How might this work for the new Wicker Park-Bucktown SSA ? (Assumptions below.) Currently, several blocks near “the crotch” at Milwaukee, North, and Damen are metered 8AM – 9PM, six days a week, at a piddling 25¢ per hour. (Valet services find willing customers at $9 + tip.) First of all, raise rates to 50¢ an hour; no one will even notice, and revenues will double — give that to the city in return for new meters, more meter maids (police presence!), whatever. Extend existing Monday-Saturday meters from 9PM to midnight (at a “premium,” but still cheap rate of $1 an hour) and add Sundays; result: just the _two blocks_ nearest “the crotch” would capture an astonishing $486,720. (Edit: That doesn’t even count the incremental revenue from extending meters from _one_ block out to two, which should be done posthaste.)
Adding one new mile of parking meters at a modest price of 50¢ an hour would yield $578,160 in a year. Combined, the two proposals would raise over $1 million a year from just the most congested area, dwarfing the $664,496 budget that the SSA will raise from taxing over six miles of streets.
To prevent spillover, permit parking would have to be extended to more side streets. Evening-only (6 PM – 6 AM) permitted parking should provide plenty of parking for residents and for daytime businesses like offices and lunchtime restaurants. The SSA could even broker the resale of side-street permits from residents to businesses, who could use them for employee parking — thus keeping drunk customers off side streets, and providing an incentive for car-free or car-light residents. All of this would require amending the ordinance, but the potential revenues make it well worthwhile — especially once PBD pilots (potentially in Hyde Park and Logan Square) get underway.
(Speaking of parking permits, why are they only $25 a year? That’s renting prime [by definition!] city land — in many of the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods, and to drivers, who are wealthier than the city average — for 27.7¢ per square foot per year, half a cent a week. By comparison, take Lake View, where parking spots go for $30 _per game_ [$660 just for three weeks of night games a year!] and retail rents right next to that permitted parking for $40 a foot, triple net; in Rogers Park, where Loyola charges $446 a year for resident parking; and in Hyde Park, where the University of Chicago rents spaces for $360+ a year. Off-street outdoor parking here in Bucktown goes for $75/month, or $900/year. Looks like parking rates could go up tenfold and still substantially undercut the market price.)
My lowball assumptions: 30 x 15′ parking spaces per 660′ block face plus three parking spaces available around each side street corner (on side street, but just off main streets and within SSA property boundaries), totaling 33 spaces per block face or 528 per mile. Each full day for new meters assumes six occupied hours (out of 16 metered hours, a mere 37.5% occupancy rate) at an average of 50¢ per hour, or $1,095 a year. For increment on existing meters: assuming 50% occupancy, $1 per hour for Monday-Saturday night parking (of course, the higher rate could be charged at 6PM, not 9PM) and 50¢ per hour for Sunday, for an increment of $676 a year. This also assumes that spaces blocked for valets will also contribute to the fund at the usual rate. By comparison, in 2001 Old Town Pasadena raised $2,096 per meter; 18% went to collection overhead, including ubiquitous meter maids at all hours.
The sheer number of valet operations in the area makes consolidating their operations into satellite lots quite easy and lucrative. Several big box stores at the fringes (K Mart, Aldi, Kohl’s) and some church facilities (St. Mary’s, Holy Family, St. Mary’s and St. Elizabeth’s hospitals) have enormous lots that are empty during the dinner rush, just perfect for storing valet-ed cars.