Chicago Ranks First in Worst Parking

Money blog ranks Chicago first in a new list of worst cities for parking

By Colleen Connolly
|  Wednesday, Mar 26, 2014  |  Updated 10:52 AM CDT
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City Council passes the mayor's plan to alter the 70-year parking meter deal, despite opposition from some downtown aldermen.  Charlie Wojciechowski reports.

City Council passes the mayor's plan to alter the 70-year parking meter deal, despite opposition from some downtown aldermen. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.

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Move over, New York and L.A. Chicago is a clear winner -- in worst parking.

The money blog NerdWallet posted a list of the worst cities for parking in the U.S., and Chicago came in first. The rankings are based on daily and monthly parking fees as well as the number of motor vehicle thefts per capita. Chicago is higher than average in both categories.

At an average of $35 a day for a spot in a parking garage, Chicago has the second highest daily rate. Only Honolulu costs more at $42 a day.

In second place on the list is Oakland, Calif., which has relativey low parking rates but extremely high motor vehicle theft rates at nearly 125 percent of the national average. Chicago is above average as well by 33 percent.

Chicago's parking rates underwent a huge increase in 2009 when parking meter ownership was turned over to the private company Chicago Parking Meters LLC. Since then, Chicagoans have been paying some of the highest parking rates in the country.

Last summer, the City Council passed a deal between the mayor and Chicago Parking Meters LLC in an attempt to lower parking costs for drivers. Beginning late last summer, the company stopped charging drivers to park in neighborhoods on Sundays. In exchange, however, parking costs were extended past the previous 9 p.m. cut-off to 10 p.m. and midnight, depending on the area.

According to NerdWallet, the best city for parking is Boise, Idaho. It costs only $12 a day to park on average -- which is roughly a third of the cost in Chicago -- and its motor vehicle theft rate is more than 80 percent below the national average.

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