Recommendations of the TIF Parking Committee for a Transportation Enhancement District (formerly Parking Improvement District)

A service of Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, its Transportation and Preservation-Zoning-Development committees and its website

The following now appears to be not true or no longer true, and the is indeed hope for TEDs.

As of early 2008, news report confirmed the proposal appears to be dead or at least of questionable likelihood due to the city seeking to lease or sell parking meter at likely higher, niche-priced fees (which would do the job of pricing on the street but not give it preference over the city lot and would leave nothing for communities to use, as would a TED, just the city. We were emailed a heads up on October 22 2007:

I am very disappointed to report that the innovative Transportation Enhancement District program, we have championed appears to be dead at this time. I talked with Alderman Preckwinkle last week, and she believes there is no hope for TEDs at this point. As part of the 2008 budget Mayor Daley has proposed to quadruple parking meter rates across the city and the City’s announcement that it hopes to lease or sell the meters to a private vendor.

The Committee’s efforts have helped to educate the community regarding the importance of parking management as part of a transportation, access and circulation plan. We will continue to advocate for these principles as planning and development proceeds for the 53rd Street TIF district.

However, pay and display machines are installed on 53rd and adjoining areas. In January 2009 the prices go up to $1.00 first hour (lot by a different amount) and steadily over the years, but not due to "right" pricing but because of a deal whereby all city meters were sold to Morgan Stanley (yes of bailout fame) for 75 years. To learn more, see in the Parking Woes page.

Metropolitan Planning Council suggests part of the money from sale of the city's meters be used to fund transit alternatives to circling the soon-to-be-more-expensive meters, such as CTA bus rapid transit.


(The proposal is now called a TED or Transportation Enhancement District, presumably to put the emphasis on the objectives rather than process. The Metropolitan Planning Council among others cautions against PID being just a vehicle to create more parking and especially to build garages.)
Page Index.

Report from the December 2006 Conference Reporter

Visit introductory flyer, INTRODUCING TED.
PID In Short for a 1-page Summary (December 2006), Survey of what shopping district users might want revenues used for, and a synopsis of broader planning uses of PIDs (TEDs).

Visit the general Parking page for more, neighborhood context, other initiatives, hot spots,
essays introducing changed thinking about urban parking, and important links.
Murray-lot-available flyer. See also People with Disabilities pages for discussion of studies and initiatives that will impact some of the problems to be addressed by a district.
Parking impacts development and vice versa. Explore: the new Development Navigator.

Text of the Committee's recommendation is here, but the full powerpoint on Parking Improvement District is up on the SECC website,

Contact for information, comments on Parking Improvement District or other committee recommendations introduced July 10: Ilene Jo Reizner.
Irene Sherr, consultant and material preparer.

In this page:


The TIF Parking Committee met June 25. Next will be announced.

Stakeholder meetings have begun on Parking Improvement District (introduced at July 10 TIF meeting). Irene Sherr, consultant, presented to Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference board November 2 (Jo Reizner was unable to attend).

Metropolitan Planning Council/Chicago Architecture Foundation Roundtables. Parking 101: Transportation Enhancement Districts and beyond. is now online at or Pam Lee at 312 863-6011 or Guru Donald Shoup gives the parking equilibrium equation as c*(f+nv)=t(m-p). Dr. Rachel Weinberger, University of Pennsylvania, discusses this and much more with a panel of Chicago aldermen (4th Ward Ald. Toni (Preckwinkle and 39th Ward Ald. Margaret Laurino.

hmmmm.... Murray school lot was available for overnight parking in by 4 out by 7- $40 a month. To Flyer in pdf. It was run by System Parking and extensively advertised. Only one driver took advantage of it.
If anyone knows that/why this is not a good deal, tell this website




The TIF advisory council meeting January 8, 2007 heard about the city pilot for Transportation Enhancement District. (A more complete description, of what was then called Parking Improvement District, and a question period were held at the July 2006 TIF meeting, after which the city departments were asked for evaluation of a proposed pilot was asked by resolution in the city council by 3 aldermen in September.) See the latest short version of TED- what it is, how it would work, what communities can do with the funds, how it should affect parking, and governance.

The city departments reported favorably to the City Council Committee on Transportation and Traffic at its February 5 meeting, after which a press conference was held including by Aldermen Preckwinkle (4th), Flores and Colon. Top

June 25 2007 TIF Parking Committee hears from DePaul professor of sociological methods on a study and survey his class did this April on 53rd St. between Lake Park and Dorchester, discusses implications


Summary by Trish Morse of Howard Males' report on this parking meeting at the July 9 TIF meeting.

The chairman reported on a study done by a DePaul undergraduate class comparing parking on 53rd Street an in Lakeview. Professor Kim had gotten interested because of the TED. They found that 88% of the metered spaces were full in the morning and 93% were full in the afternoon. More Hyde Parkers are dependent on cars and insist on driving than residents of Lakeview. Lakeview discourages reliance on cars through no parking zones, permit parking, parking enforcement, and higher rates. There are also structural differences. The double meter spaces (one meter for two spaces) pace off at 27 paces on 53rd and 21 paces in Lakeview. Pay & Display would solve tha. Employees park in front of the store at a much higher create on 53rd. And the viaducts create a cognitive distance from the stores for the parking east of the tracks, even though the spots are no further than similar parking spots to the west.

Irene Sherr responded that the Pay & Display would be from Woodlawn to Cornell. She didn't know if there had been any thought given to handicap parking but said they'd take that into consideration when they go to the level of details.

The Parking Committee heard some revealing results. Members were surprised and somewhat skeptical with findings that people said pricing, enforcement and other parameters would not affect their parking habits. Not so surprising is that a high proportion of business owners and employees park in metered spaces in front of or near their stores. Hyde Parkers have a high percentage of car owners and do a high proportion of the their errands by car. Part of this may be accounted for by parking actually being relatively available on business and residential streets compared to parts of Lakeview and Edgewater used for comparison--where limited parking resource makes people have to walk. (The latter also have parking structures with spaces for business employees.) People freely said they will not walk for more that 3 or so blocks when the destination was shopping. Many also implied they time parking around when ticketing is done. It turns out that using pricing etc. to manage parking can be done successfully, but all the factors have to be in place. The presenter was not convinced TEDs as opposed to citywide parking policy is the way to go but did not give a judgment as to whether Hyde Park itself is well or ill suited for a TED. Irene Sherr pointed out that the best reason for a TED is as a vehicle to have revenue sharing for communities so residents, including parkers paying more, get and see benefits in addition to more space availability through turnover. The presenter also noted that the metered spaces are not very well managed here--the double meters especially have spaces that are way too big, reducing available number of spaces or tempting squeezing in for free. Use and fullness of the City Lot seems to vary a lot. Success of pay and display was uncertain to some. Top

Resolution for pilot district report introduced in City Council by Ald. Preckwinkle in September, stakeholder meetings to start

(See What's Next for more recent developments)

Irene Sherr writes September 14, 2006:

Yesterday, Alderman Preckwinkle introduced a resolution that requests the Department of Planning and Development (along with several other agencies) to develop and design a program and structure for the establishment of pilot Parking Improvement Districts for the 53rd Street business district and Logan Square’s Milwaukee Avenue district and report their findings to a joint City Council committee of Transportation and Economic Development.

