Help me park with Pride
June 23, 2012 1:40 PM   Subscribe

Chicago PRIDE Parade parking question. What's my best bet for parking in the vicinity of the step-off point?

The wife and I are planning to participate in Chicago's PRIDE parade tomorrow in support of a close relative who is transgendered. We are coming in from the burbs, and want to park near the step-off point, and will take CTA back when the parade is through.

I'm familiar enough with the city in general, but I'm looking for specific suggestions on where might be good prospects for parking given the above. Looking at the route map, Montrose between Broadway and Clark will be blocked off for staging, as will Sheridan and Broadway for a few blocks north of Montrose, and the parade itself proceeds south on Sheridan from Montrose.

All that said, can folks suggest good prospects for ad hoc parking in the area?
posted by hwestiii to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (6 answers total)
Are you looking for residential street parking? Because generally, you'll need a parking permit to keep your car there overnight. I think permit-free, meter-free parking is pretty rare, parade or no. If you can take the CTA home, I'd seriously consider sparing yourself the traffic clusterfuck and taking the CTA there too.
posted by gueneverey at 1:59 PM on June 23, 2012

Uh oh - I think from your question you may be misunderstanding how it works. You stay stationary at one point for the whole parade... you don't follow it. From "take the CTA back when the parade is through," it sounds like you want to park at the beginning, follow the parade, and then take the CTA back. That's not how it works. Forgive me if I've misread you.

It's true that the parade steps off from further north this year, but some things hold true no matter the year: You will want to stay stationary, find a spot and stake it out, and hold your ground while watching the parade go by. The spots along Diversey are traditionally more family-friendly and I think that is likely to stay the same this year. The CTA is likely to be a madhouse with delays that can last sweaty loud hours, so if you are able to skip it entirely I'd recommend that.

For someone coming in from the burbs, here's what I'd recommend, as a five-year Lakeview resident. Park downtown in a garage. Yes, it's expensive, but your car will be far away from the action and you won't have to worry about any street closures or changes. Take one of the Express buses or the 151 up to Sheridan & Diversey (2800 N Sheridan), which is likely where they will terminate for the parade. Hop off and set up camp along Diversey.

You'll want to remember water and sunscreen. If you are going early enough, you might even want to bring camp chairs and food. Wear hats for shade if you don't find a shady spot, those are gone early.

Thank you for your support of the GLBTQ community, and your support of the Lakeview community! We are proud that we can host one of the best parades of the year and welcome our allies from outside the neighborhood, city, and state!
posted by juniperesque at 2:35 PM on June 23, 2012

Juniperesque, we are actually walking in the parade for the full length of the route with a group composed of family members of transgendered individuals. Forgive me for not making that clear.

Taking Metra or CTA in would normally be an option, but time constraints tomorrow make that difficult, so the scenario I sketched out in the OP seems to provide the greatest probability of a satisfactory experience, with the parking qualfication paramount. On-street parking near the step-off point would be ideal, as would an off-street public garage in the vicinity.

Also, we'll be driving in the morning, so overnight parking is not really a concern.
posted by hwestiii at 3:49 PM on June 23, 2012

It actually heads south down Broadway, not Sheridan. Sheridan is the staging area. Long term parking near Montrose and Broadway is going to be tricky because of residential permits, but the further west you're willing to drive the more likely you are to find something. You could possibly drive west on Wilson or Lawrence, find a residential spot, then take a bus back east and walk south to Montrose.
posted by Lieber Frau at 5:01 PM on June 23, 2012

From years of experience I can tell you that you've got it backward. Drive in and park near the end of the route then hop on a train/into a cab and head to the line up. When you've walked the length of the parade you'll be thrilled that you can hop into the car and go, particular if it's hot as hell.
posted by FlamingBore at 10:25 PM on June 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

FlamingBore has it, and additionally most people will be thinking like you and saturating parking at the start point, while the end point will be relatively light.

Also, something that crops up around Wrigley Field is people selling their home's ally parking spots for the duration. If you don't find any convenient street parking, look for signs at alley entrances (mid-block) advertising their spots.
posted by Evilspork at 6:07 AM on June 26, 2012

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