I've seen a lot of articles about the new Chicago Parking Meter agreement, and other than the fact that I know I'll have to pay until midnight to visit my sister in River North, I was having a hard time deciphering exactly what the deal was supposed to be and how it's supposed to be better for me, a taxpayer. So, I decided to try to parse it out succinctly.
- Free Sunday parking in the "neighborhoods" outside of the central business district.
- Hours of meter operation extend until 10 p.m. in most neighborhoods.
- In Streeterville, Gold Coast and River North, parking meters must be paid until midnight.
- The option to feed your meter via cell phone. (Plus a 35-cent fee for every purchase.)
- Individual aldermen can opt out of the free-Sunday deal if they think it would adversely affect retail areas in their district.
Let's be clear, the big bonus of this deal is "free" parking on Sundays in the neighborhoods, yet districts can (and more than a dozen likely will) opt out of this? Um, hmmm. I'd rather park for free after 9 p.m. in River North.
Yeah, Mayor Emmanuel, we hear you: "It's still a bad deal, and you can't fix it. It's that bad."
But you can make it worse. Thanks for that.
For more information and articles on the Chicago Parking Meter #EpicFail:
- Chicago aldermen approve Emanuel's parking meter changes
- Parking meter deal likely despite aldermen's concerns
- Emanuel parking meter deal changes get nod
- Aldermen working to restore paid Sunday parking meters