Friday, July 17, 2015

FACT CHECK: Alderman Releases Pride Parade Summary

Malt liquor and mixed drinks decorate Halsted Street
after this year's Pride Parade.
As promised by his director of outreach on Monday, Alderman Tom Tunney’s latest weekly newsletter includes some statistics about the 2015 Pride Parade.

Virtually every measurable, objective metric is worse than last year. But, all of the subjective, unmeasurable and unprovable goals are said to be greatly improved. (Surprise!)

The parade was longer than last year, it generated more arrests than last year, and streets did not open until nearly an hour later than in 2014.

The alderman’s summary does not mention how many citations were issued for drinking on the public way. 230 so-called “ANOVs” were issued last year, compared to 10 in 2013.

Here are some stats from the alderman's newsletter along with comparisons from 2014 and 2013.

Parade length: It ran 4 hours, 42 minutes. That's 1 hour, 32 minutes longer than last year and nearly two hours longer than 2013 according to this Streets & San recap from 2014.

Per the alderman, “the extended duration of the parade was because of an unanticipated protest.”

Well, not really. That protest only lasted 10 minutes. And the wayward driver who cruised into the parade route could account for another 20 minutes. So, without those delays, the parade was still over four hours long.

Liquor bottles were everywhere in the hours after this year's parade.
The city says this is a marked improvement.
The real reason that the parade continues to run way past its promised window of 2-1/2 hours is that it is too long.

The number of entries this year (223) is virtually the same as last year (232) and 2013 (215).  So, we'd opine that the parade continues to be obscenely long because the parade is not being shortened. (Crazy talk, right?)

Suggestion: Cut the number of parade entries by 35% and increase the entry fees by 35%.

Other details shared by the alderman:

• 52 Pride parade-related arrests were made this year. That's up from 46 arrests last year and another 46 in 2013.

• 206 cars were towed this year, up from 189 last year.

• 115 ambulance runs, 60 transports

• Streets & Sanitation began cleaning along the parade route immediately after the last float and the streets were opened to traffic at 7:42pm. That's 52 minutes later than streets were reopened in 2014 according to this Streets & Sanitation parade recap that we secured.

The alderman concluded:
“Overall, it was noted that there was a significant decrease in the number of open containers along the parade route which was attibuted [sic] to a greater security presence along the route and the alcohol checkpoints implemented this year.  The CTA institued [sic] an improved transportation and safety strategy as well.  Due to these improvements, the Belmont 'L' stop did not need to to close like it has in previous years due to overcrowding.  
Based on the incredible (and it was incredible) number of liquor bottles that we saw along Halsted and side streets this year, we'd suggest that the real liquor enforcement should be rolled out at sunset.

Of course, arrests only count the number of crimes in which an offender was taken into custody.

Not counted are the number of crimes committed by offenders who got away—including all of the offenders who were involved the 3 robberies and 3 stabbings that were reported this year. Serious crime summaries from recent parades:
• Stabbing/Gunshot victims: 3 stabbings this year. 1 shooting last year. None in 2013.
• Robberies: 3 this year, compared to 5 last year and 4 in 2013.
• Aggravated batteries: 8 this year, compared to 3 last year and 2 in 2013.
• Resisting police: 2 this year. None in 2014 or 2013.
• Weapons violations: 1 this year. None in 2014 or 2013.
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  1. 115 ambulance runs seems really high. Is it when compared to the past parades?

  2. How damn hard is this - really?
    Rocket science it's not.

    Want a parade? Cool. You put up a bond of, say, $5k per route-mile per hour.
    You get your allotted time to parade.
    Beyond that time, your bond gets fined, say $100 per minute.
    Each ANOV issued reduces your bond refund by $50
    Each arrest by $200
    Ambulance runs $100
    Street cleaning - you get a fixed amount of time per block (the time it would normally take one sweeper to run both sides of the street). Beyond that, the bond gets charged, say $250 per hour.
    Merchant violations (like overcrowding for example) $1000 each.

    There we go.
    Took me about five minutes to type that out on an iPhone. Less than that to come up with the plan.

    Chicago really is frustrating.
    How about providing some REALLY simple, common sense leadership there Alderman Tom?? Or, god forbid, you could do something there Jim. But I guess constructive loitering is easier, right?

    See, some of us think it's sort of a bad idea to subsidize folks who bring ill-behaved butt-heads into our neighborhood, for a profit.

    1. Next time around, will you run for alderman? Please?

  3. Once again thank you for the work you are doing to bring forth the FACTS

  4. Busy Friday night and yet again same officers taking off the weekend.
    Lot of down cars, one man cars and no traffic car Again.
    Let's all be safe out there and back each other up..

