Two days into hearings on Rahm Emanuel’s revamped parking meter plan, several Chicago aldermen are still skeptical the mayor's proposal is a good deal for taxpayers.
Mayoral aides spent hours fielding questions from skeptical aldermen Tuesday. The Sun-Times reports aldermen "grilled" Emanuel's aides, while others, like Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th), were frustrated the lessees at Chicago Parking Meters LLC didn't show for the hearings.
“These guys lied to us four years ago, and I don’t trust them today,” Pawar said according to the Sun-Times. “And they don’t even have the guts to come before this council.”
Other aldermen were unhappy CPM might reap a significant windfall from the revamped deal that, despite conceding free parking on Sundays, extends parking meter hours all other days.
“There is a possibility, however slight, that there could be more revenue generated than originally estimated and that that money goes to Chicago Parking Meters,” said Ald. Will Burns (4th) to CBS Chicago.
Additionally, some aldermen see free Sunday parking as a bane to business rather than a benefit. Ald. Michele Smith, whose 43rd ward encompasses most of Lincoln Park, told WGN local business owners fear drivers will fill spaces on Saturday night, leave their cars until Monday morning and "make it virtually impossible for shoppers to find parking spaces."
The Tribune reports the possibility of aldermen requesting or rejecting free Sunday parking on a case-by-case basis, though Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) argued that could lead to "a jumbled mess of Sunday parking issues all over the city."