Thursday, June 3, 2010

Parking meters causing problems for Chicago church goers


Almost a month ago we did a post here about Rev. Webb Evans with regards to the city privatizing their parking meters. WGN Channel 9 follows up on this story with a video report.
At Israel Methodist Community Church members are upset over meters lined up right outside their house of worship.

Dr. Webb Evans is almost 97-years-old and says he used to be able to park a few feet from the church without paying. Then the City of Chicago leased the parking meter system.

Since LAZ Parking took over he has had to pay $1.25 an hour. When he didn't re-feed the meter in time he got a $50 ticket. Dr. Evans says, "I certainly was angry. I think God was angry. "

Israel Methodist is one of about two dozen churches in the 6th Ward dealing with the parking meter pains.

6th Ward Alderman Freddrenna Lyle has been getting the phone calls and says, "You can't say churches help us in providing services, help us with the community and then penalize them by giving tickets on Sundays."

She would like to remove the meters but says there is a catch. If she removes the meters must find a way to make up for the lost revenue by placing meters somewhere else.
Not sure when this article was first posted or this report first aired. I just got wind of it when I had Google Alerts for Ald. Lyle and it was updated June 1st.


  1. From

    Normally, I would dismiss the request of a local institution to have its patrons exempted from taxes and/or usage fees. For example, a local bar having its patrons granted a free overnight parking pass while everyone else either pays or is barred entirely from overnight parking. This free-bee is an economic rent, and shouldn't be given out.

    But churches are different, and if the members of a church have difficulty attending service because they cannot find parking, or because the time limit on the meters is too short and they get ticketed (by the most annoying, thoughtless meter maid in the universe), accommodations must be made. At the very least, the parking period should be extended so that members don't get ticketed while in service. I'd be happy to support waiving the parking fee on Sunday mornings. Or Sundays altogether.

    From a public policy perspective, this is an interesting test case. Up until now, LAZ has been fairly responsive to problems with their systems. But can privatization accommodate non-economic civic issues? We shall see.....

  2. What a bunch of self-centered, ego-filled, religious folks to have such an inflated sense of entitlement that everyone else should have to pay for parking but they themselves should not.

    Isn't it bad enough that their churches rip-off the local and federal governments by not having to pay any taxes on all the money they pull in? Now they want the government to pay for their parking too?? Give me a break.

    Next, will they want the city to fill up all their gas tanks using tax-payer money, while they are in church??

    Their god let those parking meters be put there. It's time the church members use their holy "In God We Trust" good old cash to pay their parking meters or else pay the fines.


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