Chicago’s $2 Congestion Fee Driving Critics Crazy
Mayor Emanuel, in his effort to bring new revenue to the city and fill the budget deficit, is proposing adding a $2 per day fee to the cost of parking in both private and public parking garages and lots in Chicago. The idea is to discourage people from driving and instead use public transportation, bike or walk to work.
The $2 fee would be used to invest in public transportation, install more bike lanes and improve pedestrian safety.
In other words, motorists would pay more to facilitate others who don’t choose to drive.
Not only is the idea getting poor reviews from drivers, but transportation experts are panning the idea as well according to a story by National Public Radio.
NPR interviewed Prof. Donald Shoup, the UCLA professor who wrote The High Cost of Free Parking. Shoup actually doesn’t think $2 is enough to dissuade drivers from um…driving. But at the core of Shoup’s criticism is his belief that cities must get a handle on the cost of their metered parking. Shoup thinks curb parking must be tied to supply and demand, reflecting the true market cost to park on the street.
Great idea. Wonderful suggestion.
Chicago does not control its metered parking anymore!
Mayor Daley leased Chicago parking meters to Morgan Stanley back in December, 2008, and all the rates and subsequent rate hikes are set in the municipal code and in the contract with the aptly named Chicago Parking Meters, LLC.
Thus, future mayors, Emanuel included, can never get a grip on the true cost of metered parking.
Here’s NPR’s full story and audio, “Chicago’s ‘Congestion Fee’ Gets Chilly Reception.”