Writer Predicts No Other Cities Will Ever Privatize Their Parking Meters

NBC Chicago writer Edward McClelland last week boldly predicted that due to Chicago’s horrible experience with it’s infamous and hated parking meter lease deal, no city will ever privatize their parking meters ever again.

There’s only good thing about Chicago’s parking meter deal: no other city will ever again lease its parking concession to a private company.

McClelland points to when Pittsburgh flirted with the idea before turning its back on privatizing their meters.

But humorously, just a week after his gutsy prediction, Cincinnati signed away its parking meters for 30 years and a $92 million upfront payment according to the Business Courier.

In addition, it looks like Sacramento is poised to follow the Queen City any day now.

And while Pittsburgh eschewed privatization, Indianapolis jumped on the meter privatization bandwagon a few years ago.

Here’s the thing. What Chicago’s experience with privatizing its meter shows other cities is that it can be a very lucrative proposition–but it needs to be done properly. If cities learn from Chicago’s errors, good for them. But ultimately, for cash strapped American cities, the money is too good to pass up and ultimately, more cities’ meters will wind up in private hands in the future.

Too bad Chicago had to learn the hard way.

Read NBC 5′s Ward Room post, “Pittsburgh Avoids Chicago’s Parking Blunder.”

13 Responses to Writer Predicts No Other Cities Will Ever Privatize Their Parking Meters

  1. saucexx says:


    615 Days

  2. david says:

    saucexx says:
    June 19, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    615 Days

    My comment:

    If he runs again, he wins again. Most of the changes that he has made are viewed as “okay” with the general populace. Schools? He has successfully spun this and the teachers have lost on this issue. Most of the populace look at this as an attempt to close down unused school buildings and to bring in line the “out of control” school spending. That, in fact, the reality is that the Chicago Schools are badly crowded and the teachers underpaid when compared to the rest of the region has been overcome by perception.

    Parking Meters? He will trumpet that he came up with as good a solution as he could to fight this horrible contract that came in before he arrived. And it is a very bad contract. And I haven’t actually heard any rational solution (well I think my solution works…) to this beyond giving all of the money back and canceling the contract. Bankruptcy is not an option.

    Red Light Cameras and Speed Cameras? Most of the populace don’t care or think these are a good idea. Its very hard to argue against anything billed as “pro safey” even if it is not. Look at all the layers of security theater at the airports…

    And so forth. To most of the population, he’s been about as successful as he could considering the situation. And no credible opponent exists AND those that are fighting him will never unite on a single candidate. The tea party whackos (which dominate the postings here) will never sign on to the Teacher’s Union candidate and vice versa even though both hate Emanuel. And in a run off between Emanuel and the “opposition” candidate, Emanuel gets ALL of the teacher’s union support if it is a Tea Party Candidate and the Tea Party will all stay home before they would support the teachers Union. The only way Emanuel does not run for re-election is if he has been “promoted” to a new job (for example, he suddenly looks like he will be Hillary’s VP candidate (but the election’s too soon).

  3. Drew says:

    Bullshit he came up with a solution.

    If he had the balls to go with his missing Finger….he’d declare municipal bankruptcy and laugh as the Courts Uphold the declaration under the Home Rule Clause of the Illinois Constitution.

    I’ll say it again….

    I’m the best hope for this city as mayor in 2015

  4. Drew says:

    12,500 signatures on a petition.

    I will give the Geek my full name. I can fix this city in 3 years.

  5. Jeff says:

    Emanuel will likely win again unless Chicagoans realize what a liar he is:

    1. promised he wouldn’t raise property taxes – LIED

    2. promised greater transparency in city government – LIED

    3. promised to reform TIF programs – LIED

    4. told us that red light/speed cameras were all about safety and not revenue – LIED

    5. promised no more sweetheart deals and insider politics – LIED

    6. promised to improve Taste of Chicago and have it turn a money-loser into the money-maker it used to be – LIED

    7. promised to hire more police officers – LIED

    Here’s a recent Chicago Reader primer on the most recent big fat lies from our Mayor:


  6. Pete says:

    Once the speed cameras go in, Rahm will be deeply unpopular but will get reelected simply because nobody else will run. Nobody will be able to compete against Rahm’s warchest of money and supporters (consisting entirely of clouted cronies). At that point Rahm won’t even pretend to care what the people think, as it won’t matter at all.

  7. Uncommon Sense says:

    Please explain how Sacramento is “poised to follow”. They are buying new meters.

    Once again, don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.

  8. Drew says:

    I’ll run for mayor against that nook.

    Just need 13k signatures on a petition and to raise money

  9. Drew says:

    I mean that Mook

  10. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Uncommon Sense,

    You are absolutely correct, I misread the story I linked to and incorrectly posted Sacramento was “posed to follow” Cincinnati.

    After further investigation, Sacramento officials after pursuing privatizing their meters, changed their mind. My mistake.

    Thanks for pointing that out.

  11. Jeff says:

    The latest unintended consequence of the parking meter lease deal:


    Thank Mayor Daley again for this piece of shit deal, and thank Rahmmy Boo Boo for ratifying that deal and arguing in favor of that agreement in court, instead of joining the lawsuit to oveturn the deal.

  12. B says:

    Since the first time I parked at one of those metered areas I wondered when someone would figure out that these receipts are easy to counterfeit.

    Figures it would be the parking valets to do it first.

  13. JohnK says:

    Well, the whole thing was completely illegal — how Daley rammed through that legislation with a gun to the aldermen’s heads. In a properly functioning government he never should have gotten away with selling a public asset.

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