This is very exciting news. In the next couple of weeks we will be holding meetings with businesses, property owners and residents in the TIF district to discuss the concept, governance and possible uses of funds. We will be soliciting program ideas that responds to the needs of the district!

Text of the Resolution


WHEREAS, many customers in neighborhood business districts in Chicago have difficulty finding a curbside parking space; and

WHEREAS, the availability of parking is an important element in the health and vitality of a business district; and

WHEREAS, many neighborhood business districts in Chicago experience little turnover in metered parking areas; and

WHEREAS, studies and research by Donald Shoup, an economics professor at UCLA and author of The High Cost of Free Parking and paring management techniques identified in Parking Management Best Practices, by Todd Litman indicate that the cost of metered parking will affect the availability of parking spaces and increase revenue for local government; and

WHEREAS, a parking space vacancy rate of 15% is necessary to avoid cruising-induced traffic, to facilitate easy ingress and egress, and to offer parking to as many different people as possible; and

WHEREAS, meters if not located and priced with appropriate time intervals cause street parking... 'cruising' and adds to traffic congestion, delays, air pollution, and hazards for pedestrians and bicyclists; and

WHEREAS, cities throughout the country have established Parking Improvement Districts (PIDS) to manage the local parking inventory and to generate new revenue for local government and community improvements; and

WHEREAS, adoption of policies like these helped transform "Old Pasadena" in California from 'skid row' to one of California's premier shopping destinations; and

WHEREAS, the distinguishing feature of a PID is revenue sharing which facilitates increased community and Aldermanic support; and

WHEREAS, there has been a significant decline in the availability of federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) funding for commercial area revitalization; and

WHEREAS, neighborhood business districts need additional support and services to address and manage their local parking inventory, and strengthen their districts; and

WHEREAS, the City of Chicago would continue to receive all the revenue it currently receives from parking meters in the defined district, and would share (50:50) the net new revenue with the local community; and

WHEREAS, the community will administer and manage these funds to enhance the vitality and competitiveness of their commercial district through programs like:

WHEREAS, the Department of Planning and Development has already begun to consider the establishment and implications of such a program; now therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, That we, the Mayor and members of the City Council of the City of Chicago, assembled this 13th day of September, 2006, do hereby request the Department of Planning and Development, along with the Department of Law, Department of Revenue and Office of Budget and Management to develop and design a program and structure for the establishment of pilot Parking Improvement Districts for the 53rd Street business district and Logan Square's Milwaukee Avenue district and report their recommendations to the Committee on Economic Development and the Committee on Transportation.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that suitable copies of this resolution be prepared for the Committee on Economic Development, the Committee on Transportation, Department of Planning and Development, Department of Law, Department of Revenue and Office of Budget and Management.

Manuel Flores, Alderman, 1st Ward
Alderman Rey Colon, Alderman, 35th Ward
Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, Alderman, 4th Ward


Public comment in the Tribune May 2007 by Metropolitan Planning Council

This is in response to "Your 'right' to free parking is being curbed; Fighting congestion, cities start charging" (News, May 7). You don't need a fancy degree to appreciate the motives behind "transportation enhancement districts," as described in this story. Chicagoans want to shop, store owners want to sell more goods, store employees want to keep their jobs and nearby residents don't want their streets clogged with endlessly circling traffic.

Transportation enhancement districts are a smart tool to help all four groups.

When done properly, these districts can reduce cruising, make it easier for people to access their favorite stores and boost local and citywide economic development.

We applaud the Chicago City Council for supporting the trial of this common-sense tool in the Andersonville, Edgewater, Hyde Park and Logan Square neighborhoods; these communities have already shown that they are eager to evaluate whether transportation enhancement districts can benefit their residents and businesses.

Thomas Kirschbraun

Mary Ludgin


Committee#Urban Development

Metropolitan Planning Council


Short version of proposal, by Irene Sherr

Prepared by Community Council for the South East Chicago Commission

A Parking Improvement District for 53rd Street

A proposal to generate revenue for the City, finance community improvements and manage the local parking supply

The 53rd Street TIF district was established to address the parking needs of th 53rd Street business district and support the renovation and expansion needs of Canter School.

A new perspective on parking

The TIF Council has become familiar with the work of Donald Shoup, an economics professor at UCLA and author of The High Cost of Free Parking. Shoup's pioneering work argues that the costs of "free parking" are hidden in higher prices of everything else. Parking costs increase the cost of living and housing. For example, Location Efficient Mortgages recognize that home buyers who do no have a car and have access to public transportation will have a lower cost of living and can qualify for a larger mortgage.

"Free parking" is wreaking havoc with urban environments and distorts transportation choices. Shoup argues that municipalities need to:

  1. Charge the "right" price for cub parking, so that about 15% of spaces are vacant, and
  2. Return the increased revenue (generated as a result of charging the 'right' price) to the local community through the establishment of Parking Improvement Districts (PIDS).

Yes, it works.

Adoption of policies like these helped transform "Old Pasadena" from "skid row" to one of California's premier shopping destinations. Throughout the country, cities are establishing PIDS to generate new revenue for local government and community improvements, while managing their local parking inventory.

Studies show that raising the cost of parking will actually increase the availability of paring spaces on a commercial street.

For example, San Diego utilizes its Community Parking District program to manage the distribution of meter revenue for improvements in six local business districts to make them ore attractive to shoppers. The City retains 55% of the revenue and the local district receives 45%

Let' try it on 53rd Street.

We would like to wok with the Departments of Budget, Revenue, Planning and Transportation to establish a PID coterminous with the boundaries of the 53rd Street TIF.

Do the math!

Now: There are approximately 250 curbside meters with a rate of .25 per hour, for 9 hours a day, 6 days a week on 53rd Street. This should generate approximately $105,300 annually (assuming a 60% occupancy rate).

PID: Assume the curbside rates in the district are raised to $1.00 an hour (same as City lot rates), 12 hours a day, 7 days a week (assume 60% occupancy). The meters should then gen ate about $655,000 annually.

What about the revenue the City currently receives from meters?

