Chicago's Privatized Parking Meters: Fiasco, or Success Story?

The City of Chicago, in a much criticized move, recently privatized its parking enforcement. Stephen Goldsmith says the program should be celebrated instead of booed.

Goldsmith says, "Privatization of parking meters worked in Chicago. The city exchanged a revenue stream for a lump-sum payment, and rid itself of an operational headache to boot. The meters are more modern, more attractive, and even the much-derided rate hikes - only tangentially linked to the outsourcing - make economic sense."

Full Story: Successful 'Fiasco': Chicago's Parking Meter Mishap



Irvin Dawid's picture

privatizing parking meters

The argument sounds convincing, but why must a city (or government) rid itself of a public resource in order to modernize it? Why not just privatize all governmental functions? (don't answer - while it was meant to be rhetorical, I can see that some libertarians will take it literally).

Rather than ridding itself of public functions, would it not make sense for government to modernize them? Look at SF's Smart Parking Management Program, and Redwood City's new parking system - much more relevant examples for how cities should adapt their parking management programs rather than selling then for a one-time lump sum that operates more like a meeting a drug-users never-ending demand, IMO.

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

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