Aldermen Monday night voted to radically scale back a plan advanced by city staff to impose a $40 fee for parking near Northwestern University’s Ryan Field on football Saturdays this fall.

The staff proposal would have imposed the fee for on-street parking in a roughly 50-block area bounded by Isabella Street, Eastwood Avenue, McCormick Boulevard and McDaniel Avenue.

The game day zone as originally proposed.

Residents who lived in the zone and have paid the wheel tax on their cars would have been exempt from the fee, and the city would have used its mobile parking app to collect payments and its license-plate-reader-equipped parking enforcement vehicles to determine who’d get an $80 ticket for failing to pay the fee.

But after hearing objections from some residents that the plan would inconvenience visitors to their homes on football Saturdays, the City Council accepted a proposal from Alderman Eleanor Revelle, 7th Ward, to limit the special zone just to the commuter rail parking along Poplar Avenue from Livingston Street to its dead end south of Colfax Street.

Staff had estimated that the original plan could generate $100,000 in revenue this fall. Limiting it to the commuter lot likely cuts the potential revenue roughly in half.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Shortsighted

    This is foolish – this was a great idea by the City to begin with, and a great exhibit of how to raise revenue without hurting average Evanstonians. Decimating the plan for a handful of “visitors” makes no sense at all. A classic example of a vocal minority hindering the greater good. 

    1. Clueless

      Here’s the reality of this idea, residents take the free parking then will let “out of towners” park on their property for $30 – a win for everyone but the city.

      Also, Northwestern provides free parking on campus with shuttle service so why would anyone want to pay $40 after downloading an app.   

      And what about people who don’t have smart phones?  There really are people like that out there.

      This was a very short sighted plan by people that have no idea what happens on game day!

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