Do you feel like you’re spending a fortune parking your car in Chicago? Do you feel like you are wasting half of your life and tanks of gas looking for parking spots in Chicago?
Guess what? You’re not alone.
A study released this week by the data company INTRIX, as reported in the Chicago Tribune, finds Chicago has the highest on-street parking fees in the nation and the third highest rate for off-street parking among U.S. metros. Ouch; that hurts the pocketbook.
The study also found Chicago drivers spend 56 hours per year searching for parking, ranking it sixth in the nation and luckily nowhere near the 107 hours a year New Yorkers spend looking for parking. Still, that’s more than a workweek’s loss of productivity and added stress just hunting a parking space.
“When parking fines, congestion and the difficulty of finding parking are added together, being a motorist in Chicago is costly indeed,” Joe Schwieterman, a DePaul University transportation expert with who reviewed the study, told the Tribune.
Adding Up All Those Costs
Chicago created controversy when it privatized its metered parking 10 years ago, which apparently has pushed Chicago to the top of the list when it comes to the cost of metered parking. Two hours of metered parking in downtown Chicago costs $13, highest in the nation. San Francisco comes in second at $12 for two hours, while New York City costs a mere $7 for two hours.
Off-street parking within a mile of Chicago’s city center comes in at a whopping $22 for two hours, trailing only New York City at $33 and Boston at $26. The study also found women are much more likely to seek off-street parking because of safety concerns, leading them to face this increased cost.
The study also found that beyond the wasted time spent looking for parking, drivers waste a great deal of money, for two reasons:
• Searching for Parking: Based upon wages and time lost, the study calculated the average Chicagoan loses $1,174 per year looking for that elusive parking spot.
• Overpaying for Parking: Then once they find a spot, Chicagoans spend an extra $353 a year paying for