CHICAGO (CBS) — Police and the Chicago Park District have announced parking restrictions on Cannon Drive in Lincoln Park, after seven people were shot in the park this past weekend.
Police arrived just after 3 a.m. Saturday after the shooting, which happened near Fullerton Beach and just steps from the Theater on the Lake at Lake Shore and Fullerton drives. At least three victims were taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in critical condition, and another victim self-transported to the hospital, authorities said at the time.
The shooting began as a quarrel between two groups. One group was leaving the lakefront and another was arriving when words were exchanged, police said.
Police said a person in each group started shooting.
Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) said in her ward newsletter police told her the shooting fit into a disturbing pattern in which people come to the lakefront long after the park is closed and parking on Cannon Drive. Police are concerned about illegal parties and disturbances in the park, Ald. Smith’s office said.
Cannon Drive runs deep in Lincoln Park, and is lined with park land on both sides for most of its length up to Fullerton Drive. There are rush hour parking restrictions, but overnight parking has long been permitted.
Under new rules that police and the Chicago Park District are enacting, that will change.
“Park Closes 11 p.m.” signs will be prominently posted in Lincoln Park along Cannon Drive. A pilot program establishing a “Parking Prohibited Tow Zone” along Cannon Drive between Fullerton Drive and Diversey Parkway will also be implemented between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., Smith’s office said.
The new tow zone will go into effect on Friday for this coming weekend.
Police have been placing fliers on cars parked on Cannon Drive to notify drivers of the new restrictions ahead of time, Smith’s office said.
Police hope the new measures will discourage people who wish to come to the area armed and planning to commit violence, while preserving Lincoln Park and the lakefront for peaceful enjoyment, Smiths’ office said.
Smith’s office will monitor the parking restriction pilot program after the weekend to see whether it helps solve the problem, and whether the scope of the prohibition needs to change.