Friday, December 28, 2012

Why privatization sucks, Chicago style (Can you say '$6.50 an hour for street parking'?)

Four years ago, most parking spaces cost 25 cents an hour in Chicago. In 2013, they'll cost $6.50 an hour inside the Loop, $4.00 an hour near the Loop and $2 an hour everywhere else.

That's because former Mayor Richard Daley thought it would be a good idea to allow a private company to loot Chicago motorists privatize Chicago parking. (We could have told him otherwise.)

On top of that, the city owes the company, Chicago Parking Meters, $61 million for "lost revenue" due to street closures. The Chicago Tribune reports,
The city's unpaid tab for lost parking meter revenue now tops $61 million as Mayor Rahm Emanuel disputes bills the company has sent. It’s unclear how much the city will be able to knock off that total. 
Some aldermen, stung by constituents’ criticism of their overwhelming support of the meter lease barely two days after Daley handed them the proposal, have called on Emanuel to give them more time to consider far-reaching deals. Still, Emanuel’s digital billboard agreement quickly sailed through the council 43-6 this month despite opponents drawing comparisons to the parking meter deal.
What could possibly go wrong?