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Category Archives: Chicago parking

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.

Logan Square Neighborhood Group Pushes Pro Parking Agenda

Save Our Boulevards' flier warning Logan Square residents of parking challenges from a proposed 1,500 unit development.

Save Our Boulevards’ flier warning Logan Square residents of parking challenges from a proposed 1,500 unit development.

A group in Logan Square is trying to garner support from neighborhood motorists to fight a proposed 1,500 unit development on Milwaukee Avenue according to DNA Info.

Save Our Boulevards is circulating a flier attacking the proposed development by claiming the developer’s plan doesn’t include enough  parking and therefore will drastically reduce the number of street parking spaces in Logan Square with such a large influx of new residents.

The development, slated to be located close to the CTA’s Blue Line California Ave.  stop, is reportedly aimed at car less people who rely on public transit, biking or walking to get around.

Credit Card Data At Risk From Parking Garage Security Breach

PrintSP+, one of the nation’s largest operators of parking lots and garages, announced a cyber security breach occurred at 13 Chicago area locations that may have compromised the credit card payment data of customers.

SP+, formerly Standard Parking, says the parking payment systems at 10 parking garages in Chicago, three in Evanston and four other out of state locations were compromised. The company says a hacker used a remote access tool to install malware to capture the credit card data of customers who paid for parking between late September and early November depending on the location.

City Council Bans Limos From Residential Street Parking

Limo

Chicago’s message to limousine owners?

Don’t park on our residential streets.

The Chicago City Council passed a law prohibiting limousines from parking on residential streets on Wednesday according to the Chicago Tribune.

Limos join the list of other vehicles banned from parking on most streets including taxis, trucks, buses, motor homes, vans, RVs (longer than 22 feet), and semis.

Mayor Looks To Squeeze Motorists More In 2015 Budget

Self Park signWith 2015 budget hearings getting underway, early indications seem that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is looking to squeeze more money out of motorists.

Emanuel’s proposed budget is looking to raise parking garage taxes by 2% next year from 20 to 22% during the week and from18 to 20% on weekends according to the Sun-Times.

The mayor hopes to raise an additional $10 million by the tax bump and then use the proceeds to hire 80 new employees to make up 18 crews to fill potholes on Chicago’s streets. This past winter was the worse on record with an expected million plus potholes being filled by the end of the year and a record breaking number of pothole related vehicle damage claims filed as well.