1,250 New Parking Meters Invade Near West Side

It just gets worse and worse.

According to UIC’s independent student newspaper, The Chicago Flame, 1250 new parking meters have been installed in and around Chicago’s Illinois Medical District on the near west side.

The story contends that these meters were initiated on the behest of 2nd Ward Alderman Robert Fioretti.  I think all constituents in the 2nd Ward should call and thank Ald. Fioretti for all these new meters in their ward.

To make this situation even worse is the meters must be fed 24 hours a day, seven days and week and a quarter only buys 15 minutes of time. This fee rate and hours of operation seem completely out of sync with a neighborhood in which the description of “desolate” would be a compliment. These current rates are on par with downtown and Gold Coast parking meter rates.

But, according to a spokesperson in Fioretti’s office, the alderman has an ordinance before the city council to alter the rates and hours of operation of these meters.

Oh, and don’t forget to read the comments from Fioretti’s spokesperson who claims all these new parking meters are a benefit for constituents. Yeah, right lady. Give us a break.

Parking meters installed near Ill. Medical District

By Matthew Bentel

The Near West Side received attention when the Department of Revenue installed 1,250 new parking meters last month.

The new meters end the days of free parking in the largely desolate area that is under the domain of the Illinois Medical Districts’ District Development Area. The meters span an area south of Roosevelt Road to 15th Place, and west of Ashland Avenue to Damen Avenue.The Illinois Medical District (IMD) is the nation’s largest urban medical district. It maintains the District Development Area, a tax incremental financing district, as an “opportunity for medically-related development and for [Chicago Technology Park] ‘graduate’ businesses to continue their growth,” according to the IMD website.

Department of Revenue spokesman Ed Walsh believes the meters were installed to offset the demand of parking placed on the area by local businesses and institutions, including Rush Hospital.

However, Kimberly Waterman, spokesperson for Rush Hospital, is weary of the Department of Revenue’s intention with installing the meters, claiming that most hospital employees use cheaper parking provided by the hospital.

The location, according to Waterman, also serves as an inconvenience. “That’s pretty far south of us. Roosevelt is a good four blocks south of us. I don’t think this has any impact on us,” Waterman said.

Most of the area on the Near West Side is part of the 2nd ward, represented by Ald. Robert Fioretti, whose office championed the meters to be used “in lieu of parking garages.”

According to the Department of Revenue, parking meter installation must first be initiated by the alderman via a request to the City Council. Ald. Fioretti’s Chief of Staff Chris Karabis said, “it was [the alderman's] call.”

Karabis explained how the parking meters would serve as a benefit.

“A lot of people are driving from the suburbs and it definitely needed some kind of regulation, some sort of revenue-generating system,” Karabis said.

The alderman’s office justified the installation further by citing the increase of government presence in the area, including more traffic enforcers and police.

“Without enforcement, what’s the point?” Karabis said. “While driving through there, we noticed people are parking in front of or around meters. You need enforcement. I think anything that brings police presence as a positive.”

The meters, which were installed by the Department of Revenue, currently operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A quarter buys users 15 minutes of time – $1 per hour – and consumers can purchase up to 10 hours of meter time.

Fioretti’s office said the installation of all the new meters has yet to be completed, adding that there are still problems and issues that need to be confronted.

“We introduced an ordinance to change the hours [of operation] and the fees, and we’re working with the [Department of Revenue] on doing so,” Karabis said. “[These changes] include eliminating some of the meters for loading zones and standing zones. And there is a church and daycare in the area that we want to keep free parking for.”

12 Responses to 1,250 New Parking Meters Invade Near West Side

  1. Mike Schmitt says:

    The meters are being changed to 25 cents per hour, which makes it $2.00 to park all day. A real sweet deal.

    Thanks, Alderman Fioretti.

  2. Jim Martello says:

    If Alderman Fioretti is to be complemented, it is for finding a way to make more than 200 daily parkers leave their cars in the residential/industrial areas surrounding the IMD!
    They do this to avoid the ridiculous situation the Alderman created by having empty streets turned into a very expensive parking meter farm. Way to spend $500,000 in this economy. It looks like your crop is blooming Alderman Fioretti!!! Maybe you should take up farming.

  3. [...] reader named Mike reports that those brand new 1,250 parking meters on the near west side have had their fees [...]

  4. [...] this case, Yellen has investigated those new 1,250 parking meters the city installed in the middle of nowhere near west [...]

  5. [...] in late October, the city installed 1250 meters in what can only be called a parking dead zone, near the Illinois Medical [...]

  6. Rev. Earl Washington, Jr. says:

    why do we still have parking meters around the New Zion M.B. Church ? Since when did the city allow Parking meters around any Church? The 2nd Ward Alderman Fioretti should have had these moved from around the CHURCH.13 th st.Wolcott Washburne– It is unbelievable that we have to be subjected to this kind of unfair tactics.There should be specific posted Pole signs that should show consideration for all day free Parking on SUNDAY and Special consideration on any day when the Church has a FUNERAL service. All these meters should be removed from around the NEW ZION M.B. Church. 13th St. & Wolcott. 3/4/2010

  7. DoR Employee says:

    Why do we need over 2050 Church’s in Chicago?

  8. Jeff says:

    Why did we start commenting again on a 1.5 year old post? And why can’t the Reverend even stay on topic?

  9. Vida Love Griffin says:

    These meters have been put in places over these last few months, because people who could park in the lots downtown have been parking in areas for years, and without the mind for the people who live, and go to Church in these area they are only looking at the big picture, because they would rather attack their big target, and bring down the Church going folks as well. Remember that the devil is busy, however we must not forget trust,and believe that he is real.

  10. Vida Love Griffin says:

    Giving a blessed clap out to uncle sweet, and family. Janices Birthday is April 18th, and Cool Baby needs to feel some Love!!
    Mother Vida Love, and Kenneth George, and our Angel Eddie Long!!
    Peace, Love, and Joy!!

  11. [...] some logic defying reason, the city installed these meters along blocks and blocks of vacant lots in 2008 where perhaps a car or two would park over the course of a day. Allegedly, the meters kept people [...]

  12. [...] parking for free, can you?! Fortunately, the local alderman rode to the rescue, having the city install 1200 parking meters on completely empty streets. “Problem” solved – nobody parks there [...]

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