June 14, 2013

Mayor Emanuel Announces Free Sundays Begin This Weekend, Ahead of Schedule

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced free Sunday parking will begin ahead of schedule with the first wave of wards offering free parking this Sunday, June 16, 2013, instead of July 1, 2013.  On a rolling basis in the coming weeks, meters in eligible wards will switch over to free Sundays.  Prior to the parking meter deal, the majority of the city enjoyed free parking on Sundays. Now, residents will once again enjoy free parking on Sundays. The neighborhoods that will first receive free parking this Sunday are located  in parts of the following  Wards 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 14, 15, 20, 22, 23, and 25. The remaining wards will be switched over within the next 10 days as the Chicago Parking Meter company must physically make the changes to each of the 4,400 pay boxes across the city.

“Everyone in Chicago deserves a day of rest from the awful parking meter deal, and the sooner that relief can begin the better. I am proud to have fought for and won free Sunday parking for our city’s neighborhoods,” said Mayor Emanuel. “While the deal is done, the job of holding the parking meter company accountable is never over for this administration. We will always remain vigilant and steadfast on behalf of the taxpayer.” 

As part of the agreement and contract amendment approved by City Council on June 5, 2013, metered parking spaces in the majority of Chicago neighborhoods will be free on Sundays. This will provide a much-needed benefit to people attending religious services and to those enjoying all that our neighborhoods have to offer on Sundays. Neighborhoods affected are those south of Roosevelt, west of Halsted and north of North Avenue. Additionally, the extra hours will begin to go into effect next week, starting on Monday.

"My ward residents are ready and grateful for a day of rest from the parking meters. While we can't be rid of the deal like we'd like to be, we can have Sundays to enjoy our families, run errands and go to church in our communities. It's a welcome respite, and we are grateful to the Mayor and his team for fighting and winning free Sundays for our neighborhoods," said Alderman Zaleweski (Ward 23)

The City Council approved the settlement agreement reached between the City and the meter company and proposed amendments to the parking meter contract on June 5, after thorough review that included multiple Aldermanic briefings, four Finance Committee hearings and an independent analysis from Navigant, an outside financial consulting firm. In contrast to the original deal, which allowed for just three days of review, the City Council had 30 days to review the proposed agreement and amendment. 

These revisions, which include $1 billion in savings over the life of the contract, a convenient pay-by-cell option and free parking on Sunday, were the result of Mayor Emanuel’s extended fight with the Chicago Parking Meter company and his directive to his financial, technology and legal teams to obtain the tools and strategic positioning necessary to effectively manage and understand the contract in order to benefit taxpayers and motorists.


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