ParqEx is here to solve the parking problems in Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods.
No parking. Street cleaning 1st Monday of the month. TOW ZONE.
No parking when snow is over two inches. TOW ZONE.
Pay at pay box -but how much?
Parking regulations and availability in Chicago is a nightmare. Wicker Park and Bucktown are two of the trendiest neighborhoods of the city, but also two of the more complicated to park in. Residents and visitors elbow for a space among the traffic of vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists.
Janet Kon has been driving through Wicker Park for three years before moving nine months ago. The problem isn’t just the cost or the availability.
“I am nervous to street park,” said Kon, “because I have come down to find cars broken into or side swiped.”
The demand for on-street parking is high and it is a comfortable option for quick stops and dinners, but off-street parking has more resources to offer to the drivers. The Special Service Area of Wicker Park and Bucktown counted 52 off-street parking lots in the area, which often stay empty -while drivers cruise for parking on Milwaukee Avenue or on Damen Avenue.
Some parking in the two neighborhoods is free or available via permit only for residents, which allows resident drivers to park for the whole day, making it hard for the other 48,000+ vehicles that pass through the main intersection. When parking isn’t free, on most areas there is a maximum of two hours, one hour costing $2 -until 10p.m. One dollar buys the driver 30 minutes.
The 11,650 parking spaces counted between Wicker Park and Bucktown aren’t enough, especially on weekends -when bars and restaurants attract Chicagoans. When the parking spaces are filled, drivers start cruising for parking garages. Except, there are none.
ParqEx aims to connect drivers and owners of parking spaces to solve this huge parking problem. The Chicago-based startup was founded in 2014 by Vivek Mehra, who himself is an urban driver -sometimes a frustrated one. The idea is simple: when a business or an individual owns an unused parking space, they can rent it through the app – hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly. When a driver needs to park, the app’s lists the options. With a click, everyone wins!
“One of Chicago’s most creative neighborhoods - Wicker Park and Bucktown have a lot to offer from famous chef run restaurants, nightlife, live music and art galleries. But, whenever I go to these neighborhoods, parking is a nightmare; street parking is permit only, there are not many parking lots or garages and the meter parking is hard to find, this causes businesses to lose revenue, visitors are frustrated and no one wins. Through ParqEx owners of parking spots can list their underutilized parking spots and help the neighborhood solve this huge parking problem while making some passive income.” said Mehra.
The listed parking spaces are safe, compared to the possibility of getting a $25 ticket for a car parked in “unsafe conditions.” During special events (such as the Bucktown Arts Fest), more restrictions apply and the fine for breaking them is $60. With the ParqEx app, drivers are ensured a private parking space, far from limitations.
After the Sunday free parking ordinance was lifted in some areas Wicker Park (such as on North Avenue), parking has become more and more difficult for Chicagoans who want to enjoy Division Street, the main artery of the neighborhood and also its most congested. It would be nice, not having to look for a spot every day, said Kon.
Founded in 2014 by Vivek Mehra, ParqEx is “The Private Parking Marketplace”. ParqEx is the first of its kind, community-based platform that makes it possible to find convenient private parking or make money on your underutilized parking spot. For more information, visit parqex.com, download the app on the App Store or Google Play, or call (855) PARQEX-1.