Tag Archives: Parking Meter Lease Deal

A Motorist’s Primer To The ParkChicago Mobile Payment App

Here’s a rundown of some of the questions and answers on this new fangled parking meter mobile payment app called ParkChicago.

Q: How does ParkChicago work?

A: Check out the video above for the general lowdown on this new payment method.

But generally, it’s like IPASS for metered parking. You resister an account, give them credit card info, add $20 to your account and you’re ready to go.

When you want to park you logon, type in the meter box number on the sign and your license plate number and you’re paid up and ready to park.

Q: Where can I download the ParkChicago app?

Mayor Introduces Ordinance To Restore Some Paid Sunday Meters

But Alderman Michele Smith Changes Position To Keep Free Sundays Meters In Most Of Lincoln Park.

Business owners in Lincoln Park want paid metered parking reinstated on Sundays in their neighborhood.

Paid Sunday metered parking will likely be returning to some neighborhoods, but only portions of Lincoln Park.

Nearly a year after Mayor Rahm Emanuel promised some neighborhoods could keep paid Sunday parking meters, he introduced an ordinance at Wednesday’s City Council meeting that would do just that.

Portions of neighborhoods like Bucktown, Lakeview, Wrigleyville, and Jefferson Park will be seeing a switch back to paid Sunday metered parking perhaps as soon as May. The proposed ordinance needs to make it out of the Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety and into the full council for a vote.

There are a few minor changes to times of metered parking on Sundays which would have meters operating from 10 AM until 8 PM. In addition, metered areas which wraparound from a commercial street onto a residential street will still remain free.

But the ordinance seems a long time coming. This time last year, Emanuel was pressing City Council members to accept his renegotiated parking meter lease deal to give the city the ability to control costs from streets closures and other issues which allowed Chicago Parking Meters, LLC to bill the city millions of dollars for lost revenue.

Parking Meter Pay Boxes Damaged In North Side Vandalism Spree

An enraged gentleman attacks a parking meter in Lakeview In March, 2009,

An enraged gentleman attacks a parking meter with a chunk of concrete in Lakeview in March, 2009,

A parking meter vandalism spree has erupted on the city’s North Side five years after Chicago’s parking meter system officially transferred into the private control of Chicago Parking Meters, LLC which spurred a similar rash of meter vandalism back in 2009.

The Chicago Police Department reported Thursday at least 13 pay boxes were damaged using a heavy blunt object or tool in the Lakeview, Wicker Park, West Town and Andersonville neighborhoods. The damage has been severe enough to disable the units from working properly.

Back in March of 2009, in what seemed to be an angry reaction to a highly unpopular parking meter lease deal, which caused parking meter rates to quadruple, parking meters across the city were smashed, spray painted and lit on fire.

In the subsequent five years traditional single head parking meters were replaced by multi-space parking meter pay boxes and the mood of drivers cooled. But apparently some motorists may still be harboring frustration with the hated deal and parking meter rates which rank as the highest in the nation.

Mayor Agrees To Restore Paid Metered Parking In Select Wards

Corporation Counsel Stephen Patton and Mayor Rahm Emanuel listen to aldermen debate the renegotiated parking meter lease deal this past spring.

Corporation Counsel Stephen Patton and Mayor Rahm Emanuel listen to aldermen debate the renegotiated parking meter lease deal this past spring.

After nearly a year of dragging his feet, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has finally relented to begin the process of restoring paid parking meters on Sundays in a small number of North Side wards.

On Monday, responding to the frustration of the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce and their constituent businesses with the city’s slow response to restore paid Sunday parking in their area, a city spokesperson has announced Mayor Emanuel is allowing his free Sunday meter policy to change in certain neighborhoods.

“While we believe the vast majority of Chicagoans are pleased with free Sunday parking in neighborhoods that the Mayor was able to provide with the renegotiated parking agreement, we understand that three out of 50 aldermen prefer to restore paid Sundays in certain areas where the businesses/residents support it,” said Department of Finance spokesperson Kelley Quinn. “To that end, as promised, we intend to introduce an ordinance in April that will combine the requests of the few aldermen who requested paid Sundays be restored.”

Mayor Claims Meter Deal Remix Showing Savings For Drivers

Ald. Waguespack Slams Report As ‘Flawed & Misleading’

meterfail600Drivers are benefiting from free Sunday parking–one of the major changes contained within the renegotiated parking meter lease pushed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel last year.

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.

Paid Sunday Meters Returning To North Side Neighborhoods?

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.”

Brrrrrr! Parking Meter Tries To Keep Warm On Coldest Day Of Year

A parking meter pay box bundles up from the cold on North Avenue.

A parking meter pay box bundles up from the cold on North Avenue.

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.

Chicagoist Names Parking Meter Deal Remix Top Story In 2013

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announces changes to the parking meter lease deal at a press conference Monday.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announces changes to the parking meter lease deal at a press conference Monday.

It’s no doubt that to Chicago drivers, Mayor Rahm Emnauel’s attempt to reform former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s disastrous parking meter lease deal was a big news story.

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.

Washington Post: Meter Lease Deal Kills Midway Privatization

What really killed the deal to privatize Midway Airport?

Mayor Emanuel  says he pulled the plug because, due to the restrictions the city has put on future privatization deals, the original parties interested in Midway  dropped from  16 to just one. Without enough interested buyers, Emanuel says he couldn’t negotiate a good deal.

But the Washington Post says it was Chicago’s infamous 2008 parking meter lease deal.

The Post story rehashes the history of Chicago’s meter privatization drama–a history most drivers are painfully familiar with.

They make a compelling case.

Here’s the full story, “How parking meters killed privatization of Midway Airport.”

A Short History On How Disabilty Parking Laws Changed In Illinois

The new disability parking placard that still allows drivers to park at meters for free.

On January 1st, most “handicapped” or “disabled” drivers will lose the ability to park for free at Chicago’s parking meters.

Illinois state law changed in 2012. Now, only severely handicapped person who cannot operate or access a parking meter due to their disability will qualify for the new state placards.

The impetus for the change resulted, ironically, from the city’s 2008 parking meter lease deal which dramatically increased the cost to park at metered spaces around the city. Prices quadrupled in the first year and now, Chicago’s downtown meter rates are the most expensive in North America.

Some drivers who had access to disability parking placards used them to park for free all across the city, especially in the Loop where rates are the most expensive. The problem for the city was that the parking meter lease contract allowed Chicago Parking Meters, LLC the private company which paid the city $1.16 billion in 2008 in exchange for control of the parking meters and it’s lucrative revenue stream, to bill Chicago for lost revenue from all the people using their placards to park for free.

Those bills came to a shocking $55 million, an amount that most assuredly played a big part in moving the new law through the Illinois General Assembly.