  5. If we complain about arrests going up, the police may just decide to not arrest people next year so the stat can go down.

    Really sad this is even entering our minds as a first world country that should have strong rule of law.

  6. You guys should put some pressure on Richard Pfeiffer, the parade organizer. The City runs a tremendous cost and Mr. Pfeiffer keeps the funds generated from float fees. Richard Pfeiffer should also be held accountable.

    1. I agree - tax the crap out of parades and raise the fees. The city is broke and raising taxes on everything. Make the parade pay the real cost for all the city services required for this mess. Another post above laid out some very good sample charges.
      Even better: get the parade out of this neighborhood - move it downtown.

    2. Please see my very simple suggestion RE requiring a 'bond' above.
      It's not clear you boys lead a pack of Golden Retrievers with a trench coat full of hamburgers.

    3. Richard Pfeiffer does not have to answer to anyone. He has an unwritten, unspoken, gentlemen's agreement with the city to hold the parade. Any suggestions (as made previously) of someone else being first in line to request a parade permit (for pride) will quickly be overridden. He holds full licence for this parade and it will not be changing anytime soon. In fact, it would take something at the mayoral level. Neither of the aldermen affected in their wards have the power to strip Pfeiffer of this parade. Don't believe me? Go down to city hall and check it out.

    4. Exactly where would one go to "check it out?" This is silly.

    5. The office of parades of course. There is a giant neon sign in there with a list of untouchables ....

    6. Good gig he has works one full day a year and makes a ton of money. He is activist along with Art Johnston those guys will never let the parade move. Art needs the money to keep Sidetrack pumping out the $$$. Now gay marriage is legal his Equality IL non profit won't be so profitable. What is he going to do to make $$$. What's his next cause going to be?

    7. Even if they moved the parade It wouldn't matter. It's the after parties in the bars and along the streets that cause all the problems. That's the problem that needs a better solution.

  7. Also keep in mind that the number of floats/entries is being manipulated to appear to be less. For instance, float #101 may actually have 3 vehicles (101a,b,c) that's counted as 1 entry. That's how they handled the politicians, counting them together as 1 entry even though thee were, jeez, I don't even know how many since it seemed like a campaign meeting.

  8. The Lady doth protest too much methinks...... And how does that compare to the "street party" around Wrigley after the Hawks win.... or the number of arrests etc in a typical Cubs week? Yes when you get that many people together for a parade you get some problems but get off your sanctimonious, holler than though, soap box complaining about gay pride and perhaps celebrate the fact that so many people can get together to celebrate diversity. Does it cost yes, is it worth it? Methinks so

    1. (1) Blackhawks rally, estimated to have "2 million" attendees, had 6 arrests.

      (2) After 54 arrests at the 2009 South Side Irish Parade, organizers recognized a desire to maintain a positive spirit and neighborliness. So, they canceled their own parade for two years until they could get things under control.

      (3) We would like for the parade to stay. But, problems cannot be fixed until they are honestly appraised. Right now, there is a very strong effort to make it seem like things were better this year. But they were not better by any measurable metric.

      (4) As the Windy City Times' publisher Tracy Baim told Chicago magazine last month, "“Our community can’t expect that we have exceptionalism...Every other parade is judged by its merits and its problems. Look at the St. Patrick’s Day parade. The city has to treat us like it treats everyone else. I think people want to keep it there as long as it makes sense, but if there are some incidents that happen this Sunday…we’ll see what happens this year.”

      (5) Nothing would be a better statement about our community that a concerted, genuine effort to return pride to Pride. Whining for special treatment is not something to be proud of.

      (6) To answer your question, the number of arrests and violent crimes surrounding the Pride Parade far outpace Cubs games. Comparing Pride to the Cubs is a knee-jerk reaction for some. It's also a losing reaction when the facts are examined.

      So, let's put on our big boy and big girl pants and work toward a better Chicago Pride event rather than whining and finger pointing.

    2. Thank you, CWB, for all that you do. I wish you would run for Alderman.

  9. "But overall, its a whopping success and I see no reason to move it. Oh, you have a question about the mayhem that occurs away from the parade and into 4AM the following Monday morning? Well, that has NOTHING to do with the parade, so that is never factored into the final report." ;)

  10. I was right next to the protest. If you think it was only ten minutes, you're crazy. It was at least 40 minutes.

    1. We gathered estimates from a variety of other news outlets. The vast, vast majority gave 10 minutes as an estimated duration. The most liberal time we found was 17 minutes. Our time is based on police information and the most reliable public reports.