Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Parking Fees Go Up

Most complaints I'm hearing are about parking rates quadrupling. Although my gut reaction is negative, although I have severe concerns about corruption taxes in Chicago and Cook County, this fee increase doesn't bother me too much. I see the parking rate increases as a form of congestion pricing, charging the users of Chicago roadways closer to the real costs of using the asset.

What does bother me is Chicago's on going trend of leasing public assets to private companies. The Skyway. The parking meters. Midway (I can't recall if they actually did lease Midway but they wanted to). There could be good reasons to lease / sell public assets but I don't believe it is always a good deal and I don't trust Chicago politicians to do it above board. Plus it is my impression that many of these deals are used to pay for the current operating expenses of the government. That is only a temporary fix to budgetary problems. Plus I have real concerns about how well the previous assets will be managed and maintained by private entities. They aren't accountable to the voters. Of course, it could plausibly be argued that Chicago politicians aren't accountable to voters either.



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