That whole parking meter thing...
I don't have a car, so this hasn't been an issue for me, but I was wondering about the full story behind the whole parking meter debacle going on right now. I know Chicago leased its meters out to a private company, I think I've heard the lease is for 75 years? And clearly the prices have been raised pretty dramatically, more so in some neighborhoods than others - and it's been enough of a price hike to encourage normally law-abiding citizens to vandalize the meters in one way or another.
I guess my questions concern the finer details of the lease. The city must have gotten a great lump sum for the lease - was it even a remotely good deal? Or did Daley just sell off a reliable source of long term income for a quick but irresponsible budget fix?
Also, the private company, I guess, gets the quarters (or dollars, now) that Chicagoans pump into the meters... but when a meter is vandalized, who bears the financial responsibility of fixing them, the city or the company? Which one is responsible for writing tickets on expired meters? And when a ticket is issued, does the city still get those funds? Or does that go to the private company as well?