Tag Archives: parking meters
Of course, 2014 is no exception. In fact, there are many significant legal changes for drivers this year. Here’s a short rundown.
Statewide Cellphone Driving Ban
While drivers in Chicago and a handful of other towns cannot use a handheld cellphone while operating a vehicle, a law passed by the Illinois General Assmebly makes this behavior illegal on all roadways statewide starting January 1st.
So, no matter where you drive in the state of Illinois, you must use a hands free headset, speaker phone or other hands free device when using a cell phone while driving.
No More Free Metered Parking For Most Disabled Drivers
The Tall Ships return to Chicagothis weekend.
A contingent of the historical old sailing ships will be here through Sunday at Navy Pier.
While sailing is not one of the topics usually covered at The Expired Meter, we felt the print advertising for event to be quite humorous and timely.
The ad was created by local ad agency Two By Four Chicago, which takes the now iconic Chicago parking meter and uses the frustration and headaches they’ve caused local drivers to create a pretty hilarious image of a sea captain from the 1700′s paying for street parking.
A writer on a New York Times blog claims “Today, the Chicago Metered Parking System is considered one of the world’s best.”?
So says Kent Rowey in a July 15th piece extolling the benefits of public-private partnerships.
It’s hard to take exception with the thesis of his entire piece, which is that privatization is a way for cash strapped cities to find large transfusions of money from private entities.
But here’s what he says about the Chicago deal:
NBC Chicago writer Edward McClelland last week boldly predicted that due to Chicago’s horrible experience with it’s infamous and hated parking meter lease deal, no city will ever privatize their parking meters ever again.
There’s only good thing about Chicago’s parking meter deal: no other city will ever again lease its parking concession to a private company.
McClelland points to when Pittsburgh flirted with the idea before turning its back on privatizing their meters.
But humorously, just a week after his gutsy prediction, Cincinnati signed away its parking meters for 30 years and a $92 million upfront payment according to the Business Courier.
In addition, it looks like Sacramento is poised to follow the Queen City any day now.
At Wednesday’s City Council meeting, 11 aldermen voted against Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s remix of the parking meter lease remix.
Emanuel’s renegotiated meter lease which better controls non-meter revenue from changes to the meter system value or street closures and gives free Sunday parking in neighborhoods in exchange for extending meter payment hours passed with strong support 39-11.
Despite the foregone conclusion of the vote’s outcome, before the meeting began at 10 AM, some low level shenanigans were taking place according to several sources on the city council floor.
Apparently, opposition aldermen had tried to distribute copies of the Tribune editorial critical of the proposed changes to the meter lease to fellow council members. But the copies were temporarily confiscated by someone in the administration for a short time until more reasonable heads prevailed in allow the editorial’s distribution.
The Mayor’s people were also twisting arms of no votes until the last minute, threatening political retribution in the future.
Council members took about an hour to debate the merits of the changes to the remaining 71 years of the agreement effecting the city’s 36,000 metered parking spaces.
Monday morning, 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly began receiving strange emails asking him what he knew about the city extending the hours for parking meters in River North.
That’s how Reilly found out about Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposal to make drivers parking in the 42nd Ward feed the meter until midnight–an additional three hours from the current 9 PM.
The Mayor’s office didn’t give Reilly any warning according to DNA Info Chicago.
View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.
NBC 5 investigates Chicago’s parking meter lease deal.
They discover, to the shock of everyone, that Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, the company which won a 75 year contract to operate the meters by paying $1.16 billion in 2008, is making a ton of money.
In a recent column, McClelland calls CPM a “parasitic business.”
McClelland, references a recent Salon piece by political commentator Michael Lind:
Lind was criticizing what he called the Rentier class — financiers who make money not by selling goods and services, but by “their natural or artificial monopoly power to extract excessive tolls, fees and other recurrent payments from the rest of society, including productive businesses.”
The typical rich American, Lind argued, “should be an innovative industrialist or technologist, not a Wall Street financier or a guy with a parking-meter monopoly.”
McClelland wholeheartedly agrees with Lind saying the 75-year lease for $1.16 billion is essentially a monopoly which CPM will exploit to the tune of billions of dollars over the term of the agreement.
While some of what Lind and McClelland say is undoubtedly true, their blame is completely misplaced.
Companies exist to maximize profit for their owners or investors. For the two writers to be surprised when a company like CPM behave in this way is naive and nonsensical.
Their ire should be directed at former Mayor Richard Daley, his administration and the alderman who voted for the crappy parking meter lease deal in the first place–not CPM for finding and executing a lucrative business deal.
Here’s McClelland’s full piece, “Chicago Parking Meters LLC, Parasitic “Business”.
Chicago Tribune columnist Jon Yates is the Problem Solver.
Yates’ entire work existence is helping consumers get some sort of justice when wronged by companies or government bureaucracies.
Of course, if you own a car in Chicago, parking tickets is one of these chronic issues which come up regularly in his What’s Your Problem column.
Yates has an update in his most recent article including a woman who has received over 50 tickets for parking in a no parking zone despite the fact she was parked legally.
After a lull in the steady stream of tickets she experienced last summer, she tells the Trib the tickets have started up again.
That’s the total volume of non-reyclable trash local news website Gapers Block estimates Chicago’s parking meters generates every year.
Gapers Publisher Andrew Huff along with web developer Scott Robbin broke out their slide rules and HP calculators and spent considerable time doing some fancy arithmetic.
First, the two weighed a parking meter pay box meter receipt.
Then, based on the reported revenue of Chicago’s parking meter lease holder Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, they make an estimate on the number of meter receipts generated per year.
They plug all those numbers into an IBM mainframe super computer the size of a refrigerator and viola! 45 tons.