Category Archives: Chicago Parking Meter
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, 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.
On the coldest day of the winter, this parking meter pay box in the 1600 block of W. North Avenue seems to be bundle up for protection from the arctic temperatures early this week.
In reality, construction work was being done on a new school and this section of metered parking spaces were temporarily closed to allow large trucks to park and perform some work.
UPDATE: Many of the commentators at Second City Cop blog, a website frequented by Chicago’s finest, are weighing in on this issue in a particularly whiny way. Thanks to 019 District PO for the tip.
Parking enforcement teams working for Chicago Parking Meters, LLC are writing expired meter tickets to drivers in the Edison Park neighborhood and residents are angry.
Residents of the far Northwest Side neighborhood and the Better Government Association are alleging the ticketing is overly aggressive.
Why would an individual who rides a bicycle year round, doesn’t own a car and therefore never needs to feed a parking meter create a map showing every parking meter pay box in the entire city?
Vance did it to help out a friend he explains.
“A friend wanted the data for his blog post and found the CPM website cumbersome to browse and manipulate,” says Vance. “I’ve now liberated the data so anyone can have it.”
How can you pay to park in a metered parking spot if you can’t get to the pay box due to the snow?
The team actually works for Chicago Parking Meters LLC, the private company that took over control of the city’s 36,000 metered-parking spaces in the infamous 75-year deal that jacked up parking rates and lengthened the hours of enforcement all over the city.
But part of the deal the company made with the city gave it the right to help enforce the meters — by writing more tickets than the cash-strapped city’s own parking enforcers could do otherwise.
In fact, the company has very quietly issued hundreds of thousands of tickets for expired meter violations since 2010, city parking data obtained through a Freedom of Information request shows.
Meter teams working for Chicago Parking Meters now write nearly one-third of all tickets issued citywide for expired meter violations, the data shows.
Read more at DNA Info Chicago.
As you dig through your pockets for quarters to pay for your parking spot today, you have an additional reason to curse your parking meter.
Today, for urban motorists everywhere, this day could be labeled an anniversary of evil.
Because this day in 1935, the very first parking meter was installed at the corner of First Street and Robinson Avenue, in downtown Oklahoma City, OK.
There’s already been two days worth of tense and contentious hearings at City Hall with more scheduled for this Friday.
Last week Friday and this Tuesday, city council members sat through all day hearings in the Finance Committee listening to testimony on Mayor Emanuel’s renegotiated parking meter lease went Friday at City Hall.
Corporation Counsel Steve Patton and the city’s Chief Financial Officer Lois Scott were at the eye of the storm of intense and often heated scrutiny of aldermen both days.
Both days, Scott and Patton gave a rundown of the details of the meter lease remix which has two main components. First, the city’s team of negotiators got Chicago Parking Meters, LLC to agree to millions of dollars of discounts on the many of the outstanding bills for street closures and other events which impacted the value of the meter system as well as moving forward, agreed to accept the city’s determination of the True Up events.
The second part is allowing free parking on Sunday at metered parking spots in the neighborhoods outside the Central Business District but then extending hours of enforcement one hour Monday through Saturdays from the now 9 PM to a proposed 10 PM. In addition, meter hours in the River North entertainment district would be extended all the way until midnight.
Once their overview was finished on both days, aldermen aimed their barrage of questions and ire at Scott and Patton.
Here’s some notes, thoughts and stories from the hearings.
Gross parking meter revenue was up nearly 29% last year according to CPM’s most recent income statement. Revenue rose from $108 million in 2011 to over $139 million in 2012–an over $30 million increase. Parking meter rates rose only 16% between 2011 and 2012.
“At some point you have to laugh at how much revenue they’re bringing in,” said Alderman Scott Waguespack (32nd). “At this rate the company will recoup their investment in just 10 years.”
The original meter lease deal back in 2008, gave CPM a 75-year lease for a one time payment to the city of $1.16 billion. Waguespack was one of only five no votes on the lease and at the time, strongly believed the payment low-balled the true value of the nation’s third largest metered parking system. Although originally the bulk of the billion plus dollars was earmarked for rainy day savings, most of the proceeds have already been spent.
But CPM’s financial statements also seem to reveal the dramatic fiscal impact to the company’s bottom line from the hard fought settlement Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his team’s recently negotiated.
Read more at DNA Info Chicago.