Monday, February 10, 2014
Chicago's handicapped drivers are not capable of using 30 minute meters
Chicago now allows handicap meter parking only if a person is too disabled to use the meters themselves. I just thought of a category of meter almost no handicapped person is capable of using: the 30 min. meter.
When my diabetic nerve damaged feet had me painfully limping around the supermarket – much better now; will not be renewing placard – there was no way I could walk back and forth, back and forth to feed a short-term meter.
Feeding a meter downtown costs $6.50 an hour. Taking public transportation cost $2.50 with a transfer. Public transportation is 75% subsidized – therefore subsidized $7.50 each way. Because of the parking meter scandal (what else should we call it?) handicapped commuters are the only ones Chicago won't subsidize.
The non-handicapped do not think about how much walking they do on public transportation trips.
Chicago apparently does not want to face the embarrassment of paying a $10 million a year give-back for handicap meter parking when the city only got $15 million a year ($1 billion averaged over 75 years – in constant dollars) for the meter system – on top of the $15 million a year it is already giving back for street closings.
Illinois suburbs do not face the same foolishness embarrassment – or embarrassment for foolishness. I am sure their business establishments would welcome Chicago's handicapped. I am going to message suburban city councils to consider free handicapped meter parking.
Has anybody ever done the eighth-grade math on Chicago’s give-backs? Last year the parking system collected $100 million in parking fees. Were 10% of meters previously tied up with handicap placards? Are 15% of metered streets closed today? Can somebody please publish the formulas?
A US constitutional provision prohibits legislatures from nullifying contracts. What this country desperately needs in this era of sea-to-sea financial predation is an amendment allowing legislatures to nullify sales of public property. Otherwise one day citizens somewhere are going to wake up and find their City Hall has been auctioned off to convert to a mall.
Bolstering the argument that a city cannot legally auction off its police power: an equally important function of meters is to keep vehicles moving in and moving out so others can come and do business. When I arrived here in 1980, Evanston's meters actually took pennies. I have not seen a ticket writer on a West Rogers Park street since the sell out.
Remember, most handicapped people are elderly and the elderly tend to subsist on low incomes (listening suburbs?).