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No More Free Parking At Meters

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Path dug to Chicago parking meter after blizzard

Workers for LAZ Parking, the contractor that runs the city’s parking meters, begun digging paths to parking pay boxes within a day of a major blizzard in February 2011. (Photo Courtesy Bryan Keane)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – There are no more breaks at parking meters in the city because of snow on the ground.

Now, you will get a ticket no matter where you park in the city unless you feed the parking meter pay box.

Parking enforcement resumed citywide at 9 a.m. Tuesday. On Monday, parking meter payment was enforced in a central area of the city from Oak Street on the north to Roosevelt Road on the south, and from Lake Shore Drive on the east to Halsted Street on the west, but parking was still free in the rest of the city.

All parking enforcement was suspended for several days immediately following the blizzard last week, which dumped 20.2 inches of snow on the ground. It was the third highest snow total in Chicago history.

While the extended parking meter holiday was in effect, the city issued no tickets for meter violations, although Office of Emergency Management and Communcations executive director Jose Santiago said that other parking regulations remained in effect. OEMC encouraged people to feed the meters anyway — but at the time, it was deemed only a suggestion.

The parking meter holidays were the first declared since Chicago Parking Meters, and LAZ as its contractor, took control of the parking meters under a controversial 75-year, $1.15 billion lease in January 2009.

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