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Local

DeKalb police seek public input on safe streets initiative

Matthew Apgar - mapgar@shawmedia.com
A sign is photographed on Thursday, July 6, 2017 in DeKalb.
Matthew Apgar - mapgar@shawmedia.com A sign is photographed on Thursday, July 6, 2017 in DeKalb.

DeKALB – Ahead of a planned DeKalb City Council vote in December, the DeKalb Police Department is asking for public input on an ordinance regulating street parking around the Annie Glidden North neighborhood to help reduce crime.

DeKalb Police Chief Gene Lowery said the parking changes comes in light of a series of violent, gang-related crimes in the area that have required the police department to take a comprehensive look at what can be done.

“Everyone I talk to has been supportive of this, even to the extent that it does have an impact on their respective lives,” Lowery said.

Under the initiative, there will be no parking on Russell Road and Crane Drive from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. These two streets share a border with Welsh Park, which the DeKalb Park District Board voted to close after sunset during a special Nov. 9 meeting.

There also will not be parking in the Greek Row area and the College-John neighborhood along the Kishwaukee River, except for residents with a properly issued parking pass from the city, from 2 to 6 a.m. A portion of the neighborhood next to Greek Row will have the same restriction without the resident exemption. First Ward Alderman David Jacobson said that parking regulation changes could destabilize the limited stabilization in and around the Annie Glidden North neighborhood and the student population.

“I think we can find a good balance between the public safety aspect and the convenience aspect of those people that actually live there,” Jacobson said.

Tricia DeBoo, who owns a rental property on John Street, spoke during the public participation portion of the meeting and voiced concerns about the effects parking regulation changes could have on her property, which is 40 percent of her livelihood. The ordinance is expected to go through first reading during the City Council’s Nov. 27 meeting, and it is expected to be voted on during the Dec. 11 meeting.

“We want the ordinance to through as fast as we can, but we want to make sure we give everyone time [to comment],” Lowery said.

A map of the parking restrictions is available on the city’s website.

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