Elmwood Park residents, businesses struggle with parking
Leroy Pfeifer (center) of Elmwood Park talks with neighbor Jose Garcia-Hernandez about the parking congestion on their street, 75th Court, near North Avenue. They would like to see permit parking for residents. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 2, 2012 10:04AM
ELMWOOD PARK — For residents on the 1600 block of 75th Court, parking their car in front of their home is more precious than gold.
The one-way southbound street intersects with North Avenue, where businesses attract customers not on foot. About a dozen angled parking spaces line the street just north of North Avenue on 75th Court.
But when the spots fill, overflow drivers patronizing businesses such as Burger Boss, Midwest Animal Emergency Hospital and Studio North Salon park on the 1600 block of 75th Court and further north.
Leroy Pfiefer has lived at 1615 N. 75th Court for more than 30 years and is fed up with circling his block to find a place to park, having to walk home. He believes he should be able to park in front of his house.
Pfiefer said the area is especially congested Friday afternoons. He said trucks come in to drop off deliveries to the various businesses, using 75th Court or the alley in back of the North Avenue businesses, causing congestion.
Jim Angelilli, 1622 N. 75th Court, said the winter is bad as well. He’s cleared snow from the parking space in front of his house only to have someone park in it after he’s done.
Pfiefer said parking really became bad when Burger Boss, 7512 W. North Avenue, opened up a year ago.
“Since Burger Boss has moved in, it’s been unbearable,” he said.
Burger Boss co-owner Mark Bouse understands people park on the block. Some are his employees. He has asked them to not park in residential areas, but he can’t force them to go elsewhere if there are no parking restrictions on the street.
“It’s unfortunate for both of us,” he said. “I want to keep a good relationship with my neighbors. I’d love more parking for my business, but that’s not going to happen.”
Bouse has lived in Oak Park, where parking is also an issue, and understands what residents are going through.
“I paid for permits and there were times I couldn’t find a space, so I can certainly empathize with them,” he said.
Pfiefer says Studio North Salon, 7518 W. North Ave., has also added to the congestion.
“There are too many people working there with too many customers,” he said
Jose Garcia-Hernandez, who lives two doors down from Pfiefer, said weekends are the worst.
“It’s like the second world war,” he said.
Roseann Massey, who owns Studio North Salon, said when customers come to her salon they must park somewhere. She said all of the businesses are at fault and said when residents go on vacation, they park their cars in the angled parking area, which should be used for customers.
Pfiefer said they park there to avoid parking tickets while on vacation, because on certain days of the week, they have to park on a particular side of the street.
“It’s not just us,” Massey said. “When they come out of their homes we’re the only one they see.”
Pfiefer would like permit parking for residents. He’s been to the village on several occasions, but says there’s been no response.
“They don’t see the impact on the people living here,” Garcia-Hernandez said. “They don’t have any consideration for the people who put them in office.”
Elmwood Park Village Manager Paul Volpe said the village is aware of the issues and that the Traffic and Safety Committee is studying the matter. Volpe understands residents want to park in front of their homes while businesses need adequate customer parking.
“We want to have a solution that does not hurt businesses, but promotes a parking option for residents,” Elmwood Park Mayor Peter Silvestri said. “We’re trying to find a happy medium.”