Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Chicago Privatizes Parking Meters

Way hey, tow them away,
The Lincoln Park pirates are we…
Be it Edsel or Chevy there’s no car too heavy
And we always collect our fee!
-Steve Goodman

Breaking News

Chicago – It seems that Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley has a little problem with wanting to off-load anything to private entities, like parking meters in the City -- including Midway Airport --- that isn’t stapled to the floor, as LWOH reported here. These days, if you’re not running out of money, you haven’t arrived.

In this increasingly mixed-up, muffled-up, leased-up world, Paul Volpe, City Hall’s CFO, reportedly told aldermen that there will be “no more meter holidays” for already taxed to the gills Chicagoans, and Mayor Richard Daley (who dodges a bullet by having his limo chauffeur always pick up the parking tickets) is asking aldermen to help him further fleece taxpayers by imposing a ban on parking meter holidays.

By passing a one billion dollar deal to lease out its parking meters for seventy five years, which means that the new meter owners as well as the city can both ticket partying perpetrators and other subversives from Lincoln Park to the Lyric Opera House who neglect to feed the starving parking meters all across the Windy City. Now, residents will get 2 tickets for an expired meter violation, even on Sundays!

“Axing the meter holidays means drivers will have to feed meters on Sundays at locations where they currently do not. Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) suggested that new signs be posted to warn people that there will be no more free holiday or Sunday parking as of Jan. 1.”

The privatized company would also be allowed to raise rates every year for the next five years. Meters that now cost a quarter for an hour would increase to $1 an hour around Jan. 1.

Only one alderman voted against the proposal. Alderman Suarez (31st) ward believes that the higher rates would hurt "mom and pop" business and "blue-collar" constituents in his Northwest Side ward. Suarez predicted that people instead will drive to shopping malls where they can park for free, so Suarez came up with an ingenious plan:

“Suarez threatened to remove all meters from his ward and suggested that wards such as his have lower rates than downtown or lakefront areas with higher-income residents and bigger demand for parking.”

The news is swiftly spreading across the City faster than Mrs. O’Leary’s cow to recruit unemployed thugs to remove every last parking meter in order to avert this taxpayer crisis.

Perhaps it’s time to get a horse?


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