Of course, Chicago is just privatizing the revenue from meters, not the actual parking spaces. Plus, the city will regulate rate increases, but it’s a step in the right direction. (right?)
For today’s politicians, this is a great way to get windfalls of money today for revenues of future generations in order to mask their fiscal irresponsibility. I think we’ll see more of this during the current mess as other municipalities catch on.
Ideally, cities should auction off the spaces (including the land), with no regulations on rates or use of the land. Let market mechanisms determine the highest-and-best use of the spaces and land.
Chicago Tribune: Most city parking meters to cost $1 an hour [Hat Tip: reader, Dan M]
City Hall officials said that after the first five years of the 75-year parking meter lease, rate hikes will be subject to approval by alderman and are expected to be at the rate of inflation.
The $1.1 billion to city coffers will come from Chicago Parking Meter LLC, which is made up of two Morgan Stanley infrastructure funds.
The Daley administration said $400 million will go into a long-term reserve, $325 million will be spent in city budgets through 2012 and $100 million is earmarked for programs helping low-income people. An additional $324 million is headed toward a fund city officials said “may be used to help bridge the period until the nation’s economy begins to grow again.”
and a video: