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$6.50 an hour for parking in Chicago, really?

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posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 03:19 PM
I wasn't sure which forum this best went into but it sure seemed a story worth talking about, so move as necessary if my choice wasn't the best available.

Fare warning: It's going to cost more to commute, park in Chicago

Beginning Jan. 1, drivers will be shelling out more for parking meters in downtown Chicago than any other city in North America.

The cost to park at a metered spot in the Loop will rise to $6.50 an hour from the current $5.75. That’s more than double what people paid to park at meters in the Loop in 2008.

I've never lived in a city that soaked it's residents for the privilege to park a vehicle. I've certainly never worked in one where that cost had to be directly laid next to the wage being made to determine what's left afterward.

The increase is part of the city of Chicago’s $1.15 billion deal with Chicago Parking Meters LLC. Beginning in 2014, meter increases citywide will be tied to the rate of inflation.

I got to thinking about this as I looked over the story and it hit me almost immediately. WAIT a second here...if it takes $6.50 an hour just to park ... I wonder ... What is minimum wage in the same city charging this?

The Illinois Minimum Wage is $8.25 per hour. The Illinois Minimum Wage is greater than the National Minimum Wage of $7.25 per hour, so employees in Illinois are entitled to the higher minimum wage of $8.25.
Source - U.S. Min. Wage Info Directory

This is rather absurd. In parking alone then, if someone were stuck having to park there for a job at Subway or Burger King or whatever they may be inside the Chicago loop to work at, below professional job level ... They keep $1.75 an hour after parking. However, it took toll roads to even get there if they came from almost any direction.

Illinois Tollway System Map

There are other tolls that doesn't so obviously highlight if someone is coming from the East, such as the Indiana Toll road and Chicago Skyway for the Indiana -> Chicago approach, which the article indicates tolls are also rising for from $3.50 to $4.00. (We won't touch what they rob a big Truck for in driving that short stretch)

This comes out of the $1.75 an hour left after parking of course, and all gone from a person's daily pay total before a burger is purchased for lunch or a drop of gas is paid to make the trip in the first place.

It isn't the idea of higher minimum wage I would advocate for. That's patently ridiculous. As many note in more formal ways than my own opinion, costs of living tend to rise appropriate to a new min. wage to effectively negate the benefits and too often in an almost immediate cause and effect way, too.

The problem, as I'd see it, would be the collective and overall impact of 'death by a thousand fines, fees and tolls' living in a modern city seems to consist of. In Chicago, it's worse than most as I came to know and hate in a long trucking career that had me in and out of Chicago regularly for most of my life. These kinds of little charges are still adding to a collective slam on a normal person where I can't help but sympathize with people sometimes who just throw their hands up and say 'What's the point of trying??'.

After the time you've driven there, paid the tolls and gas and then parked? I figure you might be making a whole $.75 an hour! for whatever job brought you there if it isn't a job paying comfortably above that min. Don't spent all that at once now!

Can this be sustained for any long term into the future? Thoughts?
edit on 1-1-2013 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 03:28 PM
Living in a city is a choice. Sheep get fleeced. City folks are the first to pay and the first to suffer when things go wrong. Driving around my city is constant work to avoid getting a ticket by camera or by car. I no longer go anywhere that requires parking meters.

Better to stay at home ( :

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 03:34 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

$6.50?? That's one of the more reasonably priced areas....hahaha... Living here, I've paid A LOT more down by the Sears/Willis tower... But Yes, parking here is a racket and it's totally BS how they get away with these enormous prices...

I question my sanity for living in the state of Illinois my whole life...
edit on 1-1-2013 by jhn7537 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 03:36 PM
That sounds about the same as Seattle, depending on how far you feel like walking

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 03:41 PM
reply to post by Mamatus

Indeed, you're right of course. It is a choice, unless someone lives there of course.

Chicago is interesting in it's layout and planning ..or lack of it ... for getting people on tolls and such one way or another. Even Interstate 80 running well south of Chicago itself as a very short segment of toll so Chicago can pull it's tribute from that cross country traffic as well. It's a racket up there ...and the increases now just start putting it into the range where people may literally see themselves paying for the ability to work if parking falls the wrong way on a given day and after all other basic expenses in an average day are accounted for.

The problem is of course, if the cities continue to raise rates in various small directions to create an accumulated load that crushes people ....what's that leave the nation?

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 04:16 PM
Well sure. When a gallon of milk is over $4, a box of cereal is $7, gas over $3.50 a gallon, you can see the relative "worth" of the dollar quite graphically. The inflation tax is out of control and only getting worse. Of course, at the same time, wages are falling.

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 04:26 PM
I had to live in Chicago for three months for work and I will say, it is a beautiful city. However, it is an expensive city. Everything was at least 50% more expensive than where I am from.

It's quite easily avoidable though... Don't live/work in Chicago! It's amazing how much people complain about where they work/live and do nothing about it. Want to pay less for goods and services? Move somewhere that the same goods/services are offered but without the inflation of the city pricing.

Americans are quick to moan and complain, but never do anything about it. Either suck it up and live with it or change where you live. SIMPLE. Do you think where you live currently is the only place you can find a job and sustain your life style?

But, it's hard to start new somewhere you say... well if that's your view then suck it up and STFU. But, my family lives here and I don't want to move away from them you say... well if that's your view then suck it up and STFU.

People *expletive deleted* and moan too much and do nothing about it. If you don't care enough to change your situation then don't complain about it.
edit on 1-1-2013 by Catalyst317 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 04:34 PM
I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but also notice that the parking meters are owned by Chicago Parking Meters LLC. I've noticed that a lot lately--that cities can no longer afford to fund and maintain their own infrastructure, so they place themselves in bondage to private corporations--losing huge amounts of future revenue in the process:

International Research Journal of Applied Finance

In late 2008 a Morgan Stanley consortium submitted the winning bid for a 75 year concession on the revenues from Chicago’s 36,000 parking meters. The sale of the parking concession was
motivated by Chicago’s need for money to close a budget gap. Privatization of Chicago’s
parking did not please everyone. Alderman Scott Waguespack calculated that the city was giving up $4 to $5 billion in projected revenues. Just what the future revenues would be and what
discount rate to apply to them to calculate their present value were contentious issues....

In even a slightly better world, it might have been feasible (and certainly more favorable to Chicago) to have instead gotten a loan from Morgan Stanley to close their budget gap. But no. After having sucked trillions of dollars in value out of the entire country, the banks now form consortiums to suck the little remaining loose change out of our pockets through rackets like this.

There's something very wrong with this picture: Too many vultures in it....

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 07:06 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

Bid cities cost big money.

That's why I moved from a big city

posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 07:32 PM
reply to post by Catalyst317

You know, the general solution of 'If you don't like it, move somewhere else' worked real well for everyone before the Real Estate market imploded before everyone's eyes.

Now, that solution is perfectly workable for renters. I don't know many homeowners who can just pull up stakes and bail to a new place because where they are doesn't work. Now if someone is willing to just mail their house keys to the Mortgage Company, wish them well with the property and drive away from their life's investment ..I suppose it can work that way.

Otherwise, I dare say a large majority of the middle class in this nation are effectively trapped right where they are. Sad but true in the current times we live in.

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