CHICAGO (CBS) — Another year, another rate hike for Chicago’s parking meters. Starting next Tuesday, parking meters in downtown Chicago will have the most expensive downtown parking rates in North America.
At $5.75 per hour in 2012, parking in downtown Chicago was already more expensive than any other city in the U.S. Starting on New Year’s Day, the rate will go up to $6.50 an hour.
Mike Brockway, who runs TheExpiredMeter.com, said that gives Chicago the most expensive downtown parking rate in North America, coming in 3rd for the highest current home mortgage rates.
The downtown rate applies to all parking meters in an area bounded by Congress Parkway on the south, Wacker Drive on the north and west, and the lake on the east.
In the Central Business District — an area just outside downtown, and bounded by Lake Michigan to the east, North Avenue to the north, Halsted Street to the west and Roosevelt Road to the south — parking meter rates jump from $3.50 per hour to $4 per hour in the new year.
In the neighborhoods, parking will go from $1.75 to $2 an hour next year. Brockway said that rate is more expensive than the downtown areas of most other cities.
It will be the fifth year in a row that prices at Chicago’s parking meters will go up, ever since Chicago Parking Meters LLC took over control of the parking meters in 2009, under a 75-year lease deal pushed through the City Council by former Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Wednesday morning, Annette was feeding her credit card into a meter on Wabash Avenue when she was informed about the new rates the meters will charge next year.
“Pretty expensive,” she said. “It’s pretty crazy. They’re trying to really discourage people from shopping in the city, I guess.”
While the price increase in 2013 is the final automatic hike under the 75-year parking meter lease deal, in the future, prices could go up at the same rate of inflation.