City Times Staff
A large semi truck — parked the wrong way — on Prais. St. at 7:15 PM on Aug. 16, as the driver unloads items for the Ministry St. Michael’s ongoing construction along Illinois Avenue.
Residents on Prais St. said the truck blocked several driveways, and said they saw the driver drop some of the cargo from his forklift, which spilled to the road and forced motorists to avoid the street altogether, for over an 90 minutes.
Residents of the street, along with neighboring Jersey St. and Illinois Ave., had been promised by city and hospital officials at an Aug. 1 city plan commission meeting that construction traffic would be limited to Illinois Ave. and Stanley St., and that construction vehicles would not be allowed to park on their residential roadways.
Parking has become a chronic complaint of residents in the area, who say they’re left without on-street parking and deal with constant noise of hospital employees and construction workers who constantly “jockey” their vehicles in the two-hour parking zone:
Joan Kolodziej, Prais St. resident: “It is disturbing, as a resident in this neighborhood. How do we keep this a residential neighborhood? I know things change, but how can we have significant parking for everyone?”
Gene Lacke, Illinois Ave. resident: “You say there’s ample parking. I never have parking; there’s employees who park there; right now, there’s construction workers who park there. I called the police dept. [because] it’s a two-hour parking area, and they send someone around, but everybody plays musical vehicles. Every hour and 50 minutes, the first car moves to the back, and the second one moves to the front and so on. It’s like they set their watches.”
Shari Carpenter, Prais St. resident: “I propose that parking on Prais and neighboring streets be limited to a 20-minute zone; right now it is all employees. You can come out at watch them; they set their watches and jockey their vehicles.”
At the Aug. 1 meeting, Cherrie Pavelec-Marti, Ministry’s vice president of operations, told residents construction has taken “a little bit longer than we anticipated” on its exterior corridors facing Illinois Ave., but said employees should be parking at the former Rice Clinic lot at 2501 Clark St., or on the hospital ramp.
City officials on Aug. 1 restricted parking for construction vehicles to the lot of the former Mid-State building on Michigan Avenue.