Got quarters? Parking prices shoot up

February 13, 2009 5:34:41 PM PST
Street parking in the Loop was supposed to be more expensive Friday. Loop parking meter rates will be going up from the current $3 an hour to $3.50.The city had to finish some paperwork, and that kept the increase from taking effect Friday, but it's just a brief reprieve.

Parking meter rates across the city will be going up over the next few weeks.

Finding the right number of quarters necessary to park in the Loop is a challenge. Soon enough, drivers may have to carry around bags of them. But, while rates were said to go up starting Friday, ABC7 couldn't find a single meter or meter box that posted the updated cost of $3.50 an hour, confusing some drivers who came prepared for the change.

Kevin Jefferson even took a picture of his meter, just in case.

"I learned how to do that. So, if they give me a ticket, I can say, Hey, here is what the meter said, leave me alone," said Jefferson.

As it turns out, the city says that because the deal didn't close till Friday afternoon, the company in charge of the meters can only now send crews out to start changing them. So drivers should pay whatever rate is posted on their particular meter.

"I won't be parking on the street as much. As it is, right now I generally take the train. If I have some business that requires a car, then I'll see what I can do," said Jeff Landis.

The new rate schedule is as follows:

  • $3.50 an hour in the Loop, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,
  • $2 in the central business district,
  • $2 an hour in Lincoln Park,
  • $1 an hour in the rest of the city.
  • All meters are expected to reflect the new rates by March 9.

    Under the lease agreement, metered parking will go up in the city every year for the next five years. By 2013, it will cost $6.50 an hour to park in the Loop.