The City would continue to receive all the revenue it currently receives, but would share a portion of the new net revenue with the local community. Within the PID, the cost of new parking equipment would be shared by the City and local community.

Bottom line

Establishment of a PID is a win-win scenario. It should generate more revenue for local government, finance community improvements and help manage the local parking supply.



Report and Recommendations made at the July 10 TIF Advisory Council meeting

The short-term recommendations

  1. End monthly parking in the city lot, offering alternative options.
  2. Arrange with off-street lots such as Kenwood Academy to provide space for monthly parkers and for peak-demand parkers, through a lot managing agency and perhaps valet parking. This will also provide business support for Kenwood Academy.
  3. Establish a Parking Improvement District in the TIF district and raise the price of street parking with pay and display machines to both provide money above current revenue for a local split with the city, to do improvements for parking, traffic and the business district and customers and also create space availability and turnover. Pay and display would create more spaces; raising prices will not drive away customers.
  4. Provide informational material on options for businesses and the community.
  5. Long- term. Should it appear that future new development will create parking demand that cannot be met onsite, study the right amount and kind of parking needed such as with a garage.

Due to technical dilutes, the PID powerpoint was replaced with an oral presentation. Irene Sherr wrote that the presentation lead to an interesting discussion which raised the following:

1) Purchase/rental of a small community van to transport elders (and others) to the shopping district.
2) Utilize PID revenues to achieve social goals, including use of the developmentally disabled to do things such as street cleaning.
3) Question was asked as to whether we could find out what the actual impact was on residential streets with free parking when adjacent retail areas increased the amount of their parking fees.

The Parking Committee will review and discuss these issues. We will keep the Council up to date on our efforts.

By Jo Reizner

The committee is recommending a strategy to manage existing parking better, and better educate the public as to best use of that parking. This is an interim plan until additional real parking such as a garage is needed and comes into being.

Additional spaces, at least 30 are needed to replace monthly parking in the City Lot (so the latter spaces can turn over several times a day as customer parking) and supplement existing spaces at peak demand [certain evenings and weekend times]. The committee has entered productive conversations with Kenwood Academy for the spaces. Additional off street options will be explored.

The Committee undertook an informal survey of use of lots and street spaces various times of day and days of the week. While it found occasional over demand, the usual reality is that both lots and 53rd Street have spaces available. The city lot is rarely full.

The Committee found a discrepancy between uses and pricing of the most desirable spots (53rd curbside at $0.25 and the city lot at $1.00). This can be addressed by re pricing and by encouragement of turnover, partly through discouraging owners and employees to park by their stores and substitution of pay and display machines for meters. However, most of this will not happen without a mechanism whereby the city and neighborhood share an increased pot, with a supervising and planning board. The sweetener for the city would be share in a largely increased increment, and the sweetener for the community would be use of its share for planned improvements it wants.

Pay and Display machines should be extended to all 250 curbside spaces mostly on 53rd Street. The city has already put out for bid and hopes to reduce the $11,000 per initial cost plus service contract substantially. Pay and Display has been show to increase spaces by 10 to 20 percent and, with changed pricing, increase turnover.

A parking improvement district should be established. (Recommendation is that the district itself be conterminous with the TIF. A board, appointed by the city/mayor, would administer and plan, contracting with a neighborhood organization for administration. The increment from raising the price of street parking to that of the city lot would be split between the city and PID board. This could be very substantial under different scenarios. Committee reps have met with various city departments and received a very interested, encouraging response. They have urged the committee to come with a menu and budget of what it wants to do with the money--the committee will be seeking community input.Top


PowerPoint presentation on the Parking Improvement District recommendation

By consultant Irene Sherr. (Because of equipment malfunction, the presentation was verbal. Ask the chair for a printout. Here is text-only.)


Parking Improvement Districts-
A proposal to generate income, finance community improvements, and manage the local parking inventory

Existing conditions on 53rd Street

Committee findings:

A new parking paradigm has emerged that emphasizes management solutions to address local parking problems.

How do you price spaces to create turnover?

What is a Parking Improvement District (PID)?

How does a PID help manage parking?

How will raising rates create more parking?

If parking rates go up, will businesses lose customers?

Are there any such districts in existence?

Communities have used meter revenues to improve:

Revenue sharing facilitates community and political support.

How do you create a PID?

How do you manage a PID?

How do these districts work?

Annually each PID develops and submits to the City an annual improvement budget and implementation plan for the upcoming year the includes:

What is the impact of PIDs?

Impact of PID on Revenue Stream

[Chart shows currently income is x and it all goes to the city. With a PID, the total is significantly more than x and is shared 50-50, half to the city and half local--example has initial x at $100, resultant total $420 with $220 for each.]

What about the revenue that the City currently received from meters?

Revenue Projections for PID

Option Metered spaces Price/Hour Hours/Day Days/Week Weeks/Yr Occupancy Total Revenue  

Revenue Sharing Scenarios

[Final sample case, minimum and maximum, to be scanned. Essentially is a proposed 50-50 division of between $421 and up thousand.]

How does one manage and account for the revenue?

Don't forget

A PID makes cents in today's competitive urban retail environment:

Other Committee recommendations:


TIF Parking Committee Members

Ilene Jo Reizner, Chair
Paul Andreson
Mary DeBacker
Greg Guttman
Roger Huff
Paula Jones
Gary Ossewaarde
Julia Parzen
Rod Sawyer
Virginia Vaske

Special thanks to:
Alderman Preckwinkle's Office: Pam Cummings
Department of Revenue: Robert BAnister, Tom Stevens, Turana Cochran-Persons, Yusef Umar
Metropolitan Planning Council: Kit Hodge, Peter Skosey
South East Chicago Commission: Robert Mason
University of Chicago: Brian Shaw

Thank you


Public comments, responses at the July 10 TIF meeting

Irene Sherr wrote that the presentation lead to an interesting discussion which raised the following:

1) Purchase/rental of a small community van to transport elders (and others) to the shopping district.
2) Utilize PID revenues to achieve social goals, including use of the developmentally disabled to do things such as street cleaning
3) Question was asked as to whether we could find out what the actual impact was on residential streets with free parking when adjacent retail areas increased the amount of their parking fees [--spillover onto residential streets being the biggest concern, next being that some think they are entitled to a free parking space in front of their home--to which the Alderman said "no".]

The Parking Committee will review and discuss these issues. We will keep the Council up to date on our efforts.

Summary by Gary Ossewaarde:

(The committee made it clear that the city will not have less money than at present, and should have more to buy in to the program. It cannot be revenue neutral.)

