Amazon’s Hub lockers offer a simple and effective way for customers to pick up their deliveries and drop off returns. Placing them on sidewalks in the middle of parks, however, isn’t going to endear the company to locals. There was so much outcry over their obstructive positioning that Amazon has now removed them.
As reported by Block Club Chicago, Amazon was allowed to bolt one of its Hub lockers to the sidewalk in Brands Park. The photos show it taking up a fair chunk of space, meaning anyone opening a door would likely be in the way of pedestrians and wheelchair users.
The placement of the locker led to an online petition calling for it to be removed from the park. The Change.org page still needs 1,500 names to reach its 5,000 target, but that no longer matters as Amazon has already removed its locker from Brands Park and one at the Forest Glen Playlot.
Amazon says it is now reviewing the placement of future Hub lockers. In a statement to The Verge, the company said: “We value the community’s feedback and took immediate action to respond to these concerns, working with the Chicago Park District to remove the Amazon Locker. We are also reviewing our other Locker installations in partnership with Chicago Park District to ensure they are all located in appropriate areas that serve both customers and the community.”
Exactly how The Chicago Parks District, which reviews the placement of Amazon’s lockers beforehand, allowed it to be positioned in such an obstructive location is unclear. According to 33rd Ward Alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez, a lack of public funding is why the lockers are there in the first place.
“When you have public institutions that are not well-funded, and can’t function with the budget they’re provided by the government, they need to look for other sources of revenue. This is how we get a company like Amazon to have a presence in our public parks. It’s disheartening,” she told Block Club Chicago.