Tag Archives: Chicago parking meters
The LAZ Parking executive being investigated by the FBI for allegedly accepting $90,000 in kick backs to steer a multi-million dollar contract for parking meter pay boxes to his employer has been fired.
The Sun-Times reports LAZ Parking took the action Saturday after confirming the probe which began in February. The investigation was most likely triggered by a similar bribery situation in Portland, OR when the city employee in charge of city parking was found to have accepted bribes from George Levey, the head of Cale Parking System, to have the city purchase his company’s pay boxes.
LAZ Parking, the contractor in charge of street operations for Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, the company which controls this city’s metered parking system, purchased $22 million in Cale’s parking meter pay boxes for Chicago.
According to the Sun-Times, an executive for LAZ Parking, the company which handles operations for Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, is being investigated for possibly accepting $90,000 in bribes to steer business to the company which supplied the city’s parking meter pay boxes.
While the executive has not been named, paperwork alleges Cale Parking Systems paid $90,000 to a shell company owned by the wife of the LAZ executive at the heart of this investigation. The FBI has been reviewing incriminating e-mails between George Levey, the owner of Cale and the wife of the executive.
Cale Parking Systems did get the multi-million dollar contract to supply the over 4000 meter pay boxes that dot streets all over the city. What possibly tripped up the folks at the heart of the scheme was the rapaciousness of the executive’s wife, who after the initial $90,000 payment, tried to get more cash out of Cale.
A handful of metered parking spots on North Sheridan in causing an uproar in Uptown.
So much so, the public “outrage” has inspired City Hall and Ald. James Cappleman (46th) to agree to remove the meters according to DNA Info.
The six metered spaces are in front of a low income high rise and were re-installed after about a year hiatus due to contstruction. But according to residents, since they cannot afford to pay the meters, they’ve been forced to park their vehicles in non-metered areas. Unfortunately, those spots allegedly reside in a gang controlled area.
A recent flier from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s election campaign is attacking Ald. Bob Fioretti for his votes on the parking meter lease deal.
Back in 2008, Ald. Fioretti voted for the former Mayor Richard Daley’s infamous parking meter lease deal–an agreement that sold the city’s metered parking spaces for a fraction of their worth.
It was a vote he regretted and which inspired him to vote against a revision of the meter deal that Emanuel pushed in 2013. The revised deal did get Chicago Parking Meters, LLC to drop tens of millions of dollars in claims against the city. But in return, Emanuel allowed most metered spaces to extend enforcement hours until 10PM–a two hour increase, and meters in River North to be fed until midnight.
But now, according to the Chicago Reader, a mailer attacks Fioretti for both his original vote for the meter deal and now his vote against the revisions.
But just about 90 minutes directly west of Chicago is the quaint town of Sycamore–a town where downtown parkers can feed the meter for as little as one penny.
A penny gets you 12 minutes, a nickel gets you an hour or, if you really want to splurge, motorists can purchase two hours for a dime.
The Associated Press spotlights the small town where city leaders say they use the penny parking as a marketing tool to draw shoppers to a thriving downtown.
The first thing Pablo Picker does after parking his pickup truck is to feed the meter.
Picker is a Boston based musician who’s taking his music to the streets–literally–playing music from the back of his truck sitting at parking meters in all 50 states.
This day he sits barefoot in the back of a pickup truck parked on Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, playing guitar and singing to a constantly changing audience of hipsters, commuters, parents and children walking by.
Picker had been playing in public for years, mainly in Boston’s Harvard Square where he saw many street musicians getting hassled by police for not having a permit. While Picker was smart enough to get his own busker license, he’s always been uncomfortable with the idea that musicians couldn’t just entertain people in public without the formality of a license.
So after recording a new album, he got the urge to get back on the street to share his music, and decided do a tour playing in public in all 50 states. But he was concerned about the possibility of getting on the wrong side of local law enforcement.
So he came up with a brilliant solution–parking meters.
It took over a year, but 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney finally was able to restore paid metered parking to Lakeview on Sundays.
Drivers had to start paying the meters Sunday, September 28th at metered parking spaces on major streets like Clark, Halsted, Broadway, Belmont, Southport and others from 10 AM until 8 PM. Monday through Saturday meters must be fed from 8 AM until 10 PM in most areas.
The alderman told DNA Info a few weeks ago, the move was necessary to promote turnover of parking spaces to allow more people to find parking to shop in Lakeview.
“Saturday and Sunday are the No. 1 and 2 days of economic activity in the ward,” Tunney said. “We need the turnover specifically on those busiest days.
Fox Chicago News and a bevy of other media outlets picked up on The Expired Meter’s story on the issues with ParkChicago users getting ticketed while paid up using the app.
Newsradio 780′s Nancy Harty also had a short radio report as well.
City officials confirm that 317 drivers using the recently released ParkChicago pay-by-phone app have reported receiving tickets for an expired-meter violation — even though there was still time on the meter — in the first two months since the app’s rollout began in May.
Chicago Parking Meters spokesman Scott Burnham said only a small percentage of parkers who used the app have gotten tickets, although he didn’t say how many times the app had been used overall to pay meters.
The city has issued 81,868 expired-meter tickets to all parkers citywide since the app became available, although most of those went to parkers using the pay boxes on the street.
The ParkChicago app debuted to great fanfare in a West Loop pilot test in mid-April. It allows drivers to use their Android or iOS smartphones to pay their parking meter without having to walk to the parking meter paybox.
Read more at DNA Info Chicago.