Where will employees park--will more spill over into the residential streets if the price goes up or they have to pay x a month to go all the way to Kenwood? Ditto for shoppers who will look for free spaces in front of our houses. We already can't find parking in the evening before about 9 pm. People on residential streets will insist on permit parking, which only messes things up more. You can't treat the business and residential parking problems separately.

Alderman Preckwinkle said that the neighborhood was built before cars, and especially before people had so many of them. She opposes permit parking and insisted there is "no entitlement to a parking space in front of one's house."

Several asked for ingenious uses of PID share so residents will have a reason to buy in to a PID and higher street parking price--especially singled out were various paratransit and disabled (including developmentally disabled and shopping for shut-ins) needs including some kind of van or trolley for the district and neighborhood, and serious beautification. And use the money to build up business, not just mobility and parking needs.

The committee was encouraged to think more globally, in terms of radii that include business streets and the adjacent residential and free parking streets. Of particular concern was spillover parking on residential streets by people trying to avoid increased-rates on the metered spaces.

A general comment that resonated was call for more pay and display machines in the city lot, ones that take bills.

Top summary: TIF Parking committee recommends a business district parking strategy

Originally prepared for the Conference Reporter by Gary Ossewaarde. An updated and different article will appear in the Issue 4 (December ) 2006.

At the July 10 2006 53rd Street Tax Increment Finance Council meeting, the TIF’s Parking Committee offered its recommendations for the business district, the key being establishment of a Parking Improvement District or PID.

The committee was revitalized last year under chair Ilene Jo Reizner to get parking off the dime when it became obvious that a garage would not be built any time soon. The committee carefully researched conditions and options, assisted by consultant Irene Sherr.

A key finding was that ideas about parking have changed much in recent years. Provision of endless “free” parking damages quality and attractiveness of neighborhoods, fails to solve the parking problems and ends up adding to the price of nearly everything else. The first step is to better manage and price parking resources.

The committee found that there are only a few peak times when parking demand really outstrips capacity in our business district and that this is partially due to such practices as tying up the city lot with monthly parkers instead of providing turnover spaces for business customers, pricing the city lot higher than more desirable curbside spaces, and business owners and staff tying up precious street spaces all day.

After surveys and establishing ongoing conversation with city departments, owners of off-street lots, valet parking providers, and planning organizations, the committee submitted the following recommendation of a short-term parking strategy and plan for the business district at the July 10 meeting, for community consideration and feedback over several months. A community input process is promised.

1. End monthly parking in the city lot, offering alternative options.

2. Arrange with off-street lots such as Kenwood Academy to provide space for monthly parkers and for peak-demand parkers, through a lot managing agency and perhaps valet parking. This will also provide business support for Kenwood Academy.

3. Establish a Parking Improvement District coterminous with the TIF district, raise the price of street parking to match that of the city lot, and put in ample pay and display machines. These changes will manage parking availability and turnover, provide money above current revenue for a local share to do services the city will no longer provide, pay for enforcement such as by the underutilized city lot attendant, and do improvements for parking, traffic and the business district and its customers without an increase in the sales or property tax. The increase in revenue would be substantial and Pay and Display would create more spaces.

4. Provide informational material on options for businesses and the community.
5. Longer- term. Should it appear that future new development will create parking demand that cannot be met onsite, study the right amount and kind of parking needed such as with a garage.

PIDs are a new concept in Chicago but well known in the West. Detailed information on the rationale and workings of a Parking Improvement District (which would be like a Special Assessment District and have a board and oversight agency) are available on our website, Or a printout can be sent upon request to the Conference.

During discussion July 10, residents were most concerned that a PID might increase spillover parking on non-metered residential side streets and that addressing business parking by itself may be unwise. Residents proposed having a strong program of improvements on which to spend the new, locally controlled revenue if Hyde Parkers are to buy into paying more for street parking.

Two strongly supported ideas were a van or trolley for seniors and others and tapping into a social or religious agency such as CARA that provides street cleaning and other services using persons being rehabilitated or hard-to-employ. Other uses of PID funds:

The committee has been busy since the TIF meeting researching resident’s concerns and ideas. The new TIF Neighborhood Business and Environment committee chaired by Andre Brumfield and HPKCC board member Jane Comiskey is working with Parking to explore with CARA a “clean slate” street cleaning program for 53rd Street. Alderman Toni Preckwinkle (4th) and other aldermen are expected to introduce a resolution in City Council in September instructing city departments (which seem genuinely supportive) to research establishment of pilot PIDs and report back. Comments and queries can be addressed to Ilene Jo Reizner,

The case for PID. Material being distributed by the committee

From Planetizen, March 29, 2006. By Donald Shoup, FAICP, Prof. Urban Planning UCLA
Adapted from speech at the Urban Land Institute's Great Streets Symposium, Washington, DC, January 2006.

The Price of Parking on Great Streets

How can curb parking contribute to a great street? To help create great streets, a city should (1) charge performance-based prices for curb parking, and (2) return the revenue to the metered districts to pay for added public services. With these two policies, curb parking will help to create great streets, improve transportation and increase the economic vitality of cities.

Performance-based parking prices

Performance-based prices will balance the varying demand for parking with the fixed supply of spaces. We can still call this balance between supply and demand the Goldilocks principle of performance-based parking prices: the price is too high if many spaces are vacant, and two low if no spaces are vacant. When a few vacant spaces are available everywhere, the prices are just right. If prices are adjusted to yield one or two vacant spaces in every block (about 85 percent occupancy), everyone will see that curb parking is readily available. In addition, no one can say that performance-based parking prices will drive customers away if most curb spaces are occupied all the time.

Prices that produce an occupancy rate of about 85 percent can be called performance-based for three reasons. First, curb parking will perform efficiently. Most spaces will be occupied, but drivers will always be able to find a vacant space. Second, the transportation system will perform efficiently. Cruising for curb parking will not congest traffic, waste fuel, and pollute the air. Third, the economy will perform efficiently. The price of parking will be higher when demand is higher, and this higher price will encourage rapid parking turnover. Drivers will park, buy something, and leave quickly so that other drivers can use the spaces. For parking, transportation, and economic efficiency, cities should set prices to yield about an 85 percent occupancy rate.

Local revenue return

Performance-based prices for curb parking can yield ample public revenue. If the city returns this revenue to pay for added public spending on the metered streets, residents and local merchants will support the performance-based prices. The added funds can pay to clean and maintain the sidewalks, plant trees, improve lighting, bury overhead utility wires, remove graffiti, and provide other public improvements.

Put yourself in the shoes of a merchant in an older business district where curb parking is free and customers complain about a parking shortage. Suppose the city installs meters and charges prices that produce few vacancies. Everyone who wants to shop in the district can park quickly, and the meter money is spent to clean the sidewalks and provide security. These added public services make the business district a place where people want to be, rather than merely a place where anyone can park free if they can find a space. Returning the meter revenue generated by the district to the district for the district can convince merchants and property owners to support the idea of performance-based prices for curb parking.

