Tag Archives: Chicago parking meter lease deal

Writer Predicts No Other Cities Will Ever Privatize Their Parking Meters

NBC Chicago writer Edward McClelland last week boldly predicted that due to Chicago’s horrible experience with it’s infamous and hated parking meter lease deal, no city will ever privatize their parking meters ever again.

There’s only good thing about Chicago’s parking meter deal: no other city will ever again lease its parking concession to a private company.

McClelland points to when Pittsburgh flirted with the idea before turning its back on privatizing their meters.

But humorously, just a week after his gutsy prediction, Cincinnati signed away its parking meters for 30 years and a $92 million upfront payment according to the Business Courier.

In addition, it looks like Sacramento is poised to follow the Queen City any day now.

Some Business Owners Supporting Free Sunday Parking?

Over the course of hearings on the remix of the parking meter lease deal, many aldermen stated they were hearing from business owners and local chamber of commerce that opposed free Sunday parking.

Retail businesses in general, and in particular retailers in congested, high traffic parts of the city (Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Logan Square, Lakeview, etc.) depend on rapid turnover rates of metered parking spots to maximize customers and ultimately sales.

These business owners don’t want drivers leaving their cars parked all day and discouraging other paying customers from spending money.

Several alderman plan on refusing free Sunday parking in their wards or at least in some of these high congestion areas.

However, the Sun-Times reports some retail business owners are supportive of free Sunday parking because they feel it will bring more shoppers into their stores.

Parking Meter Firm Fast Tracks Free Sundays, Extended Hours

The changes to Chicago’s parking meter lease deal approved by the city council barely a week ago, will begin being implemented in select areas of the city starting this weekend–several weeks earlier than the original July 1st start date.

Aldermen passed Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s renegotiated parking meter lease 39-11 on June 5th. The new deal allows the city to better control the millions of dollars of non-meter revenue CPM was claiming, but also allows drivers to park for free on Sundays in most neighborhoods but extends the hours of enforcement as well.

Teams for Chicago Parking Meters, LLC will begin the job this Sunday of switching over the over 4,400 parking meter pay boxes to allow free parking on Sundays. According to Mayor Emanuel’s office, neighborhoods in Southside wards (3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 14, 15, 20, 22, 23, and 25) will be the first to be able to park for free on Sundays.

City Council Approves Parking Meter Deal Remix 39-11

Mayor Rahm Emanuel presides over Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting. Corporation Council Steve Patton sits to his left.

Back in 2008, the Chicago City Council voted 45-5 to approve the much loathed parking meter lease deal.

At Wednesday’s City Council meeting, 11 aldermen voted against Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s remix of the parking meter lease remix.

Emanuel’s renegotiated meter lease which better controls non-meter revenue from changes to the meter system value or street closures and gives free Sunday parking in neighborhoods in exchange for extending meter payment hours passed with strong support 39-11.

Despite the foregone conclusion of the vote’s outcome, before the meeting began at 10 AM, some low level shenanigans were taking place according to several sources on the city council floor.

Apparently, opposition aldermen had tried to distribute copies of the Tribune editorial critical of the proposed changes to the meter lease to fellow council members. But the copies were temporarily confiscated by someone in the administration for a short time until more reasonable heads prevailed in allow the editorial’s distribution.

The Mayor’s people were also twisting arms of no votes until the last minute, threatening political retribution in the future.

Council members took about an hour to debate the merits of the changes to the remaining 71 years of the agreement effecting the city’s 36,000 metered parking spaces.

Meter Deal Remix A Slam Dunk For Approval Wednesday

A sign protesting high parking meter prices hangs outside a home in West Lakeview back in 2009.

It should be no surprise to anyone following the progress of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s parking meter lease remix that it should pass without much effort at Wednesday’s city council meeting.

Despite the best efforts of the Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd), Ald. John Arena (45th) and other members of the Chicago Progress Reform Coalition, as well as Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) to convince other council members the renegotiated deal is a bad one, the votes are just not there to derail it.

Even up until Wednesday morning’s meeting, sources say the Mayor’s minions were working to pick off any votes they could from fence sitting aldermen with the threat of political retribution.

Based on questions during four days of hearings on the revised meter deal, most aldermen were torn between the financial savings on one hand and free Sundays and extended hours on the other.

Parking Meter Lease Remix Inspires Many Opinions

As Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposed renegotiated and remixed version of Chicago’s infamous parking meter lease deal comes closer to a vote in the city council, many voices are weighing in with their opinions.

Here’s a roundup of some of the more unique points of view on the subject.

Even More Notes On Parking Meter Hearings

Friday, the Finance Committee convened once again on the topic of the moment–parking meters.

It was a short meeting, beginning at 10 AM and gaveled adjourned just after noon.

But a litany of questions from aldermen aimed at the city’s Chief Executive Office Lois Scott and Corporation Counsel Steve Patton, the city’s top lawyer, continued for this third day of hearings.

“Parking Wars” Over Divided Free Sundays Looms Says Aldermen

Perhaps the major concern about the free Sundays proposal is that adjacent wards may have different policies on free Sunday parking.

Notes On Parking Meter Lease Remix Committee Hearings

City of Chicago CFO Lois Scott and Corporation Counsel Steve Patton testify before the City Council Finance Committee this past week.

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.

Chicago Tribune Report Says Meter Deal Remix Benefits Company

Friday’s front page story in the Chicago Tribune states Chicago Parking Meters, LLC will continue to dramatically benefit from Mayor Emanuel’s proposed changes to the city’s infamous 2008 parking meter lease deal.

The Tribune spills a lot of black ink looking at city numbers and making unsubstantiated projections.

In general, the Tribune breaks no new ground or comes to any conclusions which were already pretty much of the foregone kind.

The story tries to leave readers with the impression that it’s a huge surprise that Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, (the company which controls the parking meter system for the next 71 years and looks to make billions of dollars in the process) will continue to receive additional revenue for street closures and other events which impact meter revenue.

Chicago Tonight Panel Discusses Remix Of Parking Meter Deal

Yeah, this aired a few weeks ago, but we’ve been too distracted to remember to post this video of a discussion on Mayor Emanuel’s proposed renegotiated meter lease deal on the always enlightening Chicago Tonight.

The producers invited the City of Chicago’s Corporation Counsel Stephen Patton, World Business Chicago Vice-Chair Michael Sacks, Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) and some other doofus who writes for a local website called The Expired Meter to debate the proposal.