Amazon has eliminated two of its Hub lockers from parks in Chicago after public outcry over blocked sidewalks, Block Club Chicago writes. Whereas they provide a handy place to choose up packages and drop off returns, a locker making a public park much less accessible won’t be the type of tradeoff even a faithful Amazon buyer is comfy with.
Photographs shared by the 33rd Ward Alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez make it fairly clear how egregious the location was, at the very least in Manufacturers Park. Technically, you may nonetheless roll by the locker and get to the remainder of the park, however that chance goes away as quickly as somebody stands in entrance to get one thing out.
I’ve spent a part of my morning dealing with the location of an Amazon field at a park in my ward. On this occasion apparently it was put in within the improper spot & can be moved. However the truth that Amazon will get to make use of our public parks for this due to austerity is enraging. pic.twitter.com/5Rbabgcwt7
— Alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez ✊ (@RossanaFor33) August 13, 2021
The pure response was outrage, together with feedback that the locker placement seemed too absurd to be actual. An online petition followed, and finally each the Brands Park locker and another locker at the Forest Glen Playlot have been eliminated. Amazon additionally confirmed to The Verge that it plans to overview future areas to forestall different issues. In line with Amazon:
We worth the neighborhood’s suggestions and took instant motion to answer these issues, working with the Chicago Park District to take away the Amazon Locker. We’re additionally reviewing our different Locker installations in partnership with Chicago Park District to make sure they’re all situated in applicable areas that serve each prospects and the neighborhood.
What’s not totally clear is how one thing like this occurred. The Chicago Parks District tells The Verge that it reviewed all of Amazon’s location decisions beforehand “to ensure they met park needs,” however possibly sidewalk accessibility wasn’t a prime precedence? There’s additionally the bigger query of why town is slicing offers to place the non-public property of trillion-dollar firms in public parks within the first place. Rodriguez urged to Block Membership Chicago that lockers popping up in parks is a results of underfunding:
When you will have public establishments that aren’t well-funded, and may’t operate with the funds they’re offered by the federal government, they should search for different sources of income. That is how we get an organization like Amazon to have a presence in our public parks. It’s disheartening.
Regardless of the cause, the sluggish creep of the non-public and paid into public items like parks at all times feels icky. It looks like the Chicago Parks District nonetheless plans to maneuver ahead with its Amazon deal, however hopefully, future placements are extra considerate.
Correction: A earlier model of this text incorrectly referred to the publication Block Membership Chicago as Guide Membership Chicago. We remorse the error.