Suppose also that curb parking remains underpriced in other business districts. Everyone complains about the shortage of parking in these districts, and cars searching for curb parking congest traffic. No meter revenue is available to clean the sidewalks and provide other amenities. In which district would you want to have a business?

Performance-based prices will improve curb parking by creating a few vacancies, the added meter revenue will pay to improve public services, and these added public services will create political support for performance-based prices.

Parking increment finance

Most cities put their parking meter revenue into the city's general fund. How can a city return performance-based meter revenue to business districts without shortchanging the genera fund? The city can return only the subsequent increment in meter revenue--the amount above and beyond the existing meter revenue--that arises after the city begins to charge performance-based prices. We can call this arrangement parking increment finance.

Parking increment finance closely resembles tax increment finance, a popular way to pay for public investment in older districts. Local redevelopment agencies receive the increment in property tax revenue that results from the increased property values in the redevelopment districts. Similarly, business districts can receive the increment in parking meter revenue that results from performance-based parking prices. More meters, higher rates, and longer hours of operation will provide money to pay for added public services. These added public services will promote business activity in the district, and the increased demand for parking will further increase meter revenue.

Citation revenue sharing

If curb parking is priced to make spaces available, the meters must be enforced. To increase local support for enforcement, the city can share with neighborhoods the revenue from parking citations. Citation revenue can, for example, pay to repair and maintain the sidewalks on metered streets. Instead of opposing enforcement, merchants and residents will see illegally parked cars as citation opportunities, and begin to support enforcement. The city will manage parking more effectively, and the neighborhood will receive more revenue to make its streets clean and safe.

By extension, the city can share the revenue from red-light cameras with neighborhoods. Because the city wants to reduce vehicle accidents and increase pedestrian safety, it can offer to install red-light cameras at appropriate intersections and spend the citation revenue to repair and maintain the nearby sidewalks. The cameras will encourage motorists to drive more carefully, and the few who do run red lights will pay to improve pedestrian safety. Except for those who run red lights, everyone will win.

Pilot program

Cities can use a pilot program to test Goldilocks parking prices for curb parking, combined with local return of the meter revenue. Any business district that wants a pilot program can request it. Because dirty and unsafe streets will never be great, the added parking meter revenue can initially pay for clean-and-safe programs. Many communities may value clean and safe streets more highly than fee but overcrowded curb parking. Parking may not be free, but it will be convenient and worth paying for. Top


Turning Small Change into Big Changes. By Douglas Kolozsvari and Donald Shoup

The money you put into a parking meter seems to vanish into thin air. No one knows where the money goes, and everyone would rather park free, so politicians find it easier to require ample off-street parking than to charge market prices at meters. But if each neighborhood could keep all the parking revenue it generates, a powerful new constituency would emerge--the neighborhoods that receive the revenue. Cities can change the politics of parking if they earmark parking revenue for public improvements in the metered neighborhoods.

Consider an older business district where few stores have off-street parking, and vacant curb spaces are hard to find. Cruising for curb parking congests the streets, and everyone complains about a parking shortage. Parking meters would create a few curb vacancies, and these vacancies would attract customers willing to pay for parking if they don't have to spend time hunting for it. Nevertheless, merchants fear that charging for parking would keep some customers away. Suppose in this case the city promises to use all the district's meter revenues to pay for public amenities that can attract customers, such as cleaning the sidewalks, planting street trees, putting overhead utility wires underground, improving store facades, and ensuring security. Using curb parking revenue to improve the metered area can therefore create a strong local interest in charging the right price for curb parking.

Right Prices. The right price for curb parking is the lowest price that keeps a few spaces available to allow convenient access. If no curb spaces are available, reducing their price cannot attract more customers, just as reducing the price of anything else in short supply cannot increase its sales. A below-market price for curb parking simply leads to cruising and congestion. The goal of pricing is to produce a few vacant spaces so that drivers can find places to park near their destinations. Having a few parking spaces vacant is like having inventory in a store, and everyone understands that customers avoid stores that never have what they want in stock. The city should reduced the price of curb parking if there are too many vacancies (the inventory is excessive), and increase if there are to few (the shelves are bare).

Underpricing curb parking cannot increase the number of cars parked at the curb because it cannot increase the number of spaces available. What underpricing can do, however, and what it does do, is create a parking shortage that keeps potential customers away. If it takes only five minutes to drive somewhere else, why spend fifteen cruising for parking? Short-term parkers are less sensitive to the price of parking than to the time it takes to find a vacant space. Therefore, charging enough to create a few curb vacancies can attract customers who would rather pay for parking than not be able to find it. And spending the meter revenue for public improvements can attract even more customers.

We can examine the effects of this charge-and-spend polity because Pasadena, California, charges market prices for curb parking and returns all of the meter revenue to the business districts that generate it . An evaluation of Pasadena's program shows it can help revitalize older business districts by improving their parking, transportation, and public structure.

Old Pasadena. Pasadena's downtown declined between 1930 and 1980, but it has since been revived as "Old Pasadena," one of Southern California's most popular shopping and entertainment destinations. Dedicating parking meter revenue to finance public improvements in the area has played a major part in this revival.

Old Pasadena was the original commercial core of the city, and in the early 20th century it was an elegant shopping district. In 1929, Pasadena had widened its main thoroughfare, Colorado Boulevard, by 28 feet, and this required moving the building facades on each side of the street back 14 feet. Owners removed the front 14 feet of their buildings , and most constructed new facades in the popular Spanish Colonial Revival or Art Deco styles. However, a few owners put back the original facades (an early example of historic preservation). The result is a handsome circa-1929 streetscape that is now the center of Old Pasadena.

The area sank into decline during the Depression. After the war the narrow storefronts and lack of parking led many merchants to seek larger retail paces in more modern surroundings. Old Pasadena became the city's Skid Row, and by the 1970s much of it was slated for redevelopment. Pasadena's Redevelopment Agency demolished three historic blocks on Colorado Boulevard to make way for Plaza Pasadena, an enclosed mall with ample free parking whose construction the city assisted with $41 million in public subsidies. New buildings clad in then-fashionable black glass replaced other historic properties. The resulting "Corporate Pasadena" horrified many citizens, so the city reconsidered its plans for the area. The Plan for Old Pasadena, published in 1978, asserted "if the area can be revitalized, building on its special character, it will be unique to the region." In 1983, Old Pasadena was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. However, despite these planning efforts, commercial revival was slow to come, in part because lack of public investment and the parking shortage were intractable obstacles.

