Saturday, May 16, 2009

Free Lakefront Parking To End

Those of our readers who park most anywhere along Uptown's lakefront will be interested in this:

Chicago Breaking News Center

There soon will be no such thing as free parking along Chicago's lakefront.
By the time summer fades to fall, the Chicago Park District will start charging $1 an hour to leave your car at more than 4,400 spots along the lake that until now cost nothing. Another 537 metered parking spots will see rates double or quadruple.
The sliver of sunshine among otherwise cloudy news for those who enjoy being outdoors: instead of lugging a bagful quarters around like they do for city meters, people will be able to pay by credit card.
Still, the latest money grab by City Hall--Mayor Richard Daley appoints the park district board--is bound to gall folks on two fronts.
It takes away one of the last refuges for families seeking some free fun. And it comes on top of an unpopular parking meter rate increase and anger over widespread problems since a private company took over running them. Continue Reading


  1. I think this is great. Hopefully, it will cut down on people driving to the park. Less of a traffic mess. They should extend the Montrose bus to make a stop in the park. People can take public transit.

  2. Free parking has always been the alterbeast's "gift" to the lake front for voting for her. Too bad. So sad. What now will she take credit for?

  3. I wonder if this will cause more parking problems in the neighborhood. What happens when people who don't want to pay decide to park in our already jammed streets.

  4. This will be a huge problem in the neighborhoods, especially when people are away from their cars for several hours at a time. They will park their cars in the nearby neighborhoods.

    On the day of a huge park event and a Cubs game, it will be a nightmare, especially with WY traffic. Didn't someone also say something about a large housing development at Montrose & Clarendon too?

    There's already an outcry about the parking meters in retail areas and I along with many others do whatever I can to avoid paying a parking meter out of principle. I wonder if every alderman along the lakefront will be in deep doodoo come election time?

  5. I have already voiced my complaints to the park district as I pay enought property taxes to the parks and it gets higher every year. I like to fish at montrose harbor all summer but to pay every day to fish and the license going 100% next year I guess i will be driving to the forest preserves where the lots are still free. I was told by the park office if they did not charge for parking our taxes would have to be raised. What a excuse and watch you bill to see. I am......Its a dam shame what our elected officals have done to us and the worse is yet to come.....

  6. Free parking has always been the alterbeast's "gift" to the lake front for voting for her.

    When I lived on Irving Park near the lake, Ald. Shiller would show up like clockwork at our building at election time and tell us how she'd made it possible for people to park overnight in the park, thereby "saving" our parking situation. It was enough to make many of my neighbors vote for her, since lack of parking was THE number one issue for residents then.

    Wonder how she'll spin it if she runs again?

  7. I do hope all of you will right the Mayors office on this. They are running out of things to tax and charge for.

    Yes Jason, this may alleviate traffic but you are missing the point. This area has been bought and paid for many times by the taxpayers. The taxes you pay go directly towards these locations. This is nothing but the city double dipping and pissing away the exact funds they taxed in the first place.

    But hell why not right. After all we let them charge tolls on roads that have already been payed for. We let them lease out parking garages that tax payer dollars paid for. We let them give their family members cushy jobs while regular citizens would do it for a third of the pay.

    But it's ok! Lets all jam in to a stinky train or bus and go to the beach!

    Chip's Speedo is ready.

  8. *Write (not right) Da Mayor. Forgive me.

  9. So much for a "forever open, free and clear" lakefront.

    Let's all go visit Burhnam's grave and listen to him spin.

    Daley, Shiller and the rest of the rat-bastages on Council have sent another strong message that the citizens of Chicago are not high on their list of priorities.

    The Parks don't get enough money, but Peter Holsten gets a blank check.

    I love this place!

  10. Daley hits the daily double in defense of his plan:

    "Retailers were excited about the new parking charge because it will prevent drivers from parking by the lakefront long-term, Daley said"

    How many retailers are there around the lake?

    Aren't the only true businesses on the lakefront restaurants?

    Yeah. Those businesses hate having people hanging out in their establishments longer than an hour.

    Re: Stroger's veto:

    "You cannot ask the taxpayer [to pay] more out of their pocket," Daley said. "People are getting laid off."

    But, it's just dandy to keep screwing them on parking?


  11. who gets the money? is this part of the old deal?

  12. The placement of these new atomic Hungry-Man-Meters seems to be so erratic. It's a ton of quarters to park at Sheridan and Winona, but go east to Broadway, and the old meters are still there.

    How many more police/meter people will now have to be diverted, to issue fat tickets to those lapsed meters along the lake?
    Hunting for $50 tickets as opposed to hunting for street crime.

  13. Remember, Our alderbeast and staff get pay raises while we take pay cuts and job losses. Someone has to pay for their pay we get taxed more. Thanks Helen!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. It's insane..

