about the temporary loss of parking, the project is just starting and we need time to align the schedules of contractors and deliveries before revisiting the restrictions,” CDOT said in a written statement. “Workers need to have access seven days a week in order to construct the Bloomingdale Trail as quickly as possible. Bloomingdale Avenue remains open to traffic during construction, but allowing parking at any time would impede heavy construction equipment from accessing the elevated site.”

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