Bikers Recant Meter Gripes

Induct mayor into Hall of Fame instead

We have new casualty in the parking meter wars: The credibility of the Active Transportation Alliance.

Just five months after the Alliance - the city's largest bicycling and transit advocacy organization - issued a scathing report about Mayor Richard M. Daley's parking meter lease deal, the group has inducted the mayor into its Hall of Fame and rescinded its criticism.

Apparently, the Alliance now thinks the meter deal is the greatest thing since banana seats after the Daley administration had a sit down with the group and "provided official details about the meter agreement, and made a convincing case that the city retained full control of traffic policy."

It wasn't long ago that Sadowsky was accusing Daley of giving up control of the streets to our new, privatized parking overlords, but suddenly the Alliance is playing ball with Daley and his crew. 

“I’d put our mayor up against anyone," Alliance Executive Director Rob Sadowsky gushed to the Reader's Mick Dumke.

What's worse is, the Alliance will soon release a new report about how great the meter deal is - a report it sent first to city officials for "review." Just to, you know, make sure they get their analysis "right."

How'd was the Alliance convinced? The city was stung by the publicity the Alliance's criticisms received and, according to Dumke, complained that the group hadn't discussed the issues with them before they released their report.

Of course, the Alliance tried to do just that and was rebuffed.

But now the city has asked the Alliance to jump, and the Alliance has asked how high.

The Parking Ticket Geek, who along with the Reader has broken most of the stories about the meters, says he's nominating the Alliance to the Guinness Book of World Records for Biggest Flip-Flop.

"The incredible degree of this change of heart is just breathtaking," the Geek writes. "It's gotta be in the top 5."

Maybe. We'll have to run it by the city first and see what they think.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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