Chicago’s deal with Chicago Parking Meters LLC has had another interesting effect on parking in the city. It has inspired city leadership to take steps to decrease handicapped parking fraud and end free meter parking for some handicapped-parking-placard holders. It seems free meter use isn’t so free after all.
“The abuses have cost Chicago taxpayers millions of dollars in reimbursements to Chicago Parking Meters LLC, the private company running metered parking citywide under the meter-privatization deal championed by former Mayor Richard M. Daley. The deal requires City Hall to reimburse the company for free parking provided to drivers displaying disability placards or plates. Those payments have soared to a total of nearly $55 million since the company began running the meter system in 2009 and started to sharply raise meter rates.”
Now only those with specific mobility and motor control issues will be entitled to free meter parking. During the coming weeks, city staff will leave notices outlining the change on the windshields of handicapped-placard holders. New placards in different colors will be issued to help enforce the new law.
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