By Nayah James
Parents of Piper Elementary School students and the schools’ neighbors have been competing for a scarce Berwyn commodity – on-street parking.
At certain times of the day, particularly around school dismissal, residents can’t find parking near their houses on the 2400 block of Kenilworth.
Third Ward Alderman Marge Paul brought the issue to the South Berwyn (District 100) School Board recently.
“The principal at Piper Elementary School has tried to alleviate some of the parking issued raised by the residents,” she said. “Residents found it hard to find street parking in front of their homes during the week.”
Neighbor David Minch was a little more direct in his criticism in an interview this week.
Parking has always been issue, especially in the case of the block’s elderly residents, block spokesman David Minch stated.
“Parents are waiting for two hours prior to dismissal,” he said. “There have been incidents of complete disrespect where parkers are littering, tossing coffee cups and dropping McDonald’s out the window.”
Sometimes encounters became hostile according to Minch.
“When some parkers were asked to move, for example, once a reaction was ‘F*** you, I don’t have to do anything’ when they were only asked to move up,” he said. “Some parents move up, but not all the parents, there are a few bad apples.”
“Residents sometimes have to park a block away from their homes. There have been a few robberies and for our elderly residents that’s a safety issue. Residents are frustrated,” Minch said.
To improve the situation, the principal has worked with the city to designate 25th Street for staff parking during the day, which Paul says, helped out a bit.
Minch mentioned that the designated parking on 25th Street has “helped alleviate teachers taking up parking spots. They got the memo, but some faculty, staff, substitute teachers and non-teaching staff still park in front of resident’s homes.”
Dismissal creates a serious issue to the residents of that community and they eagerly want this issue taken care of.
In additional to the jam around dismissal times, the city of Berwyn scheduled Adult Volleyball at Piper Elementary during the evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. A new and pressing issue has developed with a parking crunch five days of the week until 9 p.m.
The elderly residents are “easy targets when parking away from home and walking late at night” Minch said.
“There have been some improvements, but what could work is limited waiting time for dismissal,”
“I believe working together to designate parking and with a few more corrections we can alleviate parking issues. For the Adult Volleyball, they could designate staff parking as Adult Volleyball parking to make it easier” Minch stated.
Paul brought this up as well in the meeting, asking them to not host the Adult Volleyball during these times.
Paul will bring up the matter with the city’s Parking and Traffic Committee on Oct. 19.