Tag Archives: Chicago parking meters
Late Sunday, the city reminded drivers a new pay by phone app called ParkChicago will be released this Spring by Chicago Parking Meters, LLC.
The smart phone app will allow drivers to bypass interacting with a parking meter pay box where a meter receipt has to be displayed on the dashboard.
One of the main benefits is the ability to plug the parking meter remotely, instead of having to leave to walk back to the car.
Another benefit will be that the app will send the driver a text alert to remind them when their meter time is expiring. The downside is there is a 35 cent convenience fee that will be tacked on for every transaction under the maximum time allowed at the meter. If a driver pays for the normal two hour maximum, the fee will be waived.
Pay by phone payment was something the Emanuel administration had pushed in its renegotiation of the parking meter lease agreement with Chicago Parking Meters, LLC last spring.
According to the city, drivers will initially be able to use the Park Chicago app downtown in early spring. Eventually motorists will be able to use it citywide at any Chicago parking meter paybox.
Ald. Waguespack Slams Report As ‘Flawed & Misleading’
But Alderman Scott Waguespack (32nd), the meter lease deal’s most vocal critic, says Mayor Emanuel’s analysis is “flawed and misleading”.
The Mayor’s press release touts a study which says drivers saved $8.7 million from parking for free at parking meters on Sundays while revenues from extended evening hours at meters have resulted in just $6.6 million–about $800,000 less than expected.
This translates into a net savings for drivers of $2.1 million according to the Mayor’s Office.
“This is a bad deal that we couldn’t make go away, but we did make it a little less bad for the next 70 years while adding some breaks for Chicagoans along the way,” Mayor Emanuel said in a press release issued Wednesday morning.
A report by WGN TV News spotlights one of the problems with Mayor Emanual’s free parking at meters on Sundays.
Business owners on the North Side are saying the free Sunday meters is affecting their bottom line due to the lack of turnover in the metered spaces. Some say business is down 10-20% on Sundays.
The owners argue some motorists park their car in a spot Saturday night and don’t move it until Monday morning–making it impossible for potential customers to shop in high density retail areas in Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Wicker Park and others.
The Mayor’s office told WGN TV that decisions will be made in the next few weeks.
Here’s WGN TV’s full story, “Free Sunday Parking: Good for drivers, Bad for business.”
Counterfeit parking meter receipts, that’s what.
According to the Chicago Tribune, unscrupulous valet parking companies may be producing their own fake parking meter receipts using a personal computer and a printer.
The Trib says valet parking companies are supposed to park customer cars in private garages or off street lots. But supposedly, some valet services try to cut corners and costs by parking cars on the street and allegedly some are using counterfeit meter receipts to cut costs even further.
On the coldest day of the winter, this parking meter pay box in the 1600 block of W. North Avenue seems to be bundle up for protection from the arctic temperatures early this week.
In reality, construction work was being done on a new school and this section of metered parking spaces were temporarily closed to allow large trucks to park and perform some work.
UPDATE: Many of the commentators at Second City Cop blog, a website frequented by Chicago’s finest, are weighing in on this issue in a particularly whiny way. Thanks to 019 District PO for the tip.
Parking enforcement teams working for Chicago Parking Meters, LLC are writing expired meter tickets to drivers in the Edison Park neighborhood and residents are angry.
Residents of the far Northwest Side neighborhood and the Better Government Association are alleging the ticketing is overly aggressive.
Why would an individual who rides a bicycle year round, doesn’t own a car and therefore never needs to feed a parking meter create a map showing every parking meter pay box in the entire city?
Vance did it to help out a friend he explains.
“A friend wanted the data for his blog post and found the CPM website cumbersome to browse and manipulate,” says Vance. “I’ve now liberated the data so anyone can have it.”
How can you pay to park in a metered parking spot if you can’t get to the pay box due to the snow?
The team actually works for Chicago Parking Meters LLC, the private company that took over control of the city’s 36,000 metered-parking spaces in the infamous 75-year deal that jacked up parking rates and lengthened the hours of enforcement all over the city.
But part of the deal the company made with the city gave it the right to help enforce the meters — by writing more tickets than the cash-strapped city’s own parking enforcers could do otherwise.
In fact, the company has very quietly issued hundreds of thousands of tickets for expired meter violations since 2010, city parking data obtained through a Freedom of Information request shows.
Meter teams working for Chicago Parking Meters now write nearly one-third of all tickets issued citywide for expired meter violations, the data shows.
Read more at DNA Info Chicago.
Local news and entertainment website Chicagoist considers the story one of it’s top news stories of 2013.
But Chicagoist editor Chuck Sudo feels, much like the Expired Meter, Emanuel actually may have made the hated lease deal even worse.
Essentially, while Emanuel asked for and got free parking at most meters on Sundays (downtown and any meters within the Central Business District still have to be paid), drivers had to pay for this free parking with an additional hour of enforcement in most places and pay the meters until midnight in River North.