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Category Archives: Parking Meter

Parking Meter Rates Jump January 1st

$5 Per Hour Downtown Rates Highest In Nation

It’s almost that time of the year again.

No, not Christmas or New Year’s, but parking meter rate increase season.

It was three years ago this month when Mayor Daley and his cohorts in the city council pushed through the Chicago parking meter lease deal.

One of the more onerous results of the 75-year deal was an initial five years of steep meter rate price increases.

On January 1st, parking meter rates will rise for the third of the five initial years.

Downtown, meter rates will jump $0.75 from $4.25 per hour to $5.00 an hour–giving Chicago the distinction of having the highest downtown parking meter rates in the nation.

New York, and Los Angeles, while both larger than Chicago, have lower downtown rates than the Windy City. New York’s highest rate is currently $3.75 an hour, while LA tops out at $4 per hour downtown.

In areas adjacent to the Loop (River North, Gold Coast, parts of Lincoln Park, Near North) rates will go up $0.50 per hour from $2.50 to $3.00 per hour.

Meter rates in all other outlying neighborhoods will increase just $0.25 from $1.25 per hour to $1.50 per hour.

Ask the Parking Ticket Geek

Hello Geek,

I let a friend borrow my car and he got a parking ticket.

I have gotten several letters about it saying it needs to be paid and I give them to him. After the last one he claimed he paid it and then left town. Now I just got another letter saying it isn’t paid and it will be going to collections.

My questions is if I contact the city and give them this license information (which I have) will they transfer it to him?

I am wondering this because if he had gotten a ticket while driving it would be under his name not not mine. Do I have any hope of this or am I going to have to eat the cost of this and use it as a valuable lesson in friendship?

Always Delivery

Dear Always,

Mayoral Candidate Weighs In On Meter Lease Deal

GEEK EDITOR’S NOTE: Jay Stone is one, if not the only person officially in the running in the 2011 Chicago mayoral campaign.

Stone is making the parking meter lease deal one of the main issues of his campaign and estimates Chicago has lost billions of dollars over the 75 years of the lease.

Here’s the first of a three part series.

The Parking Meter Fiasco Part 1

By Jay Stone

Chicago Lost One Billion Dollars or More in Revenue

Daley sold the rights to Chicago’s parking meters for $1.15 billion. Most American cities would consider $1.15 billion a financial bonanza, but the critics of the Chicago parking meter deal strongly disagree. Chicago’s Inspector General’s office said the Daley administration undervalued the parking asset by $1 billion.

August Marks 75th Anniversary Of World’s First Expired Meter Parking Ticket

Augusts are hot in Oklahoma City, and August of 1935 was no exception.

The Reverend C. H. North, of Oklahoma’s City’s Third Pentecostal Holiness Church, drove his automobile downtown, and parked at a spot in front of one of those new-fangled devices called the Park-O-Meter the newspapers had been talking about.

Park-O-Meters, the brand name of the first parking meters were just recently invented, and the first batch of 150 had just been installed the month before creating sort of a hub-bub around town over those past few weeks.

North stepped out of his car, and wiping sweat from his forehead stepped into the hot and dusty street. He walked to the curb where the meter was planted in cement just in front of his automobile, and read the gadget.

It demanded 5 cents to park there.

The good Reverend checked his right pocket, and then his left. A few pennies, a dime, a quarter and a few silver dollars, landed in the palm of his hand. But there were no nickels.

Report: City Royally Screwed On Meter Lease Deal

CPM Estimates $11 Billion In Meter Revenues Over 75 Years

Many people scoffed.

When different studies and analysis of the much debated Chicago parking meter lease deal were released and brought to the notice of the public over the past 18 months, all were pooh-poohed, if not belittled outright by the Daley Administration.

Each time a major study came out, Chicago’s chief financial officer, Gene Saffold was trotted out to extol the benefits and reiterate what a great deal the city got when it leased it’s 36,000 space parking meter system for $1.16 billion over 75 years.

Ask The Parking Ticket Geek

Hi Geek,

I got a ticket for not displaying my city sticker.

Here is the deal – we recently bought a house in Aurora and are in the process of moving out of our Chicago apartment. Our closing date was August 2nd so I obviously was not going to buy a sticker.

The closing date has been moved to August 11th – but I still was not going to buy a sticker for that many days! Anything I can do to get out of this???

Thanks!

Amy

You need to really move your butt on this one Amy.

Immediately change the registration on your vehicle to your new, non-Chicago address with the Illinois Secretary of State. ASAP!!! Move it!

$1 Billion In Meter Money Down The Drain

That ear drum shattering sucking sound you hear is $1.16 billion dollars going down the drain.

According to a front page story in today’s Sun-Times, as of the end of 2009, only $180 million of the $1.16 billion Morgan Stanley paid for a 75 year lease to operate Chicago’s parking meter system.

When the lease deal was originally sold to the city council in December of 2008, the plan was to use approximately $300 million of the original amount to fill a deep budget hole in the 2009 budget. Of the remainder, $320 million was designated for a “rainy day” fund and $400 million was put into a long term reserve fund.

But it seems, in just one year after the lease deal was signed, $1 billion of the sale–90% of the total–has disappeared into Mayor Daley’s black hole of a budget deficit.

In retrospect, one sees the meter lease deal as the first easily understandable indicator that Mayor Daley has completely mishandled the city’s finances. During the mayor’s tenure, he had the good fortune of a robust economy and a booming housing market. With the downturn in the economy and the collapse of the housing market, revenues to the city have essentially slowed to a standstill.

But due to the Daley administration’s poor planning, only a few thousand dollars of rainy day money had been put aside for times like this. For this reason, when William Blair & Company brought this idea to the mayor with the promise of fast cash, he jumped at it. The mayor knew he had a big budget deficit looming and this was the only solution to the problem.

This is why back in December of 2008, speed was so important. The Daley administration gave the city council less than 72 hours to ponder this complex, billion dollar sale of a valuable city asset. With so little time, none of the important questions weren’t asked or were glossed over. In the city’s desperation to plug the budget hole, the lease deal got them their needed short term fix. But it was only a temporary solution to a much larger long term problem and created a slew of other issues.

With a $700 million budget deficit looming for 2011, no one expects that remaining $180 million to be around for very long.

And the meter lease deal continues to get worse and worse for Mayor Daley.

Poll: 80% Of Voters Still Hate Meter Lease Deal

Local news organizations over the past few days has been spending a lot of time hashing out the latest poll numbers on Mayor Daley.

The most recent Chicago Tribune poll shows an incumbent mayor with some pretty low numbers.

In fact, Mayor Daley’s weakest poll numbers ever.

One of the key issues that has put the Mayor’s favorability at odds with potential voters is the parking meter lease deal.

Happy %#@! Anniversary, First Parking Meter Installed 75 Years Ago Today

As you dig through your pockets for a quarter 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.

Lucy The ‘Meter Maid’

Lucille Ball, a ticket book and an expired meter?

Get ready for parking ticket hilarity.

Video courtesy of our friends over at MeTV.