Parkin’ yo’self in Chitown
Once you’ve managed to survive the traffic on your daily commute, here comes the next fun part – the parking.
Chicago has long had the priciest parking meters in the country, and earlier this month, those rates were raised even more.
As of Jan. 2, the price of hourly Loop parking was increased from $4.25 to $5.00, marking an 18 percent increase. The price boost was agreed to back in 2008 when the city signed a deal to lease its parking meters for 75 years. Just two years ago, motorists only had to pay $3 an hour to park in the Loop.
Neighborhood parking increases from $1.25 to $1.50 an hour and downtown parking outside of the loop such as the Gold Coast, River North, Near North and parts of Lincoln Park, are seeing a 50 cent increase to $3.00 an hour. The changes are being rolled out at the city’s 36,000 metered spots.
Chicago Parking Meters LLC, which operates the city’s meters, have pointed to technological advances including the ability to use credit cards at the meters as rationale for the rising costs.
As far as parking garages in the loop, early bird rates (arriving between 5 and 8 a.m.) are going to run you anywhere from $12-$20, on average.
The increase in parking meter rates appears to be a nationwide trend, with hourly rates in New York City rising this month from $2.50 to $3.00. Rates in Boston also rose, making it cost $1.25 an hour to park in Beantown, up from $1.00. Chicago’s joined in the “priciest parking” segment by San Francisco and Los Angeles, among others.
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