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Aldermen on Aug. 13 approved a pilot program for parking on days that Northwestern University will play a home football game.
To avoid having football patrons park in residential areas or at limited-time meters – which can come at the cost of a hefty fine, not to mention inconvenience to neighbors – the City will dedicate the parking spaces along Poplar Avenue south of Central Street to the dead end south of Lincoln Street for game-day parking. The $40 cost will allow football fans to park from four hours before and two hours after the game.
Northwestern is scheduled to host six games this season, beginning with Duke University on Sept. 8, followed by Akron on Sept. 15, Michigan on Sept. 29, Nebraska on Oct. 13, Wisconsin on Oct. 27 and Notre Dame on Nov. 3. Many of these games are expected to be sold out.
The City had originally proposed allowing football fans to park nearly anywhere in the area for $40. After meeting with residents about that proposal, Alderman Eleanor Revelle, 7th Ward, suggested dedicating the Central/Stewart lot for parking; the Poplar lot was added during a committee meeting on Aug. 13. At the City Council meeting, however, she reversed that stance, saying that having the Central/Stewart lot dedicated to football parking could harm the businesses along Central Street.
Aldermen wished to have a pilot in place for the first game and agreed the pilot could be modified as the season progresses. They appeared to agree that the considerations are to avoid overly inconveniencing residents or Central Street businesses and to generate revenue for the City.
Season ticket-holders will be able to park on holes 1, 2, 11 and 12 on the Canal Shores golf course four hours before the game starts and two hours after the game is over.