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Category Archives: Chicago parking

Free Weekend Parking Comes To An End In Logan Square

CDOT workers remove signs allowing parking along Logan Square Wednesday. Photo credit: Andrew Schneider/DNA Info.

CDOT workers remove signs allowing parking along Logan Square Wednesday. Photo credit: Andrew Schneider/DNA Info.

The signs came down Wednesday.

After five years, parking along historic Logan Blvd., Kedzie Blvd. and Humboldt Blvd. officially ended when Chicago Department of Transportation workers removed signs allowing parking on weekends according to DNA Info.

The signs, which went up in 2011 at the behest of former alderman Rey Colon, allowed parking 7 AM and 9 PM Saturday and Sunday, and from 7 to 9 PM Wednesday.

The signs just formalized the unofficial stand down order for parking enforcement which allowed patrons of several churches in the area to park without fear of parking tickets.

But many residents were opposed to the change in parking policy at the time and felt parked cars detracted from the beauty of the boulevards.

Thieves Target Wheels Of Expensive SUVs In Lincoln Park

Call it “The Case of the Disappearing Tires”.

It seems there have been more reports of stolen SUV tires since we wrote about the incident reported by DNA Info where a high end SUV parked on a street in toney Lincoln Park had all four of its tires stolen last week–but was then ticketed for not moving for scheduled street cleaning.

Festival Get A+ In Warning Drivers Of Parking Restrictions

WP parking flier

Wicker Park Fest organizers distributed fliers on Milwaukee Avenue warning drivers of parking restrictions this weekend.

Organizers for the Wicker Park Festival this weekend get top marks for warning drivers of upcoming parking restrictions.

Parking restrictions for the festival, held Saturday and Sunday July 25th & 26th, went into effect late Friday night at midnight–technically early Saturday morning along Milwaukee Avenue between North Avenue and Wolcott/Wood.

The problem with that is there’s a vibrant club and bar scene and often weekend revelers are still partying when the restrictions go into effect and the tow trucks start hauling cars away.

But event organizers were very proactive on getting the word out.

Of course, the city had the temporary white paper tow zone signs up and down Milwaukee.

New Parking App The Airbnb Of Parking Spaces

List-a-parking-spotDoes Chicago need yet another smartphone app for parking?

The answer apparently is yes for internet startup ParqEx, a service that allows parking space owners to rent their space while they’re not there.

The service, much like how Airbnb connects property owners to find short term renters, helps drivers find affordable parking while the space owner is at work or out of town.

Founder Vivek Mehra told Crain’s Chicago Business Robert Loerzel, “I live in downtown, and I always found when I left my parking spot and went to other locations, my spot was just sitting idle and doing nothing.”

So far, after only a month, the service has 600 users.

Paper Chronicles Another Costly Parking Privatization Failure

The beautifully designed Aqua Building cost city taxpayers $62 million because of botched decision to allow public parking there. Photo credit: Studio Gang.

The beautifully designed Aqua Building cost city taxpayers $62 million because of botched decision to allow public parking there. Photo credit: Studio Gang.

Richard M. Daley’s legacy continues to disintegrate at the hands of horrible parking privatization policy mistakes.

The most heralded is the torturously painful 2008 parking meter lease deal which, for a mere $1.3 billion dollars, Daley handed over control of the city’s parking meter system to a private company which stands to reap multi-billion dollar profits over the 75 years of the contract.

A lesser known relative of the meter deal is the Aqua parking garage fiasco which the Sun-Times chronicled recently.

The story begins in 2006 when the city privatized four downtown parking garages under Grant Park and Millennium Park to Morgan Stanley for $563 million for 99 years. One of the main caveats is the city cannot license any new parking garages within a mile in any direction from those leased parking properties.

But in 2009, developers of the Aqua building were given the go ahead by the city to allow public parking in their nearly 1,300 space garage–despite the fact the garage was within the zone where new garages weren’t allowed by the 2006 privatization deal.

Chicago’s SpotHero Spotlighted On CNBC

CNBC took a test drive of SpotHero’s smart phone app this week, with founder Mark Lawrence along for the ride.

The Chicago-based SpotHero has been growing quickly since Lawrence and co-founder Jeremy Smith began their venture less than five years ago. The company recently finished moving to a larger office space in River North–the third move in less than three years.

It’s Election Day! Go Out And Vote-But Park Legally

Election Day No Parking SignToday is election day and the tow trucks will be out on patrol.

The polls open at 6 AM and are open until 7 PM.

Get to your polling place and vote.

In most cases, your polling place should be within walking distance.

But remember, parking restrictions to accommodate the disabled will be in place around polling places. So if you have to drive, just be careful where you park.

Politicians Work To Undo West Loop Parking Confusion

West Loop MapIt’s a cluster-park in the West Loop.

That’s what the Chicago Reader is reporting about an ill-conceived plan to keep so-called “day-trippers” from the suburbs from parking in the West Loop for free and then spending the day downtown.

The solution to the perceived problem was to restrict parking on neighborhood streets from 1:30 to 3:30 Monday through Friday.

It was a pilot program of sorts as it was initially only going to run from July 2013 to December 2013. But the signs didn’t come down in early 2014 and then the program got extended indefinitely by the City Council in May of last year.

Politically Connected Profit From United Center Parking Scam

Red Top Parking signThey don’t own the land.

They don’t pay rent or property taxes.

But three clout heavy parking lot companies have been operating parking lots on several city owned lots for the past 20 years and now City Hall wants to end the practice according to the Chicago Sun-times.

The city has erected barriers around at least one of the properties and is seeking to stop the three private companies from using the city’s property for free.

City Crack Down On Valet Parking Companies Yields 229 Violations

 

Over four days the City of Chicago issued 229 violations to 35 different valet parking companies and took CBS 2 News along to chronicle the crackdown.

The enforcement explosion is part of a push by the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection to hold valet parking companies accountable and to scare them into following the rules.