It costs a lot of money to install and operate a parking meter, and some of Evanston’s meters are just not collecting enough to keep them in operation, the City Council’s Transportation and Parking Committee learned Wednesday night.

So they told Rickey Voss, the city’s parking/fleet manager, that they agreed that the meters should be removed.

Monthly back office charges alone cost $7.25 per month per meter, Vosssaid, not to mention the original cost of $500 per unit and the cost of coin collection, repairs, and credit card charges.

His plan calls for removal of 46 meters in the following locations:

800 Main Street (Lot 8). Eight meters there generate an average of $1,032 over a three-month period. Voss recommends converting these spaces to Permit Parking.

1400 Elmwood Avenue. Six meters there generate an average of $1,195 every three months. These spaces, near the police headquarters, would be converted to Emergency Vehicle/2 hour parking.

3100 Central Street. These 11 meters generate a paltry $272 in revenue every three months. He would convert these spaces to free two-hour parking.

Elmwood Avenue and Dempster Street (Lot 23). These four metered spaces that generate an average of $287 in three months would be converted to Permit Parking.

Washington Street, between Chicago Avenue and Custer Avenue. These spaces, adjacent to the Main Street CTA and Metra stations, currently generate a three-month average of about $1,500 in revenue. Voss would convert these to Long Term Commuter Parking.

These long term meters on Washington Street, Voss said, would reduce the fee substantially from 75 cents per hour, with a two-hour maximum stay, to 25 cents per hour for up to 12 hours.

Located beneath the rail viaducts, the newly programmed Washington Street meters would allow “commuters and employees of area businesses to have access to reasonable parking,” he said.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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  1. Finally

    It's about time! As somebody who works in Evanston and commutes here daily by car, parking is atrocious. On top of that, Evanston is ruthless with their ticketing and the parking garages often fill up by 9am on weekdays. There needs to be more free parking and long term parking in the downtown portion of Evanston.

    1. Not making them all free

      They are not making the parking spaces free. They are making them long term or parking by permit. This will reduce available parking to the general public.

      What you really want is for Evanston to stop mimicing failed Chicago and start copying our successful neighboring cities to the north and west by removing parking meters all together.

    2. Parking Issues
      Unfortunately…because Evanston has tons of NU students….if they made parking free, then the students would be filling up all the spots for themselves. The surrounding suburbs don’t have that issue.

    3. If the parking garages fill
      If the parking garages fill up by 9:00, it sounds like the price is too low, not too high. Simple economics.

  2. Strange
    It seems like an odd way to handle most of these meters are being handled. Thinking about converting these spaces to permit, as a example, they are removing public parking spaces and will make it harder for people to find legal parking spaces. It would probably anger many businesses as their customers may look for stores with better access.

    I don’t want to call these planners “stupid” but if the shoe fits ………….

    1. Reducing parking spaces when you require permits

      Long-term inexpensive parking is one thing, but requiring permits takes these spots away from most people looking for parking. I call that a really bad idea (unless all Evanstonians can receive a free parking permit to use these spaces…).

  3. They cost >$700/per meter/month?!

    What are the "back office expenses" than run more than $700 *per meter* month? Is this a typo? How much do the parking boxes cost per spot? 

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