Free Sunday parking is hitting 12 Chicago wards a full two weeks earlier than expected.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel's revamped deal that would bring free Sunday parking to most neighborhoods in exchange for extended daily meter hours was set to roll out July 1, but according to a release from City Hall, the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 11th, 12th, 14th, 15th, 20th, 22th, 23th, and 25th wards will have free parking as of this Sunday.
“Everyone in Chicago deserves a day of rest from the awful parking meter deal, and the sooner that relief can begin the better," Emanuel said in a statement. "I am proud to have fought for and won free Sunday parking for our city’s neighborhoods."
While the mayor hailed his re-vamped deal hastily shoved through City Council as good for taxpayers, many aldermen worried the lessee, Chicago Parking Meters LLC, would actually profit more from the new terms due to extended meter hours.
In the meantime, Chicago Parking Meters LLC is "methodically altering pay-and-display boxes across the city" to accommodate the terms of the new deal. A statement from the city indicted several more wards would see free Sunday parking ahead of schedule on a "rolling" basis.
Under terms of the new deal, all neighborhoods south of Roosevelt, west of Halsted, and north of North Avenue will have free parking by the end of summer, according to ABC Chicago.