South Chicago residents upset about parking meters

June 19, 2009 (CHICAGO) The group protested at the doorstep of Alderman John Pope's off on Friday. Labor , religious , and community leaders -along with local businessmen and residents- are opposed to the proposed meter expansion.

"They want to install more parking meters along this strip a lot of people in this area are not wealthy so we feel it would be a big burden on people in the community," said Robert Garcia, Centro Communitario Juan Diego volunteer.

Garcia says Alderman Pope and the South Chicago Chamber Of Commerce are spearheading the parking meter expansion on Commercial Ave. Alderman Pope would not talk to ABC7, but Neil Bosanko of the South Chicago Chamber said he is against Centro Communitario Juan Diego monopolizing the meters all day on Commercial Ave.

"It is not meant for storeowners to park eight hours a day. It is meant for shoppers to patronize local shopping districts and free up a space for the next guy. We look at the best interest of the community retail shopping district," said Neil Bosanko, South side chamber of commerce.

Small merchants have complaints about the existing meters, which at 25-cents for 15 minutes impact the poor, they say.

"It is not a good idea we have to dish out more money just so we can park our car," said Patty Casares, South Side resident.

"It just benefits the city. They are milking more money out of the people," said Luis Jaramillo, South Side resident.

The protesters say they have petitions opposing the expansion of more meters

"I saw," said Bosanko.

Some people said they will stop shopping in South Chicago because they cannot afford to pay $100 fines when they run out of quarters or time on a meter.

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