Update: As I hoped, the ticket I contested (mentioned in the second half of this story) was dismissed! I guess there is some justice after all.
My last story about hating the Chicago police was posted a little over 3 years ago and was starting to get a little stale. So how about a refresh? This one's about parking meters - how I got a ticket that makes no sense, and also how everyone in Chicago that ever uses a parking meter is about to get screwed.
Let's start with the one that affects everyone...parking meter rate increases! Apparently the parking meter rate in Chicago hasn't gone up in 20 years! So how about making up for that by double or quadrupling the rate at all meters?!? It's true:
Here's how the hourly rates will breakdown according to the city:$6.50 an hour to park downtown? What the crap?!? It costs me $0.25 for an hour right now where I live. I can't wait for that to go to $2.00! Oh, and what about those Sundays where you don't have to feed the meter? Or the holidays? :
WHEN DO PRICE INCREASES TAKE EFFECT?
Happy New Year's! January 1 is when the new meter pricing will go into effect. However, it will take a long time to change over 36,000 parking meters. Think about it. Weeks if not a month or so to get all meters changed over.
Seven Days A Week
As of January 1, all meters will have to be fed seven days a week. This means saying goodbye to not having to feed your meter on Sunday. It also means no parking meter holidays (New Year's Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas).
So with that fantastic bit of news, on to my meter story. Basically I got ticketed as if I was in a metered spot even though there was another car in the only metered spot on the block. Here's what the block looks like:
Click to expand
Of course I contested this nonsense and probably won't hear anything for months again. On the plus side though, it did lead me to find this amusing website: The Expired Meter. It's some Chicagoan that's had numerous run-ins with tickets and has a lot of experience contesting them. He also knows some contacts on the inside, so he gives people advice on how best to contest tickets in different situations, or tells them if it isn't worth their time to do so.