Free Parking Minutes

Daley spouts off and the meters start telling the right time


At least one pair of parking meters is getting it right.

A spot check of  meters in Lincoln Park revealed that their times are synced.

Not only that, but also NBC’s Carol Marin and Don Mosely received two extra minutes free.

Chicago Parking Meters LLC said they are giving out free minutes, sort of.

"Payboxes round up to the next minute whenever a fraction of a minute occurs during the parking transaction and, as a customer service initiative, motorists are being given an additional minute of parking to offset inherent differences in timekeeping technology on cellphones and handheld devices," a statement for the company said. 

With the help of the Parking Ticket Geek, NBCChicago reported this week that the many of the parking meters around the city displayed differing times.

Despite the city’s assurances that they are synced, they are not.

According to the city, the time is set and synced every day, matching the atomic clock, but we checked meter after meter after meter all over Chicago, and no two meters we checked had the exact same time.

The news prompted Mayor Daley to spout off about his frustration with the company.

“That’s unacceptable. They have to void those tickets,” he told the Sun-Times.

Last February the Chicago City Council approved the Mayor’s plan to privatize public parking.

Since then, LAZ Parking has been installing the new pay and display meters at a reported cost of $40 million to $50 million.  The new boxes reportedly retail at $9,000 per unit.

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