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Some United Center neighbors upset by 'no parking' signs

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Hawks need three more wins to win the Stanley Cup.

And while players are not getting ahead of themselves, Chicago Police need to plan for a celebration just in case.

Some people are not happy with the strategy after finding no parking signs in residential areas near the United Center.

Those signs came down after ABC7 inquired about them.

Area resident Keith Jackson is still upset about this no parking sign.

"This is a neighborhood. And the residents are as important as any folk coming here and spending their money," said Jackson, a resident who lives near the United Center.

Jackson says police on Wednesday night turned this stretch of Wood Street near the United Center into a two-week no parking zone, forcing him and other neighbors who have a resident permit to park farther from their homes.

The dates written on the sign are for the duration of the Stanley Cup Finals, whether there's a game or not.

"Nothing against the Hawks. I love them, right? But the residents come first. Always," said Jackson.

On Thursday, Chicago police cited public safety and traffic flow as reasons for the restriction.

When the Hawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, hundreds of fans descended upon the United Center- even though the team won on the road.

"You want to keep things open. Cars, sometimes, people can just climb on them, jump on them, and stuff like that," said Jody Weis, ABC7 public safety expert.

ABC 7 public safety expert Jody Weis was Chicago Police Superintendent during that celebration three years ago, which was largely peaceful.

"I personally don't think it's a good idea to have the street lined in riot gear because when the people come out, they're almost looking at it like, ok, it's going to be us versus them. We're happy. They're trying to contain us," said Weis.

With hawks fans also likely to crowd Wrigleyville, David Strauss, general manager of the bar Sluggers, says police have already met with bar owners to discuss precautions.

"All drinks are in plastic. Nobody can bring anything out in the street," said Strauss.

Back at the United Center, those no parking signs- which were still up Thursday morning- were taken down by late Thursday afternoon. Police say the restrictions will now only be in place for home games.

But Keith Jackson is still upset.

"I mean, it's condescending. It's arrogant. It makes us totally uncomfortable," said Jackson.

(Copyright ©2014 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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