Parking Meter Lease Deal Remix Getting Poor Reviews

An old school parking meter from before the notorious Chicago parking meter lease came into being in 2008 adds its two cents.

The early results are in, and the overwhelming consensus is that Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s remix of the infamous Chicago parking meter lease deal is a bad idea.

So far, outside of a handful of politicians, nobody supports the recently announced renegotiation of the 75 year meter lease.

While most voices support the Mayor’s efforts in reducing the payouts to CPM for street closures and alleged changes to the meter system’s value, it seems the Mayor’s free Sunday parking proposal is a non starter.

That’s probably because the trade off is having to feed meters until 10 PM instead of the current 9 PM, while drivers in River North may have to plunk down quarters to park until midnight.

The Chicago Tribune editorial board poses the question, if Chicago Parking Meters, LLC supports the deal, shouldn’t we be worried?

The Trib, speaking directly to city council members, pleads:

Aldermen, you know how badly you served your constituents in 2008.

Do your jobs this time. Ask questions. Lots of questions.

This time, ask questions. Lots of questions. And when you get answers, then decide.

Fool me once ….

Crain’s Chicago Business is definitely not buying what Mayor Emanuel is selling. In fact, Crain’s pulls no punches in the headline of their recent editorial entitled, “City’s renegotiated parking meter deal still stinks.”

Perhaps offering free parking on Sundays in some neighborhoods will help Mr. Emanuel’s chances for re-election. But instead of providing real relief, this renegotiated deal just pushes the slop from one trough to another. The length of the contract has not been shortened by a millisecond. And the absurdly high rates are not one penny lower. This isn’t an improvement; it’s a capitulation.

Of course it’s no surprise 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly is fighting the revised meter deal. That’s because most of his ward will bear the brunt of the proposed free Sunday parking at neighborhood meters. Residents of River North and patrons of the many bars and restaurants there will have to feed the meters an additional three hours until midnight under the Mayor’s plan.

Other aldermen are very skeptical or also opposed according to the Chicago Sun-Times, and ABC 7 News.

Although, according to the Chicago Tribune, a group of 24 aldermen came out publicly in support of the new plan on Thursday. Unsurprisingly, most generally are supporters of Emanuel’s policies.

Under normal circumstances, Mayor Emanuel usually gets his way. But this time, things might be different.

Aldermen won’t vote on the changes until next month.

11 Responses to Parking Meter Lease Deal Remix Getting Poor Reviews

  1. Drew says:

    If only the aldermen/women had had the stones to tell Daley that it wasn’t a good idea like they just did with Rahm.

  2. Jeff says:

    This half-assed idea, swapping Sunday parking for extended hours the rest of the week, is classic Rahm:

    (1) Step 1 – Come up with an incredibily stupid idea;

    (2) Step 2 – Lie about how much it will actually benefit Chicago;

    (3) Step 3 – Try to score political points; and then

    (4) Step 4 – Blame someone else when the whole thing inevitably craters.

  3. Saucexx says:

    What’s shocking is the 24 ass hats who’ve already signed on. “Hey it’s only fine print, who expects us to read!”

    It’s times like this I wish we had an emergency dump button. One push and they’d all be gone, the Mayor, the Council, Gabe Klein, the counsels the whole lot of ‘em.

  4. Jeff says:

    Far be it from me to guess why these 24 alder-douches are supporting this shit sandwich of a deal.

    If I were to hazard a guess, perhaps these 2 dozen stumblefucks think that this deal lets them claim that they are saving money for their constituents.

    Of course, this kind of head up the ass thinking ignores basic math.

    While a motorist might save a dollar on a Sunday next month, the extra parking hours over the next 70 years will end up costing drivers as much or perhaps even far more over the long run.

    This is the same kind of financial numb-nuttery that convinces people to rent furniture, and end up paying 10 times what it would have cost to just buy it.

  5. ejhickey says:

    Instead of renegotiating the parking meter lease deal with CPM, why can’t the City reduce the fine for parking at an expired meter from the current raes to $5.00 (for example)? After all the City under its home rule powers , has the exclusive right to set fines and penalties for violations of its laws and ordinances. Perhaps if the fine for parking at an expired meter was low enough, people would simply stop feeding the meters and pay the tickets. How long could CPM stay in business with zero revenue?

  6. Drew says:


    Per the wording of the contract (if I’m remembering it right after a few glasses of Jack on a Saturday)…

    If the City Reduces the Fine…CPM is to be compensated.

  7. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    EJ, Drew is absolutely correct here. Drew is a very smart dude.

    The fine for an expired meter, under the contract, must be at a certain level (10X the meter rate) or the company can demand compensation.

    This was a very well written contract–at least from CPM’s point of view.

  8. Greg says:

    I knew from the day this was announced it was all smoke and mirrors. I didn’t have to do the math – the simple fact the meter hours were being extended in the areas they are instantaneously told me this was bad. I know those areas well and knew what a windfall it was going to be and would more than make up for the loss of the Sunday meters.

  9. lpbfoot says:

    I wish Daley II and the Alder-Critters would grow some balls. We all know that the deal sucks. Given the city’s ineptitude, why aren’t they considering MUNICIPAL BANKRUPTCY? Deal’s over, the city pockets the $1.1 billion and they get the streets back… As a side benefit, the city gets to renegotiate their “legacy” costs as well (e.g. pensions, unions, police settlements, etc.)

    Given our tax base is so high to begin with, income would continue to flow in… Unlike other cities & counties that have gone through bankruptcy, we rake in so much money to begin with & have such a big name that lenders would be willing to lend to us…

  10. Drew says:

    Thanks Geek.

    One Day…I will tell people why I know all I do and how I learned it.

  11. Drew says:


    Illinois Law prohibits Municipal Bankruptcy.

    Even Home Rule Clause can’t work around this law.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>