Parking Meters and Revenue Return. Pasadena devised a creative parking policy that has contributed greatly to Old Pasadena's revival: it uses Old Pasadena's parking meter revenue ($1.2 million in 2001) to finance additional public spending in the area.

Old Pasadena had no parking meters until 1993, and curb parking was restricted only by a two-hour time limit. Customers had difficulty finding places to park because employees took up the most convenient curb spaces, and moved their cars every two hours to avoid citations. The city's staff proposed installing meters to regulate curb parking, but merchants and property owners opposed the idea. They feared that paid parking would discourage people from coming to the area at all. Customers and tenants, they assumed, would simply go to shopping centers like Plaza Pasadena that offered free parking. Meter proponents countered that employees rather than customers occupied many curb spaces, and making these spaces available for short-term parking would attract more customers. Any customers who left because they couldn't park free would also make room for others who were willing to pay if they could find a space, and who would probably spend more money in Old Pasadena if they could find a space.

Debates about the meters dragged on for two years before the city reached a compromise with the merchants and property owners. To defuse opposition, the city offered to spend all the meter revenue on public investments in Old Pasadena. The merchants and property owners quickly agreed to the proposal because they would directly benefit from it. The city also liked it because it wanted to improve Old Pasadena, and the meter revenue would pay for the project.

The desire for public improvements that would attract customers to Old Pasadena soon outweighed fear that paid parking would drive customers away. Businesses and property owners began to see the parking meters in a new light--as a source of revenue. They agreed to an unusually high rate of $1 an hour an hour for curb parking, and to the unusual policy of operating the meters on Sundays and in the evenings when the area is still busy with visitors. The city also didn't lose anything in the process. Because there had been no parking meters anywhere in the city before, returning the revenue to Old Pasadena didn't create a loss to the city's general fund. Indeed, the city gained revenue from overtime fines. Both business and government thus had a stake in the meter money, and so the project went ahead.

Only the blocks with parking meters receive the added services financed by the meter revenue. The city worked with Old Pasadena's Business Improvement District (BID) to establish the boundaries of the Old Pasadena Parking Meter Zone (PMZ). The city also established the Old Pasadena PMZ Advisory Board, consisting of business and property owners who recommend parking policies and set spending priorities for the zone's meter revenues. Connecting the meter revenue directly to added public services and keeping it under local control are largely responsible for the parking program's success. "The only reason meters went into Old Pasadena in the first place," said Marilyn Buchanan, chair of the Old Pasadena PMZ, "was because the city agreed all the money would stay in Old Pasadena."

The city installed the parking meters in 1993, and then borrowed $5 million to finance the "Old Pasadena Streetscape and Alleyways Project," with the meter revenue dedicated to repaying the debt. The bond proceeds paid for street furniture, trees, tree grates, and historic lighting fixtures throughout the area. Dilapidated alleys become safe, functional pedestrian spaces with access to shops and restaurants. To reassure businesses and property owners that the meter revenues stayed in Old Pasadena, the city mounted a marketing campaign to tell shoppers what their meter money was funding.

As the area attracted more pedestrian traffic, the sidewalks needed more maintenance. This would have posed a problem when Old Pasadena relied on the city for cleaning and maintenance, but now the BID has meter money to pay for the added services. The BID has arranged for daily sweeping of the streets and sidewalks, trash collection, removal of decals from street fixtures, and steam cleaning of Colorado Boulevard's sidewalks twice a month. Dedicating the parking meter revenue to Old Pasadena has thus created a "virtuous cycle" of continuing improvements. The meter revenue pays for public improvements, the public improvement attract more visitors who pay for curb parking, and more meter revenue is then available to pay for more public improvements.

Old Pasadena's 690 parking meters yielded $1.2 million net parking revenue (after all collection costs) to fund additional public services in 2001. The revenue thus amounts to $1,712 per meter per year. The first claim on this revenue is the annual debt service of $448,000 that goes to repay the $5 million borrowed to improve the sidewalks and alleys. Of the remaining revenue, $694,000 was spent to increase public services in Old Pasadena, above the level provided in other commercial areas. The agency provides some of these services directly; for example , the Police Department provides additional foot patrols, and two horseback officers on weekend evenings, at a cost of $248,000. The parking enforcement officers who monitor the meters well into the night further increase security, at no additional charge.The city also allocated $426,000 of meter revenue for added sidewalk and street maintenance and for marketing (maps, brochures, and advertisement in local newspapers.) Drivers who park in Old Pasadena finance all these public services, at no cost to the businesses, property owners, or taxpayers.

Old Pasadena has done well in comparison with the rest of Pasadena. Its sales tax revenue increased rapidly after parking meters were installed in 1993, and is now higher than in the other retail districts in the city. Old Pasadena's sales tax revenues quickly exceeded those of Plaza Pasadena, the nearby shopping mall that had free parking. With great fanfare, Plaza Pasadena was demolished in 2001 to make way for a new development--with storefronts that resemble the ones in Old Pasadena.

Would Old Pasadena be better off today with dirty sidewalks, dilapidated alleys, no street trees or historic street lights, and less security but with free parking? Clearly, no. Old Pasadena is now a place where everyone wants to be, rather merely another place where everyone can park free.

A Tale of Two Business Districts' Parking Policies. To see how parking policies affect urban outcomes, we can compare Old Pasadena with Westwood Village, a business district in Los Angeles that was once as popular as Old Pasadena is now. In 1980, anyone who predicted that Old Pasadena would soon become hip and Westwood would fade would have been judged insane. However, since then the Village has declined as Old Pasadena thrived. Why?

Except for their parking policies, Westwood Village and Old Pasadena are similar. Both are about the same size, both are historic areas, both have design review boards, and both have BIDS. Westwood Village also has a few advantages that Old Pasadena lacks. It is surrounded by extremely high-income neighborhoods (Bel Air, Homby Hills, and Westwood) and is located between UCLA and the high-rise corridor of Wiltshire Boulevard, which are both sources of many potential customers. Old Pasadena, by contrast, is surrounded by moderate-income housing and low-rise office buildings. Tellingly, although Westwood Village has about the same number of parking spaces as Old Pasadena, merchants typically blame a parking shortage for the Village's decline. In Old Pasadena, parking is no longer a big issue. A study in 2001 found that the average curb-space occupancy rate in Old Pasadena was 83 percent, which is about the ideal rate to assure available space for shoppers. The meter revenue has financed substantial public-investments in sidewalk and alley improvements that attract visitors to the stores, restaurants, and movie theaters. Because all the meter revenue stays in Old Pasadena, the merchants and property owners understand that paid parking helps business.

