Parking Meter Firm Fast Tracks Free Sundays, Extended Hours
The changes to Chicago’s parking meter lease deal approved by the city council barely a week ago, will begin being implemented in select areas of the city starting this weekend–several weeks earlier than the original July 1st start date.
Aldermen passed Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s renegotiated parking meter lease 39-11 on June 5th. The new deal allows the city to better control the millions of dollars of non-meter revenue CPM was claiming, but also allows drivers to park for free on Sundays in most neighborhoods but extends the hours of enforcement as well.
Teams for Chicago Parking Meters, LLC will begin the job this Sunday of switching over the over 4,400 parking meter pay boxes to allow free parking on Sundays. According to Mayor Emanuel’s office, neighborhoods in Southside wards (3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 14, 15, 20, 22, 23, and 25) will be the first to be able to park for free on Sundays.
“Everyone in Chicago deserves a day of rest from the awful parking meter deal, and the sooner that relief can begin the better,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “I am proud to have fought for and won free Sunday parking for our city’s neighborhoods.”
Free Sunday parking will not include the Central Business District which includes downtown and areas within the boundaries of Roosevelt Rd., Halsted St., North Ave. and Lake Michigan.
The flip side of free Sunday parking privileges is these residents will also be first drivers in the city who forced to feed their meter an additional hour Monday through Saturdays.
Lengthening meter enforcement hours from the current 9 PM until 10 PM at most parking meters around the city and stretching meter feeding until midnight in the River North entertainment district, was the price CPM extracted from Mayor Emanuel for allowing free Sunday parking.
“This agreement is a positive development for drivers and the City of Chicago, and we look forward to continuing to provide motorists with dependable, easy, and convenient parking,” said CPM’s Dennis Pedrelli. “Under the agreement, drivers will enjoy free parking on Sundays and new mobile payment options.”
While adding a mobile payment method was also part of the renegotiated meter lease, this option will not be available until spring 2014.
CPM staff will switch over meter pay boxes in the rest of the city over the course of the next two weeks. Because of this the company reminds drivers that they only need to obey the enforcement hours posted on each meter box.