Thank God Chicago Is Raising Parking Rates!

Crain’s reported yesterday that Chicago is raising the rates on street parking next week by up to 17% in some areas. Predictably, this news is being met with disgust by most residents of the city. However, as far as I’m concerned this action is long overdue. I’ve been praying for this all year.
This is simple economics. Try finding a street spot in the central business district in the middle of the day. You can’t. Obviously demand > supply because these spots are worth more than they cost. A scarce resource is underpriced. So the price should be raised. I’d rather find a spot at $5.75/ hour than not find one at $5/ hour. I’ll save that much in time and gas by not driving around for 20 minutes trying to find street parking.
If you think about it there is plenty to like about this for people of various political persuasions. The environmentalists can be happy that there is now a stronger incentive for people to take public transportation and the free marketers can be happy that the pricing is now more market based.
The only problem is that the city doesn’t benefit from the increased rates – Chicago Parking Meters LLC does. But that’s a whole other can of worms. Looks like that deal was underpriced too.

0 thoughts on “Thank God Chicago Is Raising Parking Rates!

  1. At least you got the point in the last paragraph.
    Add this to today’s CTA Tattler post, and there is absolutely no reason for suburbanites to go into the city and buy stuff there. Apparently very few people have a reason to live on the south and far west sides, either. For the rest who choose to live on the north side, I guess you don’t need cars.
    That’s the way to break the back of the parking meter cartel. The $5.00 to $5.75 paragraph indicates that hasn’t happened yet. However, what I say is reflected in the poor sales tax collections in the city, and stuff like The Taste having to be cut back because it has become a monetary loser.

  2. Cities are just expensive and difficult to manage and there is no way to get around it. At some point it gets too expensive for some people to bother with it.

  3. while i’ve never been a fan of the parking meter sale, the underlying idea of raising the rates isn’t a bad one … but as noted in the article, the city isn’t benefiting any from the higher rates.
    the city should have hired the company to manage the meters & kept more of the revenue generated vs. selling it all outright for the 75 year lease.

  4. Good point, urbaneddie. Clearly the city needed a lump sum cash infusion and that’s what motivated the sale. But even then they could have taken some of the upside.

  5. The downside that I see is that people on bikes and those who may walk from point A to B in the downtown area — or elsewhere– are not paying their fair share.
    It’s time to sell the bike racks to a private firm, so a parking rate can be charged, and there is nothing wrong with making the sidewalks toll paths.
    Oh, and not parking a bike in a bike rack would subject to fine (and even seiurze of the bicycle, and those who try to evade walking toll paths by ducting down alleys would be fined as well.
    Revenue is revenue, boys and girls. Let’s make Chicago a model for controlling the urban rats –er, I mean– people.

  6. Can I buy stock in the parking meter company so that I can share in the profits resulting from the increased rates? No, I can’t because this company is privately owned . guess who the owners are : Morgan Stanley bank and the KINGDOM of Abu Dhabi. So not only does the City not get the increased revenue but the money goes to a company that was bailed out with our tax dollars and a non democracy. Now my question is why hasn’t Occupy Chicago been all over this issue? Also , how can the City get the meters back?

  7. How to get the meters back?
    Could be tough, as the real meters are now museum pieces, but the Occupy crowd could sit a person on each new parking meter box. I wouldn’t look for a box sitter until warm weather, though.

  8. But they’re also raising rates all over the city, because that’s in the terms of the crazy contract the city made. Which means that the rates go up for areas of the city that have empty spots all the time during the middle of the day. By your logic, these areas should have their rates reduced to fill up spaces, not have the rates increased further.

  9. You are correct and the parking people would probably make more money in total if it increased usage. And streets like Broadway and Clark need to have their rates raised by a lot – maybe double.

  10. Can’t help but think, no wonder our country is in worse shape than 3yrs. ago!
    I left Chicago 20+ years!!! ago. It is in worse shape now than it was then. and it will be worse with the current leadership.
    What can we expect then for our country when a Chicagoan is at the White House? Nothing better!
    It is the hard working people that get the short end of the stick -no matter what!
    Like they say now: ‘nough said!

  11. You are out of your mind if you thing Chicago is in worse shape than 20 years ago.
    Millennium Park. Gentrified south and west loops. Hundreds of thousands of square feet of new class A office space. Thousands of new downtown condos. Two thriving world-class universities. Chicago is a premier city that is getting better and better.

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