In contrast, Westwood's curb parking is underpriced and overcrowded. A 1994 parking study found that the curb-space occupancy rate was 96 percent during peak hours, making it necessary for visitors to search for vacant spaces. The city nevertheless reduced meter rates from $1 to 50c an hour in 1994, in response to merchants' and property owners' argument that cheaper curb parking would stimulate business. Off-street parking in any of the nineteen private lots or garages in Westwood costs at least $2 for the first hour, so drivers have an incentive to hunt for cheaper curb parking. The result is a shortage of curb spaces, and underuse of the off-street ones. The 1994 study found that only 68 percent of the Village's 3,900 off-street parking spaces were occupied at the peak daytime hour (2 p.m.). Nevertheless, the shortage of curb spaces (which are only 14 percent of the total parking supply) creates the illusion of an overall parking shortage. In contrast to Old Pasadena, Westwood's sidewalks and alleys are crumbling because there is no source of revenue for repairing them--the meter revenue disappears into the city's general fund.

The Old Pasadena/Westwood Village comparison suggests that parking policies can help some areas rebound, and leave others in a slump. If Westwood Village had always charged market prices for curb parking and had spent revenue on public services, it probably would have retained its original luster rather than fallen into a long economic decline. If Old Pasadena had kept curb parking free and not spent $1.2 million a year on public services, it probably would still be struggling. The exactly opposite parking policies in Westwood Village and Old Pasadena have surely helped determine their different fates. As the signs on Old Pasadena's parking meters say, "Your meter money makes a difference."

Conclusion. Changing market prices for curb parking and returning the meter revenue for public improvements have helped pave the way for Old Pasadena's renaissance. The meter revenue has paid to improve the streetscape and convert alleys into pleasant walkways with shops and restaurants. The additional public spending makes the area safer, cleaner, and more attractive for both customers and businesses. These public improvements have increased private investment, property values, and sales tax revenues. Old Pasadena has pulled itself up by its parking meters.



What's next, and since the July 10 2006 presentation. To latest

Basically, the Committee explained what the perceived problems are and how they can be managed, including with a parking improvement district (probably coterminous with the TIF) similar to a Special Assessment District, such districts' management and advantages, and discussions with the city on establishment of the same, and use of shared lots and pay and display machines to handle the occasional over demand and monthly parkers. The committee believes current shortage can be handled through management and arrangement for special parking needs with off-street lots (in discussions) and providing more informational resources to the community and businesses on what is available. When it becomes clear that new development is going to happen that may not be able to handle all parking and access needs internally, a study parking study or survey may be sought. That would be in conjunction with the global objective of developing a parking, mobility and access plan for the business district.

Next formal step was introduction of a resolution in City Council September 13 2006 by Ald. Preckwinkle and others directing city agencies to inquire and report concerning establishment of trial PIDs in Chicago, specifically 53rd Street and Logan Square.

What the TIF Parking Committee was doing, summer 2006

Conclusions included that getting a district is more important for now and feasible than exotics like a garage and that the dynamics are not right for others like valet parking. The district will have to show real payouts, starting with proposal of physical improvements or tangible services, and will have to work out the problems such as for the adjacent residential streets.


In addition to discussions by the Committee with stakeholder groups and the Murray lot sharing, Metropolitan Planning Council, has according to committee consultant Irene Sherr, formed a citywide PID Interest Group. The local committee is working with MPO as well as David Fields of Nelson/Nygaard and city departments. The committee will be reviewing a survey and more materials for distribution.

More neighborhoods and aldermen are expressing interest, so the hearings after the February election will be of more broad interest. Meanwhile, it is likely that civic organizations in conjunction with University of Chicago including students will conduct a careful study of paring needs and how a PID can best work here.

Novel Parking Improvement District Discussed for 53rd Street

Irene Sherr, consultant to the TIF Parking Committee, discusses a parking district with the HPKCC board November 2 2006

By Gary Ossewaarde. Conference Reporter December 2006 Issue. Some material that could not be fit into the published version are retained in [ ].

Irene Sherr, consultant to the 53rd Street Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Parking Committee, discussed with the HPKCC Board in November the rationale and possible impacts of a parking improvement district (PID) co-extensive with the TIF district. (This reporter serves on the TIF Parking Committee.)

The TIF parking committee began a search for new solutions to parking in 2005, after the city declined to build and own a parking garage near 53rd St., which had been a major original aim of the TIF. In its search, the committee discovered both that our current parking resources are not managed effectively and that there is new thinking about parking and its relationship to the health of business districts.

The key finding is that free parking is an illusion that creates or worsens a parking shortage with congested streets, and so discourages customers. Communities include in their business district revitalization effort 1) management of parking through smart pricing that promotes turnover without circling and 2) and negotiation with their city for revenue to make improvements, do better. The goal of parking management and the financed improvements is to help make the business street a place where people want to be rather than just park free.

Local findings by the parking committee:

One solution to the latter being worked on by the committee is managed shared-parking arrangements with Kenwood Academy and/or other off-street lots. Interim improvements are also being considered for the city lot, including an end to monthly parking.

The main recommendation, introduced at the July 2006 TIF meeting, is establishment of an improvement district [to correctly price and manage street parking so as to provide increased revenue through price and increased turnover.] Part of the new revenue would be returned to a local service district for significant improvements [to enhance the business district]. A commission would be established to manage the parking and prioritize and oversee spending much like with special service tax districts.

[A key motivation for the recommendation is to piggyback parking management with a locally-controlled replacement source for declining city funding for the sorts of improvements believed essential to turning around 53rd Street. Also, people have said they would be more likely to pay more for parking if they could see the money spent on good things rather than just going to the city.]

Sherr said the city had already asked the alderman (aldermen control local street and municipal parking prices) to increase the price of the metered street parking. Alderman Preckwinkle has said "no"-- unless the community gets a part of the increased revenue for improvements. So far, the city departments have started to be interested, Sherr reported, especially after Ald. Preckwinkle and colleagues passed a resolution in September calling for the departments to evaluate and report on parking district pilot projects for 53rd St. and for Logan Square.

Smaller, then community-wide meetings are planned to identify what the funds should be spent for, should the city and the neighborhood favor a district. Cities with community parking districts have used revenue for streetscape, cleaning, security, signage and more, Sherr said. Another idea in the community is for a trolley to be especially useful to the elderly and disabled.

HPKCC Board members and others in the community say that the plan first has to address potential spillover parking to nearby residential streets. Permit parking has been generally opposed by our local aldermen as just spreading the problem, especially on streets with more car owners than spaces. An expert who addressed the TIF parking committee (David Fields of Nelson/Nygaard) said that parking districts generally use a variation of resident permit parking, whatever it is called and however it works.

