Recently it seemed that the initial fury and furor over the parking meter rates had diminished. It was as if emotions, after initially boiling over with concerted physical attacks and vandalism of parking meters, had diminished to a slow simmer. It seemed that the meter vandalism had ceased.
Then again, perhaps not.
It's clear that fewer cars are parking at meters. Large swaths of metered thoroughfares seem virtually vacant at times, when just weeks ago, before the rate increases, the meters were filled with cars.
But what is less evident and harder to spot is out and out vandalism of parking meters.
Over the course of the past few weeks, readers have sent us more photos of vandalized meters, and we've come across them, as well. Meters clogged with expanding foam and super glue, stolen meter heads and parking meters knocked over by cars.
A reader named Gary, who sent the photo of the bent meter, when asked if he thought it was the result of vandalism stemming from the meter rate increases said, "All I can tell you is that this meter was straight a few days ago, but after the rates went up, I found this meter like this."
"I have been noticing two things," said one PEA I spoke to on the street about the broken meters he's been observing. "One, it has been an even mixture of vandalized and normal failed ones, and, two, there are a lot more parking spaces open now."
Others are taking more passive and creative approaches to their protest, by covering meters up with fabric and using markers to express their outrage.
Whatever the case, this meter rebellion or revolt, or whatever you would like to call it, continues to roll on.
Despite multiple phone calls to Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, no one from the company returned our calls to comment.
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