What's up with the new parking meters near the UIC med center S of Roosevelt?

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>To: letters@chicagoreader.com
>From: Francisco Quinteros <francisco.quinteros@gmail.com>
>Subject: The parking situation near UIC
>Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 22:39:12 -0500
>X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.753.1)
>Dear the Reader
>I am a former UIC medical student. During my time there we had the
>option of paying for a parking lot spot or parking on the streets.
>Initially we all paid, but after a semester hardly anyone did. You
>see, just as far away as the parking lot was a goldmine of street
>parking - the streets south of Roosevelt, north of 16th, east of
>Damen, and west of Damen.
>There is very little in the area I mentioned above and the few
>buildings are all on Roosevelt, Ashland, or Damen. The southern
>border is an elevated train track. So you basically had this large
>area of cross streets with all the blocks having nothing but grass or
>vegetation overgrowth. This whole area was used by UIC and Rush
>staff, students, and patients. Recently I have started to conduct
>research at UIC and I have been driving back to the medical campus.
>I was shocked to see the city has put Zone 3 parking meters at every
>possible parking spot in this area. This area of what was once free
>parking has been turned into the wasteland it once might have been.
>No one parks there anymore. It’s become a desolate 4x4 block of
>nothing but parking meters that are not bringing in any revenue.
>I was wondering a few things:
>1. Do you know anything about what’s going on here? It seems like
>the University and the City of Chicago must be in cahoots here. If i
>had to roughly guess how many parking meters they just installed, it
>would be close to 1,000 of them. I don’t know how much they cost,
>but they’re not being used because people are finding even further
>places to park. I parked a mile away today because I wasn’t going to
>pay 25 cents for every 15 minutes of parking, but now tehre are no
>options for patients unless they want to park in the very expensive
>and small lot near the hospital.
>Well, actually, I guess it was just one question. I know this has
>become a giant pain in the ass for UIC and Rush staff, students, and
>also patients and their families. This is obviously a cash grab
>since there is NOTHING there but barren fields and by putting meters
>there they are trying to cash in.