Have you noticed recently that parking enforcement officials have been few and far between? If you haven’t realized yet, the city took almost a week long hiatus from parking ticket enforcement during the week of the great Chicago blizzard. Unfortunately money talks in this world and enforcement of meters resumed today at 9am throughout the city. With that said consider this a reminder to all to “Pay Your Meters!” You don’t need to have your day ruined by running into one of those beautiful orange slips on your windshield.
So who covered the bill for all the lost parking meter revenue over the last week? Not the City of Chicago. In an article from Crain’s Chicago the city was not held responsible because they did not officially “close” any of their parking meters. Rather they opted to not enforce the parking rules for the time being. Way to go city for helping out your motorists in a time of need!
This outcome makes me wonder about the higher level impact of such actions. Although we are contractually obligated to participate in a very lopsided privatized parking deal, we could potentially circumvent that through lax enforcement of parking meters. Yes this might require fewer jobs in the short run, and potentially some erratic parking behavior, but the impacts on cash flow to Morgan Stanley and Chicago LAZ would be substantial. A large hit to their cash flow intakes could help the city to increase its leverage in re-negotiating a more balanced parking arrangement. If you don’t see it, then nothing happened, right? Some food for thought if the city really wants to make action happen.