Parking Meters Welcome Pennies In One Small Illinois Town

Expired MeterDowntown Chicago, drivers pay $6.50 for the privilege of parking at a meter for an hour–it’s the highest rate in the U.S.

But just about 90 minutes directly west of Chicago is the quaint town of Sycamore–a town where downtown parkers can feed the meter for as little as one penny.

A penny gets you 12 minutes, a nickel gets you an hour or, if you really want to splurge, motorists can purchase two hours for a dime.

The Associated Press spotlights the small town where city leaders say they use the penny parking as a marketing tool to draw shoppers to a thriving downtown.

Sometimes kindhearted drivers will leave extra pennies stacked on meters just in case others can’t find change according to the AP.

Very few penny parking meters exist in the U.S. While a handful survive in a few locations across the country, Sycamore boasts 316 of the penny meters.

Here’s the AP’s full story published in the DeKalb Chronicle, “Sycamore is one of last towns to still use penny parking meters.”

Hat tip to Scott for alerting us to this story.

5 Responses to Parking Meters Welcome Pennies In One Small Illinois Town

  1. Jeff says:

    I used to ravel to Sycamore for work a couple times a year. It always made me think of Mayberry. Pennies for parking. People taking time to eat great big breakfast in a local restaurant. Half expected to see Aunt Bee and Opie at the next table. Hated to leave such a peaceful little time capsule of a place.

  2. Sue Ann says:

    It was a great place to grow up.

  3. Jeff says:

    Suburban New York cops steals $90K in parking meter coins:

    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Parking-Officer-Meter-Theft-Thousand-Mt-Kisco-New-York-Daday-Jail-Arrest-Court-287659691.html

    You would think that a cop depositing thousands in coins week after week would have made someone at the bank suspicious much sooner.

  4. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Sue Ann,

    It’s been a few years since I’ve been through Sycamore, but I recall it looked like the prototypical small American town and had beautiful houses. I need to take a drive through there soon.

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