New, higher parking meter rates go into effect today in Evanston.
City officials expect the increased rates, approved by the City Council, to generate about $675,000 in additional revenue for the city.
Rates for two-hour meters downtown are rising from $0.75 to $1 per hour. These meters generally need to be fed from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The new rate matches the hourly rate for parking in the city’s three downtown garages.
Rates for two-hour meters in neighborhood shopping districts are rising from $0.50 to $0.75 per hour. Those meters operate from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Rates for 20-minute, 30-minute and three- and four-hour meters at various locations around town are also increasing, and rates for all-day meters also are increasing.
If you ride the Metra, you’re also facing fare hikes averaging about 25 percent today. Details on that here.
New sanitation service charges also go into effect in Evanston today.
Monthly rates for a 65-gallon cart rise from $6.95 to $7.95, as do rates for an extra cart and the per-unit condo charge. Rates for a 95-gallon cart increase from $9.95 to $14.95.
The increases, approved by the City Council, are designed to make the city’s solid waste fund self-supporting and to encourage more recycling. Sanitation fees are included in bi-monthly city water bills.
I won't need more change for the meter because I don't shop where I need to feed the meter. There are plenty of places with free parking. Why add a $1.00 an hour to my shopping? What's even worse — if I am 1 minute late returning to my car after shopping (read: spending money!), I run the risk of getting a big, fat ticket from the City of Evanston. Why bother?
The City is short sighted in hiking these fees. No surprise there.
Anyone who thinks parking is free is naive. Do you go to Old Orchard or any "big box" lot and think parking is free? Only if you drive in, walk around and then leave without purchasing one single thing. The cost of parking is built into every sale made at the mall. Every merchant pays an "assessment" fee above and beyond rent. That fee covers the expense of many things, including the "free" parking, and at places like Old Orchard, those tenant fees are very high.
Anyone who thinks that the "assessed" cost of parking isn't passed directly through every single transaction is being simple. And the more you spend the higher your cost actually is, in many cases very easily surpassing anything you would pay in Evanston, it's just a cost hidden from you.
Also on the perception surface is parking tickets. Granted, you will never get a parking ticket at Old Orchard, but if you park in the city garages you'll also never get a parking ticket in downtown Evanston either. Now, if they would just install meters that accept credit cards I wouldn't need to keep a roll of quarters in the car.
Never going to be me — it’s the optics that guide many people
The City of Evanston is greedy and short sighted. I do not pay an extra fee or risk a parking ticket for shopping at Old Orchard. Those are called "optics" — what shoppers see.
But on your point: what the merchants pay for rent and assessments at Old Orchard is part of the price of goods to be sure. But you need to recognie that the inflated property taxes of Evanston are built into the prices at Evanston stores. It is not any cheaper to shop in Evanston than it is to shop at Old Orchard or anywhere else in Skokie.
Sadly, I hardly ever shop in Evanston. There are better values and selection just across the border. Ever-escalating parking fees and ever-present gas-guzzling jeeps roaming to pounce with hefty tickets for one second past the meter time does not help the optics of shopping in Evanston.
Here's the experience that put me off shopping in Evanston about two years ago. I parked my car on the street. I put money in the meter. Unfortunately, I had bad information on the location and the store was actually four blocks away. So I walked to the store. By the time I hurried back, there was a parking attendant, standing by my meter, poised to write me a ticket. Imagine my surprise when I looked at the meter and saw that there was still one minute left on my meter. But there was the attendant, standing, waiting for the meter to turn to zero so that he could give me a ticket. He was a bit red faced when I caught him but I am certain that it's a tactic that is employed often. The optics definitely aren't good when you have meter readers waiting to swoop down the second that the meter expires.
Happy shopping in Evanston to those few souls who still brave it.
Leaving quarter rolls for feeding meters in your car
"Now, if they would just install meters that accept credit cards I wouldn't need to keep a roll of quarters in the car."
Don't leave the roll of quarters that you keep in your car for feeding meters out in plain view (or anything else of value for that matter), you'll come out to your car and find the window smashed out and the quarters missing.
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