Parking restrictions proposed

City council to hear 2nd parking read

City council to hear 2nd parking read

By Lindsey Salvatelli

DeKALB | During Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, the DeKalb chief of police brought forth a safe street initiatives for review.

Gene Lowery, DeKalb Police Department chief, said there has been some movement in regaining back the northwest corridor from the recent spike in criminal activity and gun violence, but he said he believes initiating stringent parking regulations could produce more results.

“We know that certain parking regulations can help benefit our ability to control crime,” Lowery said.

The proposed restrictions would apply to three areas. Parking would be banned between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. on Russell Road and Crane Drive, and the majority of the area between Twombly Road and Lucinda Avenue would have a 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. ban. Areas east of Russell Road and Normal Road, and other pockets throughout town, would have a 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. ban unless a permit has been obtained from the city. Lowery is also working with the park district to target activity at Welsh Park, 651 Russell Road.

“Knowing the problems we’ve had in Welsh Park, knowing the problems we’ve had on Greenbrier and Crane and primarily Russell, I think we need to be a little more stringent,” Lowery said.

If approved, parking violators would be issued a $75 ticket that would increase to $100 if not paid within 10 days.

This is not the first time Lowery has called for such an initiative. Lowery said he appealed to the council from 2012 to 2014 to implement parking regulations on key streets such as Edgebrook and Kimberly, which led to a three-year decline of crime in the neighborhood.

Lowery said he has met with many stakeholders to receive feedback and intends to push forward with the initiative. He said he expects to have the first reading conducted during the Nov. 27 city council meeting, but he also plans to have a second reading completed sometime in December.

“I assure you the input and stakeholder input conversations are going to continue in the days ahead,” Lowery said. “We already have meetings scheduled this week and going on.”

Lowery said he realizes the parking ban could push people into the surrounding neighborhoods, so considerations of those areas just outside of the proposed parking prohibition are also being made and will be announced during later meetings.

While there was some hesitation to bring this proposal to the council, Lowery said residents have expressed interest in imposing a residential parking permit in the targeted neighborhoods.

“They’d like to see resident-only parking on those streets,” Lowery said. “I wholeheartedly agree.”