LAZ Parking Meter Enforcement Ready To Resume
LAZ Parking’s parking meter enforcement crews are ready to hit the streets again.
That’s right, as we mentioned about three weeks ago, and after being on “voluntary” hiatus since April, due to the tremendous amount of problems related to the parking meter lease deal transition, meter enforcement personnel is hired, trained and ready to go.
According to multiple sources within the Department of Revenue and City Hall, about two dozen parking enforcement staff, armed with bright orange envelopes, are just waiting to start slapping parking tickets on any cars that allow their parking meters or meter receipts to expire.
When the parking meter lease deal was approved in the city council back in December 2008, it allowed for the new lessee, Chicago Parking Meters, LLC (CPM), to hire their own enforcement. LAZ Parking, CPM’s contractor for street operations, will handle the enforcement.
Even though ticket revenue will go to the city, it is the fear of strong enforcement that encourages motorists to keep plugging the parking meters and pay boxes with quarters.
The only holdup is a go ahead from the city.
According to sources at City Hall, CPM has officially made the request or will be making the request shortly, to resume enforcement as soon as possible. Presumably, they’re waiting for the thumbs up from city hall, which means they’re waiting on Mayor Daley.
Additionally, sources say CPM has plans to quickly expand their initial enforcement squad, with even more ticket writers whom are going through training now.
This initial wave of new enforcement people will constitute close to a 10% increase in enforcement personnel writing tickets on city streets.
Expect this new enforcement push to begin as early as October 1, or within the next 30 days or so.
UPDATE: Just spoke with Matthew Darst, First Deputy Director for the City of Chicago, who refutes our story.
“They haven’t requested it (reviving enforcement), we haven’t done any training and we haven’t provided them with any ticket books,” said Darst. “I haven’t had any discussions with Chicago Parking Meters in that regard and they would have contacted me.”
When asked why training would be necessary for parking enforcement employees who were already trained and just barely begun to write tickets at the end of March on behalf of CPM, Darst said. “We would have required them to be retrained. That’s too much time to have passed to not have them retrained.”
UPDATE #2: Avis LaVelle, spokesperson for CPM adds via e-mail, “CPM is not enforcing parking violations at this time and there is no indication when enforcement will start.”
We stand by our sources and our story.