Mayor Daley's $1.15 billion plan to privatize Chicago's 36,000 parking meters -- and sharply increase the rates motorists pay to feed them -- got lightning-fast approval from a City Council committee Wednesday despite a barrage of aldermanic criticism.
During a 3 1/2-hour hearing, Finance Committee members complained about everything from rates that sock it to motorists and a requirement that meters be fed seven days a week, including holidays, to allowing the private operator to write parking tickets as frequently as every two hours at two-hour meters.
"This ordinance is fundamentally changing not just the price, but the enforcement...That's really scary," said Ald. Tom Tunney (44th).
"I could see people having to carry big bags of quarters -- big bags of money -- to deal with" these rate hikes, said Ald. Danny Solis (25th).
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