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Picnickers skip long lines, go online for permits

Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times
by STEVE PATTERSON

Technology has turned yet another fixture of life into a relic.

Joining the likes of the television antenna and rotary telephone is the long wait in line for a picnic permit from the Cook County Forest Preserve District.

On Monday, the district offered permits online for the first time and, by day's end, a majority of the permits were sold online.

Of the 831 permits sold by 3 p.m., 514 were online, district officials said. That 61 percent easily exceeded the district's goal of seeing half sold via the Internet.

Cook County Board President John Stroger said "this progressive measure is reflective of our commitment to serving our users" and expects the online trend to continue.

The district generally sells about 10 percent of all annual permits on the first day, which has also historically seen long lines at district offices -- some getting in line several hours before the permits go on sale at 6 a.m.

This year, only a couple dozen were in line by mid-afternoon, while the district's Web site, www.fpdcc.com, was buzzing.

Permits are available online and at the River Forest headquarters. Until Friday, they can be purchased at the district's downtown offices.

 

 



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