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Parking in Shorewood: Changes Near Garden Room Prompt Broader Local Discussion

A proposal to raze a home for parking has become a contentious one, but recent developments in the saga have elevated the a broader discussion to the issue of parking in Shorewood.

Temporary parking changes near the Garden Room — aimed at quelling parking issues before the Village Board votes on a proposal to raze a house for a parking lot — have struck a chord with residents and Patch readers. 

In a village that brands itself as a "walkable community" and encourages patrons to walk to local businesses, should parking for local shops be such a priority? Or, with all the growth in the business district, should the village be adding parking to meet the new demand? 

"I'm glad that the village has finally realized how stupid the 'walking community' idea really is," commenter CowDung said. "If we want to bring people in to Shorewood to support our businesses, we need to realize that almost all of them will be driving a car and will need to park."

Reader Nancy Peske said, "There are walkable communities that are densely populated, with small lots and parking problems, and there are car communities where you have to drive everywhere because of the sprawl. Shorewood's never going to be the latter unless we start bulldozing with gusto, which I hope we never do!"

Some commenters say there's no parking problem near the East Capitol Drive business. They can attest to that fact — driving or strolling past during business hours, there are plenty of empty parking stalls.

"I live a block away from there and I've been paying particular attention to this for the last couple of weeks as you have," North Shore Newbie said in response to another reader's comment. "The last 3 days I've been watching the north side of Capitol between Frederick and Murray (across from Feerick) and there have been absolutely NO cars parked there. Not one."

Others said the addition of parking meters on the major thoroughfares or a Shorewood trolley are options the village should look into. Even if it were a pricey venture, pooling several businesses resources together or perhaps a couple North Shore communities to bare the cost, would make it a viable option.

"... if all of the businesses could pool their money into this, would it be worth it?" commenter Alol wrote. "The greater number of businesses chipping in, the lower the cost for each business, obviously. Maybe if it proved successful it could be operated more than just during the holidays. I really think it would be worth a try."

Garden Room owner Deb Kern has requested the village grant a rezoning petition so she can move forward with plans to have the house at 3940 N. Frederick Ave., around the corner from her business, leveled to construct a nine-stall, environmentally friendly parking lot with permeable pavement and a rain garden.

The Village Board will take up the matter Dec. 17, but in the meantime approved 22 temporary parking spaces. 

Sidewinder December 07, 2012 at 03:48 PM
I live near Prospect and Capitol and can tell you that last year's redo of the parking rules (putting a blanket 2 hour max parking limit on the South Side of Capitol to Edgewood) has absolutely eliminated all parking for those of us on the near North Side of Capitol. Amazingly enough, out of area UWM commuters, typically those who stay all day like Coaches or Teaching Assistants, will park over 6 blocks away from their designated parking locations at Sandburg to park for FREE on our residential street. While I can sympathize with those who have always had to deal with UWM overflow (until 2011), we bought a house well away from there as one of our criteria. Our streets should have a priority for the Residents and Businesses (employees and customers), plus those who would on occasion come to utilize Atwater Park or our other attractions for a reasonable amount of time. To accomodate long-range daily commuters so they can go to paid jobs at UWM to duck out of paying to park - and instead tying up any available spaces on Prospect, Downer, Stowell etc for 8 hours a day is totally unacceptable.

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