Tag Archives: Chicago parking

Free Weekend Parking Comes To An End In Logan Square

CDOT workers remove signs allowing parking along Logan Square Wednesday. Photo credit: Andrew Schneider/DNA Info.

CDOT workers remove signs allowing parking along Logan Square Wednesday. Photo credit: Andrew Schneider/DNA Info.

The signs came down Wednesday.

After five years, parking along historic Logan Blvd., Kedzie Blvd. and Humboldt Blvd. officially ended when Chicago Department of Transportation workers removed signs allowing parking on weekends according to DNA Info.

The signs, which went up in 2011 at the behest of former alderman Rey Colon, allowed parking 7 AM and 9 PM Saturday and Sunday, and from 7 to 9 PM Wednesday.

The signs just formalized the unofficial stand down order for parking enforcement which allowed patrons of several churches in the area to park without fear of parking tickets.

But many residents were opposed to the change in parking policy at the time and felt parked cars detracted from the beauty of the boulevards.

Thieves Target Wheels Of Expensive SUVs In Lincoln Park

Call it “The Case of the Disappearing Tires”.

It seems there have been more reports of stolen SUV tires since we wrote about the incident reported by DNA Info where a high end SUV parked on a street in toney Lincoln Park had all four of its tires stolen last week–but was then ticketed for not moving for scheduled street cleaning.

New Parking App The Airbnb Of Parking Spaces

List-a-parking-spotDoes Chicago need yet another smartphone app for parking?

The answer apparently is yes for internet startup ParqEx, a service that allows parking space owners to rent their space while they’re not there.

The service, much like how Airbnb connects property owners to find short term renters, helps drivers find affordable parking while the space owner is at work or out of town.

Founder Vivek Mehra told Crain’s Chicago Business Robert Loerzel, “I live in downtown, and I always found when I left my parking spot and went to other locations, my spot was just sitting idle and doing nothing.”

So far, after only a month, the service has 600 users.

Paper Chronicles Another Costly Parking Privatization Failure

The beautifully designed Aqua Building cost city taxpayers $62 million because of botched decision to allow public parking there. Photo credit: Studio Gang.

The beautifully designed Aqua Building cost city taxpayers $62 million because of botched decision to allow public parking there. Photo credit: Studio Gang.

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 privatized 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.

Chicago’s SpotHero Spotlighted On CNBC

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.

Politically Connected Profit From United Center Parking Scam

Red Top Parking signThey don’t own the land.

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.

Mayor Looks To Squeeze Motorists More In 2015 Budget

Self Park signWith 2015 budget hearings getting underway, early indications seem that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is looking to squeeze more money out of motorists.

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.

It’s Parking Over Planters In Portage Park

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.

NerdWallet.com Names Chicago Worst Place To Park A Car

#1 foam fingerGet 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.

White Announces Black Friday Crackdown On Disability Parking

Don’t even think about it!

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.