Tag Archives: Chicago parking
Richard M. Daley’s legacy continues to disintegrate at the hands of horrible parking privatization policy mistakes.
The most heralded is the torturously painful 2008 parking meter lease deal which, for a mere $1.3 billion dollars, Daley handed over control of the city’s parking meter system to a private company which stands to reap multi-billion dollar profits over the 75 years of the contract.
A lesser known relative of the meter deal is the Aqua parking garage fiasco which the Sun-Times chronicled recently.
The story begins in 2006 when the city privatizes four downtown parking garages under Grant Park and Millennium Park to Morgan Stanley for $563 million for 99 years. One of the main caveats is the city cannot license any new parking garages within a mile in any direction from those leased parking properties.
But in 2009, developers of the Aqua building were given the go ahead by the city to allow public parking in their nearly 1,300 space garage–despite the fact the garage was within the zone where new garages weren’t allowed by the 2006 privatization deal.
CNBC took a test drive of SpotHero’s smart phone app this week, with founder Mark Lawrence along for the ride.
The Chicago-based SpotHero has been growing quickly since Lawrence and co-founder Jeremy Smith began their venture less than five years ago. The company recently finished moving to a larger office space in River North–the third move in less than three years.
They don’t pay rent or property taxes.
But three clout heavy parking lot companies have been operating parking lots on several city owned lots for the past 20 years and now City Hall wants to end the practice according to the Chicago Sun-times.
The city has erected barriers around at least one of the properties and is seeking to stop the three private companies from using the city’s property for free.
Emanuel’s proposed budget is looking to raise parking garage taxes by 2% next year from 20 to 22% during the week and from18 to 20% on weekends according to the Sun-Times.
The mayor hopes to raise an additional $10 million by the tax bump and then use the proceeds to hire 80 new employees to make up 18 crews to fill potholes on Chicago’s streets. This past winter was the worse on record with an expected million plus potholes being filled by the end of the year and a record breaking number of pothole related vehicle damage claims filed as well.
While so-called “people spots” have been popping up around the city over the past few years, residents and businesses in Portage Park are picking parking over planters.
According to DNA Info, the Northwest Side neighborhood had issues with a proposal to take parking spaces off the street and replace it with an on-street pedestrian friendly seating area surrounded by large planters where people could sit and relax at tables.
But while the concept has been popular in Lakeview, Andersonville and Kenwood, the idea got a chilly reception when it was unveiled in March as part of a larger $600,000 neighborhood improvement project.
Proponents claim the spots draw in more pedestrians and potential shoppers.
Get that big foam #1 finger out of storage Chicago–because NerdWallet.com says its the worst place in America to park a car.
The financial advise website used data from a handful of variables to come up with their rankings. The main factors were the average cost of daily parking and the rate of auto theft in each city.
According to NerdWallet.com, Chicago drivers pay an average $35 a day to park in a lot or garage and the motor vehicle theft per capita is 33% above the national average. When you factor in the city’s dubious distinction of having the highest downtown meter rates in the U.S., Chicago picks up the gold medal for worst place to park a car.
Implausibly, Chicago somehow beat out cities like Oakland, San Francisco, New York and Boston for title of worst of the worst.
If you have some Black Friday shopping planned at a mall and see that alluring empty space reserved for handicapped drivers–don’t even consider parking there.
That’s because Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is sending out stepped up enforcement to bust people who illegally park in these spots.
Illinois Secretary of State Police will be at Water Tower Place and Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, as well as malls in Carbondale, Champaign, Peoria, Fairview Heights, Marion, Rockford and Springfield according to the Daily Herald.
Parking spots on the streets of Lakeview are hard to come by.
So local residents have to consider if this spot is worth taking if its open when they drive up.
That’s because your car will be covered with bird poop by the next morning if you make the decision to park there–lots of bird poop according to DNA Info. It’s been happening for years according to residents.
37 of the new 117 Divvy bike stations have been installed on streets where parking for motor vehicles used to be according to DNA Info.
Most of the bike rental stations for the recently launched city bike share program are on sidewalks. But approximately 30% have eaten up precious parking spots. Some of the parking spots were free, while others were loading zones and metered parking. Each of the 37 Divvy stations take up two parking spots, or approximately 74 parking spaces according to Chicago Department of Transportation spokesperson Scott Kubly.
According to the DNA story, Kubly also says the metered spots taken up by Divvy stations are replaced by other metered spots somewhere else.
Recent programs being spearheaded by the Chicago Department of Transportation are, in some cases, removing parking spaces for motor vehicles.
But the public seems to be divided on the issue.
Bike stations for CDOT’s brand new Divvy bike share initiative are in some locations being placed where they eliminate street parking. DNA Info reports about one such location in Wicker Park.
Initially, CDOT had placed the Divvy station in the 1300 block of N. Milwaukee Ave. (at Wood St.) which took up over two metered parking spaces. The station was then moved to Wood Street where it now eliminates five to six free parking spots.
This move has angered at least one local business owner.