One citizen's take on the Dick that makes Chicago tick.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009


As if we didn't need another reason to hate Daley's parking meter lease. Now, a new study shows the City Gave up Control of Streets in Meter Privatization:

Although the city is free to remove meters or change rates and hours of operations, Chicago Parking Meters LLC must be compensated for the loss of revenue at a rate that assumes “a car were parked in the space for 24-hours-a-day in the Central Business District,” the study said.

“This means that every potential project on a street with meters — including bus rapid transit, bicycle lanes, sidewalk expansion, streetscaping, pedestrian bulb-outs, loading zones, rush-hour parking control, mid-block crossing and temporary open spaces — are dictated, controlled and limited by parking meters,” the study said.

“These restrictions severely limit innovative planning for bicyclists, pedestrian and transit users. The loss of the potential for bus rapid transit on most streets over the next 75 years is one of the most disappointing losses.”

Of course, this information shouldn't be surprising to anyone with a brain. But it does show why it is important for our city council to stop and think things through before signing away a city asset. Now we are stuck with little control over parking policy. For 75 years. Awesome.

It's not like Daley and the City Council weren't aware of parking and road use issues all over the city. There's been talk about all sorts of road improvements for years. And these improvements are necessary to make roads safer and quicker for pedestrians, buses, and bikes. Now, I wonder if these things will ever happen. And if so, how much more will these improvements cost us?

Kind of pokes a hole in Daley's justification for this lease - that the city shouldn't be in the parking meter business. Of course it should be...parking meters are an integral part of parking policy. Besides, I always thought the city did a great job managing parking, at least from a revenue know, all those bright orange souvenirs they leave on our cars.

Thanks to the Active Transportation Alliance for this study. Now everyone go yell at Daley and the City Council. Rescind. The. Lease. Now.