Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Out of Change: New Parking Meter Rates Enrage Chicago Drivers

There's talk of Tea Parties over taxes. We, here in Chicago, might just have our own unique twist:

Chicago Sun-Times: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 (Carol Marin):

Drivers' anger over meters boiling over into a boycott
'Boycott' may not be too strong a word after all. I'm talking about Chicago parking meters and the fury out there right now about what the mayor and the City Council have done by selling off our meters to a private company for $1.2 billion. And the rage over what that company, formed by Morgan Stanley, and its subcontractor, LAZ Parking, have done by meteorically raising rates, blanketing cars with tickets and eliminating free Sunday parking. Adding insult to injury, these private contractors have done a rotten job of posting new rates and times on meters.

As a result,drivers stick their quarters in only to discover it now buys a measly seven minutes and can require 28 quarters to park for two hours. (Emphasis added)
Several city items have been shuffled off into the "privitization" abyss. Parking meters are just the latest. There's a quote in this article, however, which Da Mayor and "The Boy King" (over at the county building) may want to take a moment to think about:
"Personally, I'm in full boycott mode," replied a computer consultant who does business in the city. "I'll stand on my head to . . . spare myself an onsite visit if street parking is involved.

"He added this: "Because of the outrageous 10.25 percent Cook County sales tax, I go out of my way to make my purchases outside the county . . . To hell with Chicago."
Yep, we enjoy the highest sales tax in the nation. And, I bet this gent isn't the only one who's found ways to cut his expenses. The final comment in the article really says it all:
In 1979, lousy snow removal sparked a voter rebellion and booted a mayor.

Could parking meters be the new snow?

Anybody know what Jane Byrne's been up to lately??

Checkin' The Couch for Coins
Not Wired


Maggie M. Thornton said...

I did a post on this and it got picked up in the Chicago Sun-Times. It gave me laugh (in a good way).I got lots of traffic from it:-)

I can't imagine living and working where I had to plug a meter every time I entered the area.

Pat said...

Hi Maggie! It's quite an issue here - you could buy a car for what it costs to park downtown, and that's not an overstatement. It's about 400 per month to park in public garages, and now the meters would cost you over 800 per month to park daily. Democrats are for the little guy? Pfff!

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