March 22, 2009

28 Quarters For Two Hours?

Chicago has sold off its parking meters in exchange for over $2 billion.  Worked for the Indiana Toll Road pretty well, didn't it?  Only Morgan Stanley Communications and Chicago Parking Meters LLC, the company that purchased all the meters, jacked the price up right away so now, yeah... it takes 28 quarters to park for two hours in the Loop.  Would you pay that?  I've certainly paid that, and more, for parking garages and parking lots -- but pumping 28 quarters into a meter on the street -- and then worrying about getting ticketed on top of that if you don't get back in time?  Not me...

On Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. there were at least 10 open parking meters down one short block of Clark Street next to Lincoln Park.

At noon in Wicker Park, where Milwaukee Avenue is usually packed with parked cars, there were open meters waiting.

And at 2 p.m. around the Sheraton Hotel on Columbus Drive, a place where normally you can't crowbar your car into a space, there were at least three or four parking spaces.

Apparently, not a lot of people.

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