AVONDALE – Amazon removed some of its controversial delivery lockers installed atop public sidewalks in city parks on Saturday after neighbors and local politicians complained, and the retail giant has pledged to examine similar facilities in city parks.
On Friday afternoon, Block Club first reported the Chicago Park District fury for Amazon to lock down an Amazon Hub delivery locker on a sidewalk at Brands Park, 3259 N. Elston Ave. this week.
Within a day, the locker was gone, and Amazon pledged to look at other Chicago locations. There are plans to install dozens of blue lockers across the city. Some lockers have been in place for months, annoying fans of these parks.
A similar delivery locker set up in tiny Forest Glen Playlot, 5073 W. Berwyn Ave., was also pulled this weekend after Ald. Samantha Nugent (39th) and others opposed it.
“We value feedback from the community and are taking action to address these concerns,” Amazon spokesperson Av Zammit told Block Club. “We are working with the Chicago Park District to remove this Amazon Hub Locker from its current location as soon as possible. We are also reviewing our other locker facilities in partnership with Chicago Park District to ensure that they are all located in appropriate areas that serve both customers and the community.
Amazon installed the large Amazon delivery locker at Brands Park on Thursday, quickly sparking contempt and bewilderment among park users and Ald. Rosanna Rodriguez (33rd). It was bolted to the sidewalk on a bend in the park, creating a bottleneck with a nearby fence.
In Facebook comments, residents said Amazon’s new “hub” is not only unsightly, but also a glaring safety concern as it prevents people with strollers and people in wheelchairs from crossing. easily the public park.
“It sounds so absurd that I can’t even believe it’s real,” a neighbor commented on Facebook.
Another wrote: “Who the hell started this huge mess? please report to your alderman if you live in this area. disgust!”
Rodriguez said a Park District supervisor told him the park lockers were installed there by mistake. Chicago Park District spokeswoman Irene Tostado did not confirm, saying only, “The locker has been set up in the correct park.”
Rodriguez asked the Park District Supervisor on Friday to move the lockers to a more suitable location.
Rodriguez said his office has received numerous complaints from voters since moving to the park. She said she was stunned when a neighbor sent her photos of the lockers, which were posted on the sidewalk near the playground.
“It sounds crazy,” said the alderman. “I don’t even understand how anyone could have thought this was a good place to say it.”
Many have broader concerns about Amazon’s presence in public parks. About 100 people have signed an online petition calling on municipal authorities to “keep community spaces in our parks free from predatory businesses like Amazon.” The company has long been criticized for the mistreatment of its workers and grueling working conditions.
“To go to a place that is a public good, a place of recreation, and then see the branding of one of the most anti-worker companies in the world… it’s so disturbing,” Rodriguez said.
RELATED: Amazon sets up huge lockers on Chicago park sidewalk, confusing and frustrating neighbors
A total of 68 Amazon lockers are being installed in Chicago parks across the city, according to a list provided by the Park District. Some have already been installed and more will be installed later this month. The full list is below.
Rodriguez said the lockers are a symptom of a bigger budget problem the city is facing.
“When you have public institutions that are not well funded and cannot function with the budget provided to them by the government, they have to look for other sources of income. This is how a company like Amazon is present in our public parks. It’s disheartening, ”said the alderman.
Tostado did not immediately respond to a question about the revenue the partnership will bring to the city.
“It is more than inappropriate for Amazon’s commercial paraphernalia to block public access to the park,” said Juanita Irizarry, executive director of Friends of the Parks. “But even if it was placed somewhere out of the way, it is not an appropriate use of public property. Chicago parks shouldn’t be for sale.
Here’s where the lockers are set up around Chicago:
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent newsroom, 501 (c) (3), run by journalists. Every penny we report on Chicago neighborhoods.
Already subscribed? Click on here support Block Club with a tax deductible donation.
Listen to “It’s All Right: A Podcast from Block Club Chicago” here: