City Council: Raise Parking Meter Rates for Additional Revenue

The item on Monday night's council agenda passed 8-1.

A revenue-generating item on Monday night's city council agenda will raise parking meter rates, making downtown parking $1 per hour.

The item passed 8-1, with Ald. Judy Fiske (1st Ward) objecting, saying it would hurt downtown businesses.

"I'm just concerned that there hasn’t been enough input solicited from them," Fiske said, referring to downtown business owners. She said she was aware of some businesses that will soon be closing, and noted that the parking situation downtown is a barrier to local retailers.

Ald. Colleen Burrus (9th Ward) suggested only raising the rates at meters that accept credit cards.

"I don’t think people are so concerned about the amount [of money the meters cost]," Burrus said. "It's carrying all the coins around that’s the issue."

Rates will remain higher in downtown Evanston; meter parking in other areas will be a slightly reduced 75 cents per hour. The reduced rate is in place in part to prevent bargain-seeking drivers from filling up nearby residential spots, according to Ald. Melissa Wynne (3rd Ward). Wynne said she opposed a uniform parking rate throughout the city.

People who get busted for not paying a meter will still pay a $10 fine, instead of an increased $15 fine that was proposed Monday night. Fees for all other parking violations have been increased by $5, but parking meter violations, which make up the bulk of parking violations in the city, will not be increased.

Budget talks will continue Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.


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jim November 15, 2011 at 01:27 PM
I can park and shop downtown Wilmette just across the border and not have to worry about parking
TAKH November 15, 2011 at 02:08 PM
I'm ok with $1 an hour, but only if they get rid of the coin only meters and put in a meter system like the one in Ann Arbor MI. It takes coins and cards, they could even have it take special meter cards along the same lines as the CTA fare cards and charge a small fee to get one. With this system the parking spots are numbered so you tell the machine where you are parked, pay and then go. No backtracking back to your car to put a receipt in the window like in Chicago.
Jim November 15, 2011 at 02:28 PM
The city council is determined to turn the city of Evanston into the Detroit model. Shop in Wilmette or Old Orchard, eat in Winnetka. Maybe the alderpeople will move out of town when the city becomes unlivable.
jim November 15, 2011 at 10:09 PM
Free parking for month of December so shoppers come downtown. But don't care if they come the other 11 months. With all the empty stores in downtown Evanston you would think they would have backed off this.
mij November 15, 2011 at 10:38 PM
The City of Evanston continues to be not Friendly to Businesses. They prefer Evanston residents shop else where and leave or the empty stores vacant. Drive around town you find a new one almost daily
Jim November 15, 2011 at 11:51 PM
They just don't get it. They must think that they are so wonderful that no one would react to a raise in parking fees by shopping elsewhere. Or maybe they think that they can pass an ordinance to order people to park and shop in Evanston, sort of like an individual mandate.
mij November 15, 2011 at 11:55 PM
Boycott will stop the increases
jim November 16, 2011 at 12:11 AM
boycotting Evanston sounds like a good idea. Think it will help or should we occupy several parks in town. I know University Students and ready to join
lucas November 16, 2011 at 01:39 AM
I agree Fred it well past time.
Jim November 16, 2011 at 03:03 AM
No need to occupy. Just quietly don't buy anything in Evanston and don't vote for the same alderpeople again. It was the city council which overspent for years, managed poorly and wasted city resources. Now that they have screwed the city, they want the residents to bail them out. What a joke. We elected them but don't make the same mistake again.
jim November 16, 2011 at 03:29 AM
JIm I decided last year that I wouldn't vote for my current alderperson again. They each follow each other. Rather vote alone but always follow the others. Could have citizens comments against something but they fail to pay any attention to the taxpayers. Seems this increase in parks was to save four positions that were previously decided they didn't need.
Richard Schulte November 26, 2011 at 05:31 PM
My recommendation would be to eliminate the parking meters in downtown Evanston. Parking is free at Old Orchard, Northbrook Court and other shopping centers near and farther away. No need to worry about change or getting parking tickets at these shopping centers. If downtown Evanston wants to be competetive, then there is no other choice but to eliminate the parking fees. If the concern is about employee parking on the streets, then limit the parking time to 2 hours like Glencoe and other adjacent communities do. To cover the lost revenue, get rid of the parking enforcement employees. That should cover a good portion of the lost revenue. Raising the parking meter fees will simply drive people away from downtown Evanston. I refuse to go to downtown Chicago anymore after Chicago raised its parking fees.
jim November 27, 2011 at 02:27 AM
City advertises "FREE HOLIDAY PARKING AFTER 5 PM TILL MDNNIGHT". Went to downtone late yesterday afternoon to a movie,shopping and dinner. Came back and had to pay for parking in the Maple Ave Garage. Only way to get out.
fishman November 28, 2011 at 04:50 PM
If you were to ask any of the former retail business owners who left downtown Evanston over the last decade what was Evanston’s biggest problem, they would answer parking enforcement. Nothing has driven away customers from downtown Evanston more then the regressive parking enforcement. It’s unfortunate that the city of Evanston has chosen to use parking enforcement to generate revenue instead of its original intent to manage street and garage parking. Meters were never meant to generate revenue. Please don’t boycott Evanston businesses. It’s not their fault that the city of Evanston is clueless as to what attracts customers and what drives them away. BTW – can you believe all the Tilted Kilt marketing on TV and radio these days? Boy did Evanston blow it.
mij November 28, 2011 at 06:36 PM
I couldn't agree more. Council doesn't listen to its own Small Business owners nor any of the citizens that goto teir meetings. Unless of course your someones friend. I was planning on shopping downtown Evanston for SHOP SMALL BUSINESS DAY but decided to shop Wilmette instead. Didn't want to jhave to keep moving my car since Evanston marks the tires.
victoria smith November 29, 2011 at 12:59 PM
I bet there are some of you that remember way back when when the meters in down town Evanston were only a penny! I too think tht they should get rid of the parking meters all together and let go of the meter persons. Evanston is loosing buisiness left and right, not sure why the council can't see this. It would be interesting to see if they do most of their shopping here or go else where.
Richard Schulte November 29, 2011 at 01:18 PM
I'd be interested in knowing the revenue Evanston generates from parking fines. It's my guess that the revenue generated from fines is in the millions. In other words, the parking meters are there so that Evanston can hand out parking tickets like candy. Can't raise taxes, so let's fine our citizens to death-sort of like the red light cameras in Chicago. I stay out of Chicago as must as possible because of the red light cameras. It's not about safety, it's about revenue.
fishman November 29, 2011 at 01:37 PM
In the 14 years I had a business in Downtown Evanston, the only active Alderman who shopped in my store consistently was Alderman Wynne. She was great about supporting local businesses. It’s not to say that any of the new Aldermen didn’t shop in my store, I just didn’t know them at the time. What was disheartening was how the Aldermen who represented the Ward my business was in (over the years I was in two separate Wards) never came in to my store to see how business was or how I was doing. Ever. And if you really want to be disheartened, look at what the city approved last night without open discussion – Approval of Contract Award for 2011/12 AFSCME Uniforms to Silk Screen Express, Inc. (Bid 12-66) Staff recommends City Council approval of contract award for the 2011 AFSCME Uniform Contract (Bid 12-66) to Silk Screen Express, Inc. (7611 W. 185th Street, Tinley Park, IL) for a term of three years in a not to exceed amount of $121,404. Funding will be provided by the General Fund Account 2610.65020 which has budgeted $19,000 in FY 2011 and $40,000 proposed in FY2012. For Action There are three screen printing businesses in Evanston that could do the job, but the city gave the contract to a business that has much lower over-head because they aren’t doing business Evanston. So sad.
Jim November 29, 2011 at 02:45 PM
Spending other people's money is what governments do. If they could not do that, they would be in another line of business. And of course, in Evanston the city council knows best and will not listen to the citizens by and large. By the time they kill off the Evanston businesses, most of the aldermen will have moved on and no doubt will decry the awful state of the Evanston ecinomy.
Richard Schulte November 29, 2011 at 03:24 PM
"Staff recommends City Council approval of contract award for the 2011 AFSCME Uniform Contract (Bid 12-66) to Silk Screen Express, Inc. (7611 W. 185th Street, Tinley Park, IL) for a term of three years in a not to exceed amount of $121,404." I bid on a contract with the Evanston Fire Department about 12 years or so ago. It's a 20 minute walk from my office to the Fire Department. The group of fire protection consultants which I put together was far more qualified than the successful bidder and the fees we charged were lower, but the contract went to a firm located in Schaumburg. A few years later, the exact same contract for the same services was up for bid in Glencoe with the same two bidders. Glencoe did not chose the firm from Schaumburg. A firm from Evanston with lower costs and which was more qualified didn't get the Fire Department contract-rather interesting. I'll never bid on work with the Evanston Fire Department again.
fishman November 30, 2011 at 10:00 AM
If we follow the Evanston line of reasoning, shouldn't the city end all contracts with Public Sector Unions and hire people to do the same job for the "lowest responsible bid"? Even paying wages that are equal to their Private Sector counterparts (who pay for their own health care and fund their own retirement) would go far in taking away the stench of hypocrisy.
Christine Wolf November 30, 2011 at 02:29 PM
I disagree about Tilted Kilt. I'm relieved we didn't go that route. It's not easy right now, but in the end, I think we'll be glad. Tilted Kilt wouldn't have lasted long in this town.
mij November 30, 2011 at 02:45 PM
Christine prefers to see all the vacant stores and offices around Evanston. Some have been empty for years. When you run one business off you don't get others to excited about trying to get a license.
Jim November 30, 2011 at 02:45 PM
Evanston used to be a livable city with a university. Now it is a university with a city in trouble. With it's natural assets, Evanston should be doing better. Think the folks in charge have something to do with that?
Richard Schulte November 30, 2011 at 09:51 PM
I was out in Schaumburg about 10 days ago and saw a Tilted Kilt on Higgins Road. Based upon all the publicity given to the jilted Tilted Kilt here in Evanston, I wanted to go to see what all of the buzz was about-didn't have the time, but it's on my list of "to do's". Since the City of Evanston thinks we're all children and can't be permitted to decide for ourselves what is appropriate, I'll just spend my money out in Schaumburg. I'd say Evanston got jilted, not the Tilted Kilt.
fishman December 01, 2011 at 09:44 AM
Let's not beat the Tilted Kilt horse again. Sorry for bringing it up - my bad.
Richard Schulte December 01, 2011 at 11:55 AM
No, the Titled Kilt is still worth talking about. Jobs are hard to come by (except in North Dakota, eastern Ohio and Texas, oh and, of course, Washington DC-no recession in Washington.) Evanston turned its back on jobs and Evanston officials and citizens who opposed the Titled Kilt should be asked why every day. Evanston officials (the Mayor) who opposed job creation should be required to donate their entire paycheck until the economy comes back. Let those Evanston officials feel how it is to be without a paycheck for months-it's called attitude adjustment. Unemployment and under-employment is not a joke. If you opposed the Titled Kilt, you supported unemployment-it's called unintended consequences. Why would anyone be opposed to job creation in this economy? Perhaps Christine Wolf could answer that question for us in one of her pieces. Oh, yes, Christine Wolf has a job-screw everybody else. Thanks Christine-typical liberal mind-set.


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