Amazon delivery lockers in Chicago parks create controversy | Chicago News

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People typically go to Chicago’s parks to walk or jog, play sports, or relax.

Now they can also pick up their latest products from Amazon.

The e-commerce giant recently started installing lockers in Chicago parks and says the lockers are a benefit to the community.

In a statement to WTTW News, an Amazon spokesperson said:

“We have been working closely with the Chicago Park District since 2020 to add Amazon lockers following requests from the district for this added benefit to the community. The goal of our partnership has been to provide park customers and community members with access to a secure and convenient delivery option.

But this so-called convenience has proven to be controversial.

Juanita Irizarry, executive director of Friends of the Parks, says her organization has faced an “unusual and extremely high volume” of inquiries from people expressing concerns about how they can get involved in the fight against Amazon lockers in parks.

An Amazon locker at Leone Beach in Rogers Park. (WTTW News)

“You go to the park for recreational activities,” Irizarry said. “Get away from it all, to look at the trees and the lakeside. Do not trade or look at the lockers. It is an assault on the physical and mental health of the people of Chicago.

The plan for these Amazon hubs is to be in approximately 100 locations; The Chicago Park District says 46 have been installed so far and four have been removed by Amazon amid community backlash.

In a statement last week, the park district highlighted five supporters of the lockers.

One supporter is Ald. Patrick Thompson (11th Ward), who said: “I applaud the Park District for trying to creatively generate new revenue for our parks. Not only do Amazon lockers provide a benefit to our neighbors who use the lockers, but they also generate income that goes directly to fund park programs for our children.

Irizarry believes that public pressure must continue.

“Beyond the specific question around Amazon lockers, this is a good opportunity for Chicagoans who have been mobilized by this to continue asking the question of marketing around Chicago,” said Irizarry. “A lot of people find it useful or convenient, but that doesn’t mean the park is the right place for them. “


Note: “Chicago Tonight” invited a representative from the Chicago Park District to join this conversation, but they were not available. We also reached out to a few city council members who support lockers in Chicago parks, but they also declined our invitation.


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