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Free Sunday Parking Goes Into Effect Today For Some Chicago Neighborhoods

A parking meter on 47th street in Chicago's 3rd Ward. (Credit: Michele Fiore)

A parking meter on 47th street in Chicago’s 3rd Ward. (Credit: Michele Fiore)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – This Father’s Day, dads in many parts of the city are getting something they haven’t had in years, free parking. But will it be bad for business? WBBM’s Michele Fiore reports from the Bronzeville neighborhood.

Although retailers in some of the affected wards have complained that with free Sunday street parking, saying they will see little turnover.

In the 3rd Ward, where clothing stores and beauty shops have been struggling to stay open, could the free parking help? Joe Smith thinks so.

“You mean we finally got a break in the City of Chicago? Are you kidding? Wow,” said Smith.

The new agreement between the City Council and Chicago Parking Meters calls for Sunday free zones for a dozen wards south of the Eisenhower Expressway. In return, meters elsewhere that currently end at 9 p.m. will be extended though 10 p.m.

Starting Monday, citywide, metered parking now ends at 10 p.m., not 9 p.m. and in River North and Streeterville, payment goes on until midnight.

City Hall sold it as soak the tourists.

“If you’re visiting, I have no problem with them paying a little bit more and us being able to pay for free,” said Darnell Richardson.

But Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) says Chicago residents are getting soaked, too.

“No, it’s the people who live down there. It’s the people who go to the barber shops and the bakeries,” said Waguespack.

Free Sunday parking is scheduled to begin citywide by July first.


Mayor Rahm Emanuel insists exchanging free Sundays for longer parking hours citywide won’t make the private parking company any richer, but Ald. Waguespack believes it will…by millions of dollars a year.