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Taking a page from Chicago, L.A. considers privatizing parking

Privatizing parking

Facing the worst city budget crisis in decades, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is gambling on parking meters -- and the bet could prove expensive for Southern California drivers.

Villaraigosa hopes to auction off meters as well as six city-owned garages and use the money to save his effort to expand the Los Angeles Police Department and preserve other city services.

The mayor points to Chicago, the only other major city to follow that privatization path. That city's mayor, Richard M. Daley, has turned four parking garages, 36,000 parking meter spaces and the Chicago Skyway toll road over to private companies, receiving $3.5 billion for the long-term leases.

But to make their investment profitable, those companies raised meter rates to $3.50 an hour in choice spots earlier this year, triggering a driver uprising that left meters mangled by tire irons and coin slots filled with Super Glue.

Read the rest of the story here.

-- Phil Willon

Comments () | Archives (3)

I actually think this is a great idea. Car owners should indeed be made to pay for the great toll their vehicles take on the urban and natural environment--in fact most don't realize how much their possession of a spewing, space-grabbing, aggression-making machine is subsidized in numerous ways by taxpayers--such as free or too-cheap parking. if they can't pay their way, they should not own a car, period.

yet another reason to leave LA (and CA because it's going bankrupt too -- and should); I'm a native and this place has gone south in too many ways. outta here as soon as possible and so will be lots of those small businesses whose nearby extortionate parking meters discourage shoppers.

I live in Chicago - and trust me, you guys want no part of this.

Dana Levenson is an old time Daley lackey - don't listen to him.

The city sold off assets and we're still facing "doomsday" scenarios from city services.

Here's an idea for you guys who want to emulate Chicago - start creating Tax Increment Financing districts whereby the mayor can siphon off 68% of property taxes and put them into unregulated slush funds for use at his discretion.

Our schools are crumbling, Daley's short changing the cops and our streets are decimated by a growing population of potholes.

If Daley would allow property taxes to go into the general revenue, we wouldn't need to sell public assets.

If your mayor starts privatizing public assets, run him out on a rail, because it simply doesn't work.


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