Friday, June 05, 2009

Chicago’s parking meter fiasco and ObamaCare

In an effort to plug a gaping budget deficit, Mr. Daley pushed a deal through the City Council a few months ago that privatized management of the parking meters for 75 years in exchange for a lump-sum payment of $1.15 billion.

In some areas, rates then rose fourfold. At most meters, there was no more free parking on holidays or Sundays, and some meters must be fed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Most vexing to drivers, however, is that thousands of newly installed credit-card and coin-taking parking meters simply do not work. They have been charging the wrong rates, failing to issue receipts (the only proof of payment) or not accepting money.

On Wednesday, so many of the downtown meters were out of order and spewing out error messages that the city did the unthinkable: it stopped writing parking tickets.

“I’ll take the responsibility,” Mr. Daley said at a news conference, angrily waving his hands in the air. “I’ll take it.” Source: NY Times
Meters in my neighborhood went from $.25 for 30 minutes, to $.25 for 15 minutes and finally to $.25 for 8 minutes. When it went to 8 minutes, nobody parked on the street. I thought they were shooting a movie and had cleared the streets. After the 6th day, I realized people were boycotting the meter rate.

Now they have replaced the meters with pay boxes. I have two problems with the pay boxes:
1) They are good for your health. You usually have to walk a half a block to get to the pay box and then you have to walk back to your car to put the slip on your dash. Finally, you walk to your destination.
2) The pay boxes are a stealth fee rate hike. With a meter if you paid for 30 minutes but got your task done in 10 minutes, others could use the leftover 20 minutes. Now the extra 20 minutes drives off with your car. You paid a higher rate. If someone pulls in immediately after you and the city could possibly get paid three times for the same 10 minutes.

Now what does this have to do with ObamaCare? It is how poorly it has been handled and do you want your health care nationalized? Yes, it was privatized but that was ineptly handled. With private healthcare, you can CHOOSE to change if your provider is inept.

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