Category Archives: Chicago Parking Meter

A Motorist’s Primer To The ParkChicago Mobile Payment App

Here’s a rundown of some of the questions and answers on this new fangled parking meter mobile payment app called ParkChicago.

Q: How does ParkChicago work?

A: Check out the video above for the general lowdown on this new payment method.

But generally, it’s like IPASS for metered parking. You resister an account, give them credit card info, add $20 to your account and you’re ready to go.

When you want to park you logon, type in the meter box number on the sign and your license plate number and you’re paid up and ready to park.

Q: Where can I download the ParkChicago app?

Parking Meter Company Debuts Pay-By-Phone Pilot Program in West Loop

An LAZ Parking employee installs a new ParkChicago mobile payment sign on Madison Avenue.

An LAZ Parking employee installs a new ParkChicago mobile payment sign on Madison Avenue.

In a few select blocks of the West Loop, Chicago Parking Meters LLC, will debut its new ParkChicago mobile payment system in a pilot test starting Tuesday.

In a small area with just 279 metered parking spaces between Halsted Street and Racine Avenue, and bordered by Madison and Monroe streets, drivers will be able to test drive the ParkChicago app to pay for their metered parking remotely using any iOS or Android smartphone.

“We’re conducting a pilot to gauge feedback from motorists before rolling it out across the city,” says CPM spokesman Scott Burnham. ”

The technology makes paying for parking much more convenient for motorists by eliminating the need to pay for parking at the pay box or have to place a meter receipt on their dashboard. Drivers can pay for parking or extend parking time from anywhere using a smart phone, iPad or similar tablet computer.

The app even has a built-in timer to remind drivers 10 minutes before their time expires to allow them to add more time or get back to their car before the meter expires.

Read more at DNA Info.

Drivers ‘Irked’ At Restoring Paid Sunday Parking Meters

Changing the parking meter 2.jpg

Employees of LAZ Parking change the parking meter rates on a paybox in Lakeview in 2013.

With the announcement that some neighborhoods are going to see switch back to paid parking meters on Sundays, it seems some drivers are miffed at the idea according to DNA Info.

Right now, in most areas of the city–excluding downtown and the more general Central Business District–motorists can park for free on Sundays in metered parking spots.

But, some aldermen on the North Side have been trying for the past year to bring back paid parking on Sundays due to businesses in heavily congested retail areas complaining about the lack of parking turnover.

Mayor Introduces Ordinance To Restore Some Paid Sunday Meters

But Alderman Michele Smith Changes Position To Keep Free Sundays Meters In Most Of Lincoln Park.

Business owners in Lincoln Park want paid metered parking reinstated on Sundays in their neighborhood.

Paid Sunday metered parking will likely be returning to some neighborhoods, but only portions of Lincoln Park.

Nearly a year after Mayor Rahm Emanuel promised some neighborhoods could keep paid Sunday parking meters, he introduced an ordinance at Wednesday’s City Council meeting that would do just that.

Portions of neighborhoods like Bucktown, Lakeview, Wrigleyville, and Jefferson Park will be seeing a switch back to paid Sunday metered parking perhaps as soon as May. The proposed ordinance needs to make it out of the Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety and into the full council for a vote.

There are a few minor changes to times of metered parking on Sundays which would have meters operating from 10 AM until 8 PM. In addition, metered areas which wraparound from a commercial street onto a residential street will still remain free.

But the ordinance seems a long time coming. This time last year, Emanuel was pressing City Council members to accept his renegotiated parking meter lease deal to give the city the ability to control costs from streets closures and other issues which allowed Chicago Parking Meters, LLC to bill the city millions of dollars for lost revenue.

Parking Meter Pay Boxes Damaged In North Side Vandalism Spree

An enraged gentleman attacks a parking meter in Lakeview In March, 2009,

An enraged gentleman attacks a parking meter with a chunk of concrete in Lakeview in March, 2009,

A parking meter vandalism spree has erupted on the city’s North Side five years after Chicago’s parking meter system officially transferred into the private control of Chicago Parking Meters, LLC which spurred a similar rash of meter vandalism back in 2009.

The Chicago Police Department reported Thursday at least 13 pay boxes were damaged using a heavy blunt object or tool in the Lakeview, Wicker Park, West Town and Andersonville neighborhoods. The damage has been severe enough to disable the units from working properly.

