Tag Archives: Chicago parking meters
It wasn’t much of a Happy New Year for one pedestrian in the Bucktown neighborhood just before the end of the year.
On December, 30th a driver of a vehicle owned by LAZ Parking struck a pedestrian at the intersection of Damen and Webster, sending the unfortunate pedestrian to the hospital according to the 32nd Ward Service Office.
There was no additional information on the status of the pedestrian.
Taxpayers Off The Hook For Street Closures?
When the world’s top leaders come to Chicago for the big NATO and G8 summits this May, many blocks downtown will be closed to vehicular parking and traffic for three days according to the Sun-Times.
However, these street closures to insure the safety of President Obama and all the other world leaders, have a cost associated with them due to Chicago’s parking meter lease deal.
As reported here on many occasions, the meter lease contract allows Chicago Parking Meters, LLC to bill the city for lost revenue due to street closures for road construction, water main breaks, and special events like parades and of course, international summits. Most recently, CPM billed the city $2.1 million for closure in 2009 and 2010.
No, it’s not in stunned awe on how wonderful the meter lease deal has been for Chicago and it’s constituents.
Unsurprisingly, the debacle that is Chicago’s parking meter lease deal has seemingly become the legendary cautionary tale on how NOT to do a privatization deal and especially not how to sell off a specialty public asset like a parking meter system.
Chicago Retains Title For America’s Highest Meter Rates
While officially, Chicago’s increased parking meter rates kicked in at midnight New Year’s Day, meter rates will begin changing on Tuesday, January 2nd, according to the website for Chicago Parking Meters, LLC.
“The transition to the new rates will begin on January 2nd, starting with the Loop and moving outward into the neighborhoods,” explains the press release posted to the CPM website. “Weather conditions permitting, the goal is to complete the transition in January.”
Edward McClelland knows how Mayor Rahm Emanuel can break the city’s infamous parking meter lease contract.
According to the NBC website columnist, it’s as simple as just not driving and not parking on streets controlled by the city’s parking meters.
In other words, boycott the meters.
McClelland encourages his readers to bike, walk, or do anything else but use a car instead.
Parking meter revenue will decline, profits for the meter system will falter and then Chicago Parking Meters, LLC will be be forced to renegotiate the 75 year lease.
As much as we encourage drivers to avoid parking at the meters as much as possible, and with all due respect to Mr. McClelland, the chances of this ever happening are similar to one’s odds at winning a million dollars in the lottery.
CBS 2 News picks up and runs with The Expired Meter’s exclusive story on the $2.1 million bill the city received from Chicago Parking Meters, LLC for lost revenue in 2009 and 2010.
Here’s CBS 2′s full story: “Parking Meter Firm Bills City $2.1M For Lost Revenue From Street Closures.”
Documents Show Hidden Cost Of Lease Deal To Taxpayers
While Chicago’s infamous parking meter lease deal quietly celebrated its third anniversary the first week of December, the city was releasing documents chronicling more evidence the privatization of the city’s more than 36,000 parking meters turned out to be more costly for taxpayers than originally imagined.
Financial statements, released by the Chicago Inspector General’s office via their Open Chicago government transparency initiative, reveals what many critics of the lease deal had feared–the city would end up owing or paying Chicago Parking Meters, LLC millions of dollars in compensation when any sort of change or activity by the city impacts parking meter revenue for the company.
Financial statements for the company show that CPM has billed the city an additional $2,191,326 in “True-up Revenue” through the end of 2010.
As the notes from the independent auditor’s report by accounting firm KPMG LLP to the financial statements explains:
WTTW’s Paris Schutz puts together a nice nuts and bolts synopsis of Chicago Parking Meter, LLC’s recent $13.5 million bill for an overabundance of motorists utilizing handicap license plates and disabled placards to park for free in metered spots.
That’s what the vote was for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s rookie year budget on Wednesday.
But what in the budget lies in store for Chicago drivers?
Well, mainly fee and fine increases, but here’s a breakdown on what local motorists will be facing in the upcoming year.
City Sticker Fees Going Up
As reported over a week ago, most vehicles will see a $10 increase for their city sticker in June, which bumps up their annual cost from $75 to $85.
Larger passenger vehicles (weighing over 4500 lbs.) will get a $15 bump from $120 to $135. The cost for pickup truck and smaller truck city stickers jump $20 to $200 and larger trucks will pay a $450 city sticker fee next year–a $30 increase.
But it is in enforcement of city sticker violations where drivers are really going to go into sticker shock.
The fine for “failure to display” a Chicago city sticker is now $120, but will go up to $200 in 2012. But if you own a really big truck, that fine is $500!
Drivers who don’t get their city sticker in time, will also be hit with a late fee of $60–a $20 increase from 2012.
New Parking Tax
One in every 13 vehicles in Cook County utilize a handicap parking placard according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
This is just one of the many eye brow raising statistics the second part of the Sun-Times’ series on the abuse of placards used by disabled drivers.
A team of investigators led by reporter Chris Fusco surveyed the area in the South Loop bounded by Roosevelt, Van Buren, Desplaines and Canal and found as many as 60 cars using disabled placards parking for free at metered spots.
The article also reveals that nearly 600,000 handicap placards have been issued statewide with 204,787 or 34% of the state total, being utilized just in Cook County.