Parking Meter Lease Deal Remix Getting Poor Reviews
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.
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.