Art Or Vandalism?
Is it art, vandalism or a political statement?
Perhaps it is all three–at least in the above photo.
The parking meter photographed above, was captured by a keen-eyed reader named Eric, on Wilson Ave.
Reports of vandalized parking meters, centered around the Uptown area, came in over the weekend from several readers.
In the 4900 block of north Broadway, a line of 10 meters, their heads covered in metallic gold spray paint, so their readouts were obscured, were spotted on Sunday, assumed to have been “decorated” by the same “artist” that struck on Wilson Ave.
Other meters, some with their coin slots jammed with thick, gooey substances, were spotted in the same general area of the city.
Anger and frustration over the parking meter lease deal and quadrupled meter rates, still seems to be high, if these reports of vandalism are any indication.
However, vandalizing parking meters, which are considered city property, can land you in court, and ultimately in jail if convicted.
It’s against the law to damage parking meters, and is also punishable by a fine of $250 and potentially will cost the convicted vandal the cost to repair the meter, according to Dept. of Revenue spokesman Ed Walsh.
Walsh says the city is not shy about prosecuting persons who damage parking meters. “It is considered to be serious, when it is out and out vandalism,” says Walsh
However, in short order, traditional single head meter vandalism will disappear, as Chicago Parking Meters, LLC plans on replacing 30,000 of these old school meters with 3000 Pay & Display pay boxes by year’s end.
Thanks to tips and photos from Eric, Dawn & Jeff.