Amazon has removed two of its Hub lockers from Chicago parks from sidewalks blocked by a public demonstration, Book Club Chicago write. While they provide a convenient place to pick up packages and return returns, a closet that makes a public park less easy to use may not be the kind of compromise that even a dedicated Amazon customer is happy with.
Photos shared Ladder Rossana Rodriguez of the 33rd Department make it clear how outrageous the investment was, at least in Brands Park. Technically, you can still scroll through the closet and get to the rest of the park, but that opportunity disappears as soon as someone stands in front to get something out.
I’ve spent much of my morning putting an Amazon box in my department park. In this case, it was apparently installed in the wrong place and moved. But the fact that Amazon is allowed to use our public parks for this to save is outrageous. pic.twitter.com/5Rbabgcwt7
– Ladybug Rossana Rodriguez ✊ (@ RossanaFor33) August 13, 2021
The natural response was furious, including comments that the placement of the cabinet seemed too absurd to be true. This was followed by an online petitionand finally both Brands Park cabinet and another locker in the Forest Glen Playlot was deleted. Amazon also confirmed Limit that it intends to check future locations to prevent other problems. According to Amazon:
We appreciate the feedback from the community and took immediate action to address these concerns. We worked with the Chicago Park District to remove Amazon Locker. We will also review our other Locker installations in partnership with the Chicago Park District to ensure they are located in appropriate areas that serve both customers and the community.
It is not entirely clear how this happened. The Chicago Parks District says Limit that it looked at all of Amazon’s location choices in advance “to make sure they meet the needs of the parks,” but perhaps accessibility of the sidewalk was not a priority? There is also a bigger question as to why the city is cutting contracts to invest in private property trillion dollar companies first, in public parks. Rodriguez suggested Book Club Chicago cabinets opening up to parks are due to underfunding:
When you have public institutions that are not well funded and unable to operate on a state budget, they need to look for other sources of income. This is how we get a company like Amazon to be present in our public parks. It’s depressing.
Whatever the reason, the slow crawling of parks like private and public good, like parks, always feels bad. It looks like the Chicago Parks District is still going to take its Amazon deal forward, but hopefully future placements are considered.