Tag Archives: parking meters

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.

NBC 5 Reports On Parking Meter Vandalism Outbreak

NBC 5 reported on the recent outbreak of parking meter vandalism which erupted on the North Side last week and interviewed a few people to get their thoughts.

Not that surprisingly, most people were not very sympathetic. In fact, one gentleman was supportive of the vandals destructive efforts.

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.

Lincoln Park Businesses, Aldermen Frustrated by Delay in Restoring Paid Sunday Meters

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

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

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.

Read more at DNA Info.

New Driving Laws For 2014: What Illinois Motorists Need To Know

Cellphone drivingWith the start of every new year, new laws go into effect that will have an impact on Illinois and Chicago drivers.

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

Even Tall Ships Need To Feed Chicago’s Parking Meters

New print ad for Tall Ships Chicago

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.

Biz Journal’s Lewis Lazare, who writes about advertising and marketing explains it this way:

NYT Says Chicago Meter System ‘One Of World’s Best’

An old school parking meter from before the notorious Chicago parking meter lease came into being in 2008 adds its two cents.

Uh…what?!?

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:

Writer Predicts No Other Cities Will Ever Privatize Their Parking Meters

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.

City Council Approves Parking Meter Deal Remix 39-11

Mayor Rahm Emanuel presides over Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting. Corporation Council Steve Patton sits to his left.

Back in 2008, the Chicago City Council voted 45-5 to approve the much loathed parking meter lease deal.

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.

Ald. Reilly Blindsided By Extended River North Meter Hours

Ald. Brendan Reilly at City Hall. Photo credit: Ted Cox/DNA Info Chicago.

Surprise!

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.