Thursday, March 26, 2009

Chicago parking meters and the high cost of going into the city.

Today I saw an image of a street in Chicago that was completely empty. It was lined with parking meters and not one car was parked in front of them. It was so Chicago. So, "I'm not going to go along with these outrageous increases to park here." I absolutely loved it.

Personally, I think the high cost of going to Chicago and doing anything there has gotten ridiculous. Whether it is a parking meter, a cup of coffee, a museum or public transportation; the high cost of just being in Chicago has definitely become prohibitive to anyone who doesn't have at least forty bucks just to get there and back and go to either a museum or a show. Add 40 if you are going to pay for parking and gas to get there and another 10-20 for a little something to eat. And hope you don't miss a sign that warns you of the possibility of getting towed if you are not back at your car by 7 am or 4 pm. which can set you back $160 and you had better have proof of insurance to get your car back. It is so short sighted. Tourists who may save to come to the city are quickly in a state of shock at how much it costs to park and do anything in the city.

Last year a guest came in from Brazil and we wanted to go to the Art Institute. That was when I found out there are no more free Tuesdays. Just a few free hours once a week. There are huge entry fees and no donations. I used to go to the Art Institute on Tuesdays for inspiration. From the time I was a teenager. I have dedicated my whole life to art and I'm locked out because I can't afford to go there. How crazy is that? How many people will never know what a museum is like because they can't afford to go to one? If the prices were lowered more people could go and attendance would go up. The people making decisions about this are too elite in their thinking for me. So now I walk in free parks and go to the library for visual inspiration. I won't support an institution that keeps the poor out.

So getting back to the parking meters, I was thrilled to see that lots of people, who are realizing it has gotten too expensive to park in Chicago, have found a way of making their voices heard. Very cool.

A lot more people would come into the city and enjoy it and spend a few bucks there if it wasn't so expensive to go there. Just one more example of being penny wise and pound foolish.

1 comment:

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