Today, I went back to the “old neighborhood” (Lakeview East) to bring Bambino to the dog groomer. Since we figure that if he’s going to hate a groomer, it might as well be the same one.
As I drove down Belmont, I saw some workers putting up new parking signs. I just figured it had to do with the new method to pay to extend a meter with a Smartphone (something I still have no idea how it actually works, nor have I even made the effort to learn).
Not even close. No more than 20 minutes ago, I received an email from the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce. Here is what it read:
NEIGHBORHOOD PARKING ALERT
Beginning September 28th, parking will no longer be free on Sundays between the hours of 10am and 8pm. LAZ Parking will begin changing signs today to reflect this change. Paid Sunday parking will be reinstated in several commercial areas across the city. This will not be in effect on residential streets, where the paid parking spaces are generally installed between the commercial street and the alley.
My first thought — “You’re kidding me, right?”
Over the past handful of years we had free parking, then LAZ took over so that meant Sundays and Holidays were no longer free, then the city came to an agreement to allow LAZ to extend paid parking hours on weekdays to account for Sunday lost revenue to make them free again. It’s been maybe a year?
The email links to a website that shows all of the meters to be re-instated on Sunday. Here’s the kicker…there is NO mention whatsoever about moving the meters back to the old time on weekdays, 9am-8pm. Currently, they collect money from 8am-10pm to allow for that Sunday freebie parking.
It doesn’t appear, either, that this is just in Lakeview East. In fact, here is a listing of meters that you will start having to pay again this Sunday, September 28th, 2014:
I have yet to see whether or not the extended weekday hours are going to be removed. Based on this article from DNAinfo Chicago that was published in April, it does not look as if there is going to be any change in weekday hours.
When the free Sunday parking measure went into effect, paid parking was extended to 10 p.m. in many areas, but the latest proposal does not include provisions to roll back paid parking times to 8 p.m. Rather, according to Patton, Sunday revenues will go to address “true-ups” with Chicago Parking Meters — money lost by the company because of road closings for repaving, street fairs and the like.