Explanations of parking improvement districts and the rationale behind them and the recommendations of the TIF parking committee can be found in the Conference website,, or call Gary Ossewaarde at 773 288-8343. Irene Sherr can be reached at



In accord with recommendations, Kenwood Academy moves closer to a deal to help ease specific parking shortfalls on 53rd

Latest: the matter is up to the CPS including its legal department.

Herald, August 9, 2006. By Erin Meyer

In a effort to ease pressure on the city's pay-and-display parking lot at 53rd and Lake Park Avenue, the Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Advisory Council's parking committee has set its sights two blocks north on part of Kenwood Academy's lot.

Currently, permit-holding parkers pay a flat rate to come and go from the city lot as they please. But their presence is exacerbating parking woes in the 53rd Street business district, parking committee members said.

"The city lot is intended for hourly parkers. It is centrally located and very good for local businesses.," said Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th). "The 53rd Street business owners and operators should be happy we are trying to accommodate their customers, even if it means a very slight inconvenience."

Urban Planning Consultant Irene Sherr cited city records that show approximately 30 permits issued to monthly parkers in the lot in 2006. Most of the monthly parkers use the daily to go to work, she said. "It is the committee's recommendation that the lot be closed to monthly parkers," Sherr said. "All of those spaces are not turning over in the course of a day. In a 12-hour day each one is preempting about eight parkers from using the lot to patronize businesses," Sherr said.

The parking committee met with Kenwood Principal Elizabeth Kirby and Chicago Public Schools Director Paul Morris from the Bureau of Real Estate. If CPS and the parking committee can reach an agreement, the real estate office will contract a company to manage part of the Kenwood lot.

"The other great thing is that the company hired to manage the lot then has the responsibility of maintaining it," Sherr said. "It is also a great way for the business community to support the high school."

Kenwood stands to make an undetermined amount of money through fees if the deal goes through. "We definitely have room in the parking lot," Kirby said. "CPS will make the decision."

The Parking Committee is in the process of identifying those individuals who currently hold monthly parking permits in the city lot. "The plan is we want to inform all the existing monthly parkers of the the options. In addition to Kenwood there is limited capacity at Hyde Park Bank."

The cost to park at Kenwood, according to Sherr, will be comparable to the $90 monthly parkers currently pay to use the city lot.


What refinements and parameters the committee learned from parking consultant David B. Fields of Nelson/Nygaard September 25, 2006

Some points by Mr. Fields, from PowerPoint presentation and from questions.

Conclusions included that getting a district is more important for now and feasible than exotics like a garage and that the dynamics are not right for others like valet parking. The district will have to show real payouts, starting with proposal of physical improvements or tangible services, and will have to work out the problems such as for the adjacent residential streets.


Herald reportage at the end of 2006

Metered parking will cost $1/hour. Hyde Park turns more to Pay-and-Display. Herald, December 13, 2006. By Kathy Chaney

Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) introduced and ordinance in city council recently to include a portion of Hyde Park in the Parking Improvement District (PIC) Pilot Program next year. If approved, metered parking rates would increase from 25 cents per hour to $1 per hour along the 53rd street Increment Financing (TIF) boundaries.

"We're going to have hearings on it and we need action from the TIF Advisory Council," Preckwinkle told the Herald.

The city currently collects $118,000 per year from the meters, according to the department of Revenue, based on the existing rate of 25 cents per hour. With an increased rate to $1 per hour and converting he meters to a Pay- and-Display meter, it would produce more parking spaces and approximately $469,000 per hear. The additional $350,000 would be divided between the community and the city.

Pay-and-Display meters are currently used in the city-owned lot on 52nd Street and Lake Park Avenue. "If you have one car at a meter for eight hours a day, you are foreclosing the opportunity of eight other people parking there. If you don't have turnover, which is really the principle behind meters, you're not providing space for shoppers," said Irene Sherr, a planning consultant.

The community would receive $175,000 to invest in programs and services that would address issues on 53rd street and the city would get an additional $175,000. Sherr said it was a good way to increase parking availability without increasing taxes. "It's a wy to have a fund that would help us do things like keep the street clean," Preckwinkle added.


Alternative views

A writer to Herald asks for zoned parking. Oct 18 2006, by Andrea Jiminez

Tutto e Possible... some say, but I am seriously concerned that this statement is not so in Hyde Park. As we all know Ald. Toni Preckwinkle is adamantly opposed to zoning our our residential streets. But as more and more visitors come to this neighborhood, it is virtually impossible to find a parking spot.

I am also not so sure that I feel 100 percent comfortable with our alderwoman's unshakable position on this issue. So let's review some of the potential issues that have ensued as a direct result with the current state of the limited parking for residents (owned or rental) living in the area:

* Increased parking tickets (the incidence of booting vehicles seems to have increased significantly).

* Smashed windows, stolen cars, and more. we have parked our car so far away from where we live, it was apparently notice by someone who took advantage of the fact that our alarm would not be heard four blocks west and two blocks north, and as a result our insurance has increased two-fold because this is the second car robbery.

* Revenue for the owners of local parking lots. I was quoted $145 a month for a local parking lot fee. It's astronomical, but it's a safer space for my car.

* Taxation of the middle class. We can't afford to buy a place with a garage or parking space. But at the same time, we are caught digging into our pockets to pay parking tickets, increased insurance bills, and to repair broken windows.

It is not fair for the alderman to stand so solidly on this issue. Ald. Preckwinkle, we want zoned parking in Hyde Park from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. every day of the week.


In the January 8 2007 Herald, John Loftus says he does not understand how raising rates could create more parking and not rather create spillover onto other streets. He also is skeptical of the value of projects raised money would be spent on.

The Wall Street Journal February 4, 2007 published an appraisal of PID/TED and of Mr. Shoup's ideas. Here are some of the pluses and minuses noted.

Are the new ideas by free marketers--pricing by demand, highest for the best spots, overhauling a frustration of American life or erasing one of the last urban bargains, parking? (The object is to free-market price at meters and let developers rather hand government dictate the supply of of-street parking. Ideas that cities are using range from congestion pricing to keep cars out of high use areas to demand-match with monitors using real time and gps to tell drivers when and where a spot is open, to capping the number of spots including in new buildings. Goals include getting people on foot or buses or transit and increasing churn or turnover.

But many city planners and retailers continue to say that cheap and plentiful parking leads to more commerce, sales tax and a vibrant locale and economy.

Shoup aims for the *5% rule-- charge what will lead to that proportion of spots being used at any one time and varying the rates to keep that average (and replacing fixed time limits with prepay storage). Some places that have applied this have seen dramatic increases in bus and transit use.

Where it seems to work best: Where there is an established shortage of parking and in commercial rather than residential areas.