Opinion: Chicago Needs an Office of Parking Management

The city of Chicago needs a local agency empowered to planning, studying, or managing parking, according to a recent opinion piece published by Streetsblog Chicago.

August 11, 2021, 6:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Chicago, Illinois

The CTA's #66 bus is hard to miss on Chicago Avenue. / Google Streetview

"The future of progressive urbanism in Chicago hinges on how the city manages one specific type of infrastructure: parking," writes Michael Podgers to kick off an opinion piece calling for the creation of an office of parking management.

Podgers criticizes the status quo of parking in Chicago in the starkest possible terms: "Laissez-faire parking management has forced the city’s entire multi-modal transportation system into a state of arrested development. Without rethinking parking, the city is trapping itself into car-dependency."

While Podgers acknowledges the challenges of improving parking in the city of Chicago due to the historically bad contract between the city and its parking meter operator, an office of parking management could solve some of the city's problems, allowing for better inventories of parking availability, better leverage of city-owned properties, and, the possibility of unlocking resources through the use of dynamic management of curb spaces.

"None of this can happen unless the city establishes an office of parking management," writes Podgers. "The impact of parking on all other mobility systems and the value of curb space demands this. The office must be given adequate powers and funded in a meaningful way."

Monday, August 9, 2021 in Streetsblog Chicago

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