Evanston City Manager Luke Stowe says he’s not planning to propose any parking fee rate hikes this fall.

Stowe’s comment, at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, came after consultants for the city presented a report suggesting that Evanston is under-charging for parking compared to what the consultants consider to be comparable communities.

Stowe said he wanted to wait until after a study of the city’s business district environment is completed early next year before deciding whether the parking rates should be increased.

During the meeting, Ald. Devon Reid (8th) said he favors increasing parking rates. Reid said such price hikes could fund affordable housing programs and environmental policies.

But he suggested creating a variable rate structure that would make parking less expensive in lower income neighborhoods — like his ward.

Ald. Krissie Harris (2nd) said she didn’t want higher rates to impact lower income residents.

Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) said the city’s business districts aren’t flooded with customers now — so he would not support raising parking rates at this time.

And Ald. Eleanor Revelle (7th), noting that Wilmette offers free parking in its business district, said she wondered why that town hadn’t been included as a peer community to Evanston in the study.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Maybe the city should get rid of paid parking all together! Then more people will come to Evanston businesses!!

  2. Thankful for Luke Stowe Alderman Nieuwsma. Evanston’s business district is on life support and there is no way it can support parking rate hikes. And yes, Wilmette is cleaning up with all the Evanstonians going there to spend their money vs hoping closed businesses will reopen and panhandlers will find another home.

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