The Clesen Wholesale greenhouses in the 8th Ward. (Google Maps image)

Neighbors living around the Clesen Wholesale nursery in south Evanston complained about trucks making pickups and deliveries at the business during an 8th Ward meeting Thursday evening.

Rebecca Luzadder of 325 Dewey Ave. said trucks are blocking driveways, hitting cars, using the street for storage and loading and working overnight.

Clesen’s website describes the firm as a third-generation family business founded in 1941. It’s located in a section of Evanston that once had several greenhouse businesses, but appears to be the only one remaining in the city.

Mike Rivera, the city’s parking division manager and interim administrative services director, told residents he’s asked parking enforcement officers to step up efforts to make sure vehicles are not blocking driveways, but that limited staffing can hinder response times.

Signs ban overnight truck parking around the Clesen property.

He said he’s also asked the city’s traffic engineering department to review the signage on the block and to consider posting “no parking within 8 feet of driveway” signs and “passenger vehicle parking only” signs in the area.

He also said he hopes to discuss with the new director of parks and recreation whether a staging area for trucks could be created in the rear parking lot of James Park along the Yellow Line embankment — so trucks could stage there until Clesen opens for business for the day.

Rivera said that under the city code only police officers can write citations for idling trucks. Parking enforcement officers, he said, “can ask the driver to turn off the engine,” but have to call police to the scene to have a citation issued.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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