Rogers Park Businesses Cry Foul Over Reassigned Parking Meters

Without warning, meters go up on West Touhy Avenue


Just when some thought the complaints over Chicago's parking meters had died down, new meters going up in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood have fanned the flames of resentment.

Much to the chagrin of many business owners and their customers, meters that had been pulled out along Devon Avenue, where a synagogue is located, have been reassigned along West Touhy Avenue.

"Business is down. If the incomes goes down like 30 percent in the store, then I'm not going to have the money to pay the payroll," said Michael Benezra, the owner of North Shore Kosher Bakery.

What's more, the meters apparently went up over Halloween weekend without notice.

"We just found out it was there when we saw the box go up and then we saw the sign go up," said one local employee. "That's how we were notified."

Ald. Stone (50th) said it was LAZ Parking -- not him -- that had the meters reassigned.

"They had to put them somewhere," he said.  

And as for those businesses, Stone didn't seem all that sympathetic.

"They were lucky they didn't have meters earlier. Now they're crying like babies," he said in a telephone conversation Tuesday.

That tone seems like a smack in the face for businessmen like Benezra.

"The alderman is supposed to protect the businesses on Touhy Avenue and not to hurt them," he said.

Aldermanic candidate Debra Silverstein apparently agrees.

"It was done without input from business owners and residents," she said. "To me, that's unconscionable."

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