A controversy continues to brew over large crowds of young people gathering in Chicago’s Park Manor neighborhood, with some homeowners and businesses complaining about noise and rowdiness and want police to take action.
Chicago police said over the weekend they received multiple calls from neighbors complaining about people partying in the streets and blocking traffic.
While some business owners told NBC 5 off camera they are fed up with the large crowds, others don’t see the problem since they say the crowd was mostly peaceful.
The 75th Street business corridor from Michigan and Calumet Avenues turned into a huge party over the weekend on the South Side.
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“I mean, we just opened,” said business owner Rohan Ireland. “People have been in the house for a year and a half , and they trying to have some fun.”
Surveillance images taken from a nearby camera show dozens of people gathering in the street Saturday night. Neighbors reported loud music, people drinking, and blocking traffic.
“A lot of old folks live around here so I mean they’ll be disturbed if they’re sleeping because of the noise,” he said. “There’s a lot of noise to be honest.”
Some neighbors and business owners want their alderperson to address the problem. But the owner of Brown Sugar Bakery sees this as an opportunity to attract new customers—even brainstorming ideas for a possible festival on 75th Street.
“We don’t have a Fulton Market or Rush Street,” said Stephanie Hart. “They’re going to close the streets off with a purpose of allowing people to have a space to have a good time, and what’s wrong with that on the South Side?"
Police responded to calls of complaints, but said no one was cited, no one was arrested, and the crowd eventually cleared out. Meanwhile, Ald. Rod Sawyer urged partygoers to respect residents and business owners on the block.
He issued a statement saying in part, “We will be working with various city departments to ensure we are respecting residents and families who live there, by enforcing parking restrictions, traffic violations, and general crowd control. With our city officially re-opening tomorrow, let’s continue to stay safe and practice more respect in regard to noise level, trash, and obeying CDC guidelines.”
Neighbors plan to address their concerns at a block club meeting. It’s scheduled for Thursday, June 17 at 6 p.m. at Salem Lutheran Church on 74th Street.