Back in March of 2009, in what seemed to be an angry reaction to a highly unpopular parking meter lease deal, which caused parking meter rates to quadruple, parking meters across the city were smashed, spray painted and lit on fire.

In the subsequent five years traditional single head parking meters were replaced by multi-space parking meter pay boxes and the mood of drivers cooled. But apparently some motorists may still be harboring frustration with the hated deal and parking meter rates which rank as the highest in the nation.

ABC 7 Covers Free Sunday Meters Controversy

ABC 7 News’ Karen Jordan spends a few minutes looking into the problem with giving drivers free metered parking on Sundays in Lincoln Park.

Here’s their full coverage, “Business owners push to end free Sunday parking.”

Lincoln Park Businesses, Aldermen Frustrated by Delay in Restoring Paid Sunday Meters

Business owners in Lincoln Park want paid metered parking reinstated on Sundays in their neighborhood.

Business owners in Lincoln Park want paid metered parking reinstated on Sundays in their neighborhood.

When will free Sunday parking end along busy retail streets in Chicago?

That’s what the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce wants to know after it sent an email to its members this week, entitled “Call to Action: End Free Sunday Parking at Meters.”

Lincoln Park business owners and the chamber — as well as stores and aldermen in other areas — have been trying to reverse the change to free Sunday parking in their neighborhood for the past several months. They believe the policy — which Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushed for when the city renegotiated the 75-year parking-meter lease deal last Spring — is hurting the bottom lines of area businesses, because there isn’t enough turnover in the parking spaces outside their shops.

“Frustrated sounds right,” chamber spokesman Padraic Swanton said Friday. “The general tone is, ‘Where are we and what happened’? We thought we were moving ahead on this.”

Nearly a year ago, during hearings on the renegotiated contract with the private company that runs the meters, Chicago Parking Meters LLC, aldermen with busy retail businesses corridors in neighborhoods like Lakeview, Wicker Park, Bucktown and Lincoln Park were told their wards could eventually retain paid Sunday parking to keep customer turnover high.

Read more at DNA Info.

Parking Meter Pay By Phone Pilot Program Debuting Soon

App Screen - HomeIt finally looks like Chicago drivers are going to get a pay by phone option to feed their parking meters according to City Hall.

Late Sunday, the city reminded drivers a new pay by phone app called ParkChicago will be released this Spring by Chicago Parking Meters, LLC.

The smart phone app will allow drivers to bypass interacting with a parking meter pay box where a meter receipt has to be displayed on the dashboard.

One of the main benefits is the ability to plug the parking meter remotely, instead of having to leave to walk back to the car.

Another benefit will be that the app will send the driver a text alert to remind them when their meter time is expiring. The downside is there is a 35 cent convenience fee that will be tacked on for every transaction under the maximum time allowed at the meter. If a driver pays for the normal two hour maximum, the fee will be waived.

Pay by phone payment was something the Emanuel administration had pushed in its renegotiation of the parking meter lease agreement with Chicago Parking Meters, LLC last spring.

According to the city, drivers will initially be able to use the Park Chicago app downtown in early spring. Eventually motorists will be able to use it citywide at any Chicago parking meter paybox.

Paid Sunday Meters Returning To North Side Neighborhoods?

A report by WGN TV News spotlights one of the problems with Mayor Emanual’s free parking at meters on Sundays.

Business owners on the North Side are saying the free Sunday meters is affecting their bottom line due to the lack of turnover in the metered spaces. Some say business is down 10-20% on Sundays.

The owners argue some motorists park their car in a spot Saturday night and don’t move it until Monday morning–making it impossible for potential customers to shop in high density retail areas in Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Wicker Park and others.

The Mayor’s office told WGN TV that decisions will be made in the next few weeks.

Here’s WGN TV’s full story, “Free Sunday Parking: Good for drivers, Bad for business.”

Counterfeit Parking Meter Receipts Show Up On Downtown Dashes

Parking meter receiptWhat will they think of next?

Counterfeit parking meter receipts, that’s what.

According to the Chicago Tribune, unscrupulous valet parking companies may be producing their own fake parking meter receipts using a personal computer and a printer.

The Trib says valet parking companies are supposed to park customer cars in private garages or off street lots. But supposedly, some valet services try to cut corners and costs by parking cars on the street and allegedly some are using counterfeit meter receipts to cut costs even further.