Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I Could See This Backfiring

Chicago Leases Parking Meters
Chicago on Tuesday said it agreed to lease its parking meter system to a fund managed by Morgan Stanley in a 75-year, $1.16 billion deal...

Proceeds from parking tickets will still go into city coffers.

So you've got one party collecting the meter fees, but with no incentive to write tickets for expired meters. The other party now has more incentive than ever to write tickets... so a likely scenario coule be... we're going to need hordes of Voracious Meter Maids* trolling the streets looking for one-minute-past-due meters.

We may even end up offsetting any savings by having to hire more unionized, neon-yellow-clad fitness buffs to walk around scowling and sticking permanent adhesive on windshields, side mirrors, and windows.

*Note to Stoj: Apologies for infringing on the name of your high school punk band.


Stoj said...

Ahem, we were called the "Metre Maids", and were mostly UK/Pop/Rock.

As for the post, you don't want to get me started on parking tickets. I have paid this city thousands of dollars in the past few years - sometimes receiving a ticket in the mail for "obstructing a roadway" that I had never even been on.

I'm tempted to bring a video camera to the corner of Clark & Randolph. The Traffic Management Authority lady really is a treat to watch - blowing her whistle in a rhythmic manner, waving her arms, and causing gridlock.

Max Power said...

True story: My neighborhood has undergone much renovation/new construction in the past few years.

We used to live in a condo with only one parking space, but had 2 cars... so I would park on the street (yes, it was readily available).

I went to work one morning, with the car on the street... they put up meters at around 2:30pm (according to witnesses), and I received a ticked for an expired meter at 3:30pm that same day.

Max Power said...

Another one (I was able to fight and have that first one thrown out, eventually).

The meters are clearly marked "2 hour parking, Monday - Saturday, 8am - 6pm."

I got a ticket just as clearly dated on a Sunday, 3am, for an expired meter. They refused to dismiss that one.

Stoj said...

I owed literally thousands in tickets. 90% of them were for "no front plate" and a few for "no city sticker". Now, before you start saying that it was all my fault, let me first say A) I know, and B) I always put my license plate in my front window, just like the guy who owned the crappy van down the street. However, only I would get a ticket for it. I can only assume it was because I had a new, more expensive car, and they thought I could afford to pay.

As for the city sticker - f*** that. I pay enough taxes in Cook County/Chicago. I refuse to buy a sticker for my car. I still don't have one. I may never park on a public street ever again, but I'm not buying a sticker.

Max Power said...

OK, NOW I can say "it was all your fault."

It's still b.s. I'm convinced that they employ some sort of "profiling" when ticketing.

That being said, I don't know why you would ever park your Lamborghini on the street in the first place.

I pay the vehicle tax (aka city sticker). I park in 'public' garages, and they are now allowed to go in there (even though those garages are really private enterprises) and write tickets. Too much of a pita.

Stoj said...

It is a pain in the ass, and let me tell you - I have discovered that cops can even come onto private property to give me a "no front plate/no city sticker" ticket by claiming they could tell from the street that there was a violation.

As for parking lots - I learned the hard way at O'Hare. Not only was I charged $200 for parking there for a few days (cab didn't show up, had to drive there), I had $350 in tickets waiting for me when I got home.

Yes, I am an idiot. But I cannot bring myself to soil the windshield of my Ferrari* with sticky goo.

*MINI Cooper S

Max Power said...

I use that StickerShield dealie... also technically verboten, but since they can't actually tell, no issues so far. And at the end of the year, it just peels off easily and cleanly, with no residue. Few bucks at Walgreen's.

Stoj said...

I saw those...

...but I'm still saying "no" on principle.