Tag Archives: Chicago parking meters
When will free Sunday parking end along busy retail streets in Chicago?
That’s what the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce wants to know after it sent an email to its members this week, entitled “Call to Action: End Free Sunday Parking at Meters.”
Lincoln Park business owners and the chamber — as well as stores and aldermen in other areas — have been trying to reverse the change to free Sunday parking in their neighborhood for the past several months. They believe the policy — which Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushed for when the city renegotiated the 75-year parking-meter lease deal last Spring — is hurting the bottom lines of area businesses, because there isn’t enough turnover in the parking spaces outside their shops.
“Frustrated sounds right,” chamber spokesman Padraic Swanton said Friday. “The general tone is, ‘Where are we and what happened’? We thought we were moving ahead on this.”
Nearly a year ago, during hearings on the renegotiated contract with the private company that runs the meters, Chicago Parking Meters LLC, aldermen with busy retail businesses corridors in neighborhoods like Lakeview, Wicker Park, Bucktown and Lincoln Park were told their wards could eventually retain paid Sunday parking to keep customer turnover high.
Turnaround is fair play according to our friends at Second City Cop blog.
It seems a vehicle owned by LAZ Parking, the contractor which handles parking meter enforcement for Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, was issued a ticket for ironically–parking illegally.
CPM, which controls the city’s parking meter system for the next 70 years, under their contract can utilize it’s own parking enforcement crews to write expired meter tickets.
As The Expired Meter reported recently, CPM’s enforcement team has written millions of dollars in parking tickets over the past few years.
Even funnier is the fact that the ticket was issued up in Edison Park, according to SCC.
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?