Today’s Headlines

  • Poor Metra Chiberia Performance Leads to Legislative Hearings, RTA Review (Tribune, Sun-Times)
  • Ordinances Would Allow More Leeway on Buying & Displaying City Stickers (DNA, Expired Meter)
  • Downsized Infrastructure Trust Project Finally Approved (Tribune)
  • Starting Today, Some People With Disabilities Will Need to Feed Meters (DNA)
  • 6 Injured in West Town DUI (DNA)
  • Cyclist Struck From Behind in Goose Island Hit-and-Run (Keating)
  • Warrenville Man Gets 6 Years for Fatal DUI (Tribune)
  • Special Prosecutor Appointed in Savini DUI Case (Tribune)
  • Art’s Cycling & Fitness in Berwyn Destroyed by Fire (NBC)
  • Local Middle Schoolers Enter Contest to Design Future Transit System (Tattler)
  • “Dibs Hustler” Video Pokes Fun at Parking Space Hogs (DNA)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • CL

    I hope they do change the city sticker ordinance so that having purchased a sticker is a valid defense. The current “failure to display” punishes people who ordered online and then had to wait months before it came. Under current code they can also ticket for a sticker displayed on the wrong part of the windshield, or for not removing old stickers — nit picky things that have nothing to do with whether you paid the tax (and are hard to fix because those stickers can’t be moved).

    It’s disappointing that we’ve now placed an extra burden on disabled residents so that the company that purchased our meters doesn’t miss out on their money. This is going to be a huge change for people who don’t qualify for the special placards — I think the big problem won’t be the money but the fact that they now have the same time limits as everyone else, so they won’t be able to use metered parking spots as a way to park closely to their destinations unless they’re only planning to be 2 hours. There isn’t really an alternative in many places.

  • alexfrancisburchard

    I don’t understand the argument that disabled people shouldn’t have to pay for meters. Why were they ever allowed an exemption?

  • The new law exempts people whose disabilities make it difficult to access the pay boxes.

  • CL

    I don’t know the official explanation, but to me it makes sense for a couple of reasons. First, some disabled people have trouble accessing the pay boxes — the new law tries to separate disabled people into those who can’t access them and those who can, but originally we just used disability status to indicate whether people were likely to have trouble — knowing there would be some error since some disabled people can pay.

    Second, disabled people are often on fixed incomes, and they have limited options compared to the rest of us. I often walk to run errands or take the CTA to avoid paying for parking. Other times, I park in residential parking and walk several blocks, once again to get free parking. But disabled people have to park in front of their destinations. In many neighborhoods, this means they have to park in metered spots 100% of the time, every time they go somewhere. So it adds up to an extra tax because they don’t have the options that would allow them to avoid paying for parking.

    Americans generally agree that disabled people should qualify for some meager benefits from the state (disability SSI for example) and I viewed the free parking as another small benefit that would help people.

    Ideally, all of the train stations would be accessible, and service would be frequent and comprehensive enough that disabled people could get around without a car — but we’re a long way from that happening, so I still support free parking for disabled people. I know that means less turnover and fewer spots for me, but I think it’s the right thing to do.

  • jared.kachelmeyer

    or walk 20 feet which seems like it would cover a lot of people with the cards. I’m curious which disabilities aren’t exempt.

  • alexfrancisburchard

    Thanks for the response. I think I agree that people who physically can’t reach the pay boxes should be exempt, but I think if their disability does not affect their physical ability to pay then they should pay for parking. We don’t give seniors free parking passes (that I’m aware of) so why should anyone else who is able to pay get them?