    Who Is John Galt

  15. I used to proclaim sledding at Cricket Hill to be the best free family wintertime fun to be had in all of Chicago. I guess I'll have to change my tune by about $2-$3 dollars.

  16. I agree. There really isn't much more the city can charge us for at this point...get ready for them to start charging for:
    - Admission to Lincoln Park Zoo
    - Admission to the Green City Market
    - Usage fee to step foot on the lakefront
    - Bicycle registration and annual fee to own and use
    - Any others???

    Brace yourself...I'm sure it's coming.

    I'm so happy that my $4900 a year in property taxes seems to go to simply pay payroll for overpaid admins and other unqualified government staff and an underperforming and crime ridden school system. How do I get a job with the city???

  17. Speaking of money.....have any 'condo owner's noticed that their City of Chicago water bill has doubled, since the new meters were installed?

    Our building's bill has doubled.

    Is Chicago going to surpass Tokyo as one of the most expensive cities to live in?

  18. I live on Argyle and parking around my area in the summer is bad enough between idiots that come over to the park with their kids that don't know how to park properly and take up at least two spaces, this will make the parking situation around there even worse! Does anyone know how to request making areas permit only? It is not fair that I, a resident, have to driver around for over an hour at times to try to find parking so I can go to my own house!

    Oh, and "nmf," not all City employees are unqualified, many employees work very hard and do a good job. And those of us non-Union employees not only work our butts off, but we are getting stuck with the 16 unpaid furlough days to make up for the budget downfalls that we did not cause. (Oh, and many of the non-union employees are also grossly underpaid). I would appreciate it if your comments were addressed to the appropriate people and not a group of hard-working people as a whole, many of which do not deserve the reputation the public has given us.

  19. And after all this, when the next election time comes around, the king will be re-crowned because...oh...he loves the city so much...he's going to bring us the Olympics...he planted all those pretty flowers in the middle of the streets (actually the Washington administration's idea but Daley takes the credit)...he'll waterboard us if he finds out we voted for someone else...

    Maybe we can "draft" Jane Byrne's daughter?

  20. sooneratkent

    You're right - some city employees work very hard. My comment was directed more toward Stroger's cousin's hire of an ex-con that was making something like $60k per year as an admin.

    it sucks you have to take 16 unpaid days but join the folks are not the only ones. I'm on 90 days unpaid time off while everyone I know has had to either take a pay cut, receive no pay raise, take these furlough days or worse, get laid off entirely. Last time I heard, those working for the city making something like less than $30K per year were to be exempt from the furlough days. Is that not the case? Also, last time I heard, the unions were not taking part in them..I'd be interested to hear what the final outcome is.

    $50k-$60k for an admin position seems ridiculous to me esp. when the private sector would be paying $30k-$45k. My bet is if you look at what the private sector jobs are paying for similar gov't jobs and compare the pay, gov't jobs in Chicago generally pay more.

  21. nmf-
    The negotiations with the Unions regarding their concessions is still ongoing (at least last time I heard, we do not hear anything until it is posted in the Sun Times and they realize that their employees are going to hear about it there).

    The people that occupy similar jobs to what I do in other government jobs and the private sector average anywhere from $5K upwards of several hundred thousand more than what the City pays the people in my position. Everyone that I work with works well over 60 hours per work week most weeks along with taking work home on the weekends. It is unfortunate that everyone I work with has to choose between paying rent, paying student loans or buying groceries for ourselves. I am just saying that the public and the news is constantly saying terrible things about City employees and it is very disheartening that there are many very hard-working employees that get grouped with the dead-beats and it is not fair.

    The economy is terrible, we all have to suffer (unless you are protected by an employer that actually cares about its employees, I guess). I am just tired of hearing about how lazy and terrible the City employees all are when that is very far from the truth for some of us.

    (The only thing that needs to be done now is to put forward a qualified candidate to get rid of this same old mess we have right now, there are MANY people that want a competent candidate for once).


    Just because you walk on the sidewalk doesn't mean you shouldn't pay for walking on that sidewalk. Somebody put that sidewalk there, somebody maintains it. People should pay for the privilege of walking on public sidewalks. Sidewalks should be metered for stopping standing and walking. Meters at the end of a city block should be able to vend walking tickets, allowing you to walk for say an hour or 1/2 hours.

    This will cut down on the amount of homeless people who are using our sidewalks and don't give a damn about them.

    It's time to stop giving Chicago residents a free ride on everything. Everybody thinks they should have free parking, free lunches, free this and free that.

    Everybody thinks the air you breathe is free. Well Mayor Daley has led this nation in greening of the city. He's installed thousands of trees, bushes even city halls roof has been greened.

    Are we supposed to think that just because we breathe the air we shouldn't pay for it?