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  1. #1
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    Free parking near Chicago loop?

    I would like to park somewhere near the loop then bike around the city. I know I can park in the 31'st park on the lakeshore and connect to the lake shore trail. But I plan to do more city cycling. How is this location to park'n'cycle:

    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=...12,328.39,,0,2

    Do these type of areas require permits to park? Is there any law about parking in front of some random person's house?

  2. #2
    Arschgaudi Mayonnaise's Avatar
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    you picked the wrong time to ask that question. Recently the city's parking meters have been privatized and prices jacked very high.

    You may not know, but part of the deal is the city only makes money on the tickets they write; forfeiting all money made from quarters. Meaning, they're writing tickets out the *****.

    lots of neighborhoods have permit parking.

    Parking in Chicago is now harder than ever. Keep doing your homework and see if something turns up for free, but also plan on paying to park. It hurts but not as bad as a $50 ticket.
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    I have parked my car a few blocks from Midway and the area was all permit free. The permits were only needed for the blocks right near the airport. I would think the areas west of Ashland, should all be permit free? I guess Ill have to drive around and find out!

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    Genetics have failed me Scummer's Avatar
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    Hmm... with lots of luck you might find parking between Roosevelt and Congress along Jefferson or Des Plaines. That's the streets I normally try to find free parking.
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    Senior Member John Wilke's Avatar
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    I never have any problems at the races I attend, of course that's on the weekend. Would you have better luck near one of the colleges and universities? Univ. of IL - Chicago, Chicago Univ., Northwestern, etc.

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  6. #6
    nvr
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    What's wrong with parking in one of the lots along the lakefront path? Say...Recreation Drive? 5ish miles north of the loop, but you can head straight to the streets from there instead of the riding the path.

    Can I ask why you'd rather ride through the streets? I mean, part of my commute I have no choice, but I jump on the path as soon as I can (less stops, less traffic, less chance of accidents). This week alone I've come within a foot of being squished between a passing bus and row of parked cars, and multiple speeding right hooks.

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    Up on the Down Side CyLowe97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
    I would like to park somewhere near the loop then bike around the city. I know I can park in the 31'st park on the lakeshore and connect to the lake shore trail. But I plan to do more city cycling. How is this location to park'n'cycle:

    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=...12,328.39,,0,2
    Ha! Your link pulls up a map of about a block from where I used to live on Chicago Ave. I parked on that stretch of Wolcott all the time. Last I knew, it was still a free to parking zone and there is usually a place to park. That's about 3 miles straight west of Water Tower down Chicago Ave.

    Park there and you'll be ~1 mile south of Wicker Park, ~.5 miles from a bunch of restaurants along Division. It's a decent spot.

    Hyde Park might work, too, if you want to be closer to the lakefront path on the south side. Try just north of Garfield (55th) near the U of C. I've found parking there near LSTC in the past.

  8. #8
    Grandpa with spunk Randy Bosma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
    I would like to park somewhere near the loop ....
    Can you define 'near' for us? Also your level of comfort with various city neighborhoods will affect the advice given.
    Quote Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
    Is there any law about parking in front of some random person's house?
    Not that I'm aware of. I've visited people in a variety of places in the city and not had a problem parking near their houses. Mayonnaise's comments would best apply to commercial zones and select (high density) residential areas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scummer View Post
    Hmm... with lots of luck you might find parking between Roosevelt and Congress along Jefferson or Des Plaines. That's the streets I normally try to find free parking.
    Hmmmm... I'm pretty sure that area is near 100% all parking meter-ed.

    Two more possiblities near Hyde Park (a 20-30 minute ride to the Loop) - 1) at the east side of the Museum of Science and Industry, 57th Street & Lake Shore Drive; 2) There's a park district parking lot on the north side of 47th between the Metra tracks and LSD. Both have easy access across the Drive to the Lakefront bike path.

    HTH,
    Last edited by Randy Bosma; 05-15-09 at 08:47 PM. Reason: added info
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nvr View Post
    What's wrong with parking in one of the lots along the lakefront path? Say...Recreation Drive? 5ish miles north of the loop, but you can head straight to the streets from there instead of the riding the path.
    Pretty soon you won't be able to park for free in any of the lakefront parks:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,1240819.story

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    actually my plan is a bit more complex. I arrive in Chicago the morning and then I have to fly out from O'Hare in the evening. So I am looking for somewhere to park my car for a few days but also be close to downtown so I could bike around the city during the day. I will have my folding bike with me. So I'll just fold it up and store it in my trunk for the few days when I'm gone.

    Assuming I can find somewhere to park near Damon, do you foresee any problem with leaving the car for a few days in front of some random house?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Silverexpress's Avatar
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    Have you considered parking at one of the Metra stations and taking the folder on a train into Chicago?

    I'd recommend N. Glenview station. You might be able to leave your car overnight there. The train ride is less than 30 min, and it's nice.

    http://www.metrarail.com/Sched/md_n/...glenview.shtml

    The station next down, Glenview, has an agent at the station.

    Here are some pics of my Brompton on the Metra.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/29934139@N03/

    You should be able to take a train to O'hare. You can pretty much get around Chicago, and the outlying burbs with nothing more than a pair of shoes, bike, bus, or train.
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  12. #12
    Up on the Down Side CyLowe97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
    Assuming I can find somewhere to park near Damon, do you foresee any problem with leaving the car for a few days in front of some random house?
    No, you shouldn't have a problem. I lived a mile south of the Damen Blue Line stop in Wicker Park. Parked my car where ever there was a spot on side streets. As long as there is not a zone permit sign along the street you can park as long as you want.

    The biggest warning in that area for long term parking is to look for signs that street cleaning might be scheduled while you are planning to park there. You'll get a ticket if your car is parked on that side of the street on that given day.

    Otherwise, it's an easy El ride out to O'Hare on the Blue line. Used to take that line almost every day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyLowe97 View Post
    The biggest warning in that area for long term parking is to look for signs that street cleaning might be scheduled while you are planning to park there. You'll get a ticket if your car is parked on that side of the street on that given day.

    Thanks, I will check out for those street cleaning signs. Is that something they do pretty often like every week, or more like once a month? I suppose even if I get a ticket it will still come out cheaper than paying for four days at O'Hare's long-term!

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    Member ChiTownCyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nvr View Post
    What's wrong with parking in one of the lots along the lakefront path? Say...Recreation Drive? 5ish miles north of the loop, but you can head straight to the streets from there instead of the riding the path.
    Quote Originally Posted by Biker Jo View Post
    Pretty soon you won't be able to park for free in any of the lakefront parks:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,1240819.story
    Well that stinks. I always park at the Recreation Drive lot whenever I do the lakefront path.

    Once that goes into effect, I'll have to start parking at the south end of the path. My wife works in an office building down by MSI, and the steet parking there is free (and pretty empty on the weekends).

    Another good place to park would be around the University of Chicago / U of C Hospital, along Midway Plaisance Drive. Plenty of free parking along there on the weekends as well.
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  15. #15
    Grandpa with spunk Randy Bosma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiTownCyclist View Post
    Another good place to park would be around the University of Chicago / U of C Hospital, along Midway Plaisance Drive. Plenty of free parking along there on the weekends as well.
    +1
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  16. #16
    that bike nut BikingGrad80's Avatar
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    When I went to UIC I would park on
    Rosevelt between Morgan and Racine
    Morgan Between Rosevelt and 16th st
    or Blue Island between Rosevelt and Racine
    16th St East of Blue Island

    You are about 2.5 miles from the lakefront I rode all the time down Rosevelt to the Lakefront bike path when I had time in grad school.

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    I was able to find parking pretty easily just two blocks from the Damen Station. Almost all the streets had pretty clear signs indicating when the cleaning days were. I drove around a few blocks and only found one street that had permit parking. This was around 4 PM, so perhaps that's why there were quite a few open spots here and there. Here is a link to where I parked:

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...278.46,,0,10.2

    the neighborhood looks pretty safe. I just hope the cars there my return on Monday!

  18. #18
    Up on the Down Side CyLowe97's Avatar
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    You should be as safe there as anywhere, as long as you left nothing of value visible in the car.

    I've parked in that area plenty of times and not had any issues.

    When you get back and hop off the blue line, stop in for a bowl of Lad Nar at Penny's Noodles.

  19. #19
    Senior Member stevevance's Avatar
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    Parking permits is based on neighborhood desire and demand to have such a program.

    I discourage you from parking in a residential neighborhood and then leaving your car there for a couple days.
    It could be ticketed or towed (for work being done on or in the street, an emergency, a block party, street cleaning, someone reporting it as abandoned).

    I don't have an alternative idea, though. BikingGrad80 suggested a good area for on-street parking. Only 40% of the segments they suggested are residential. It's an easy ride to downtown, the lake, less than a mile from a Blue Line station, and near a bunch of restaurants on Taylor and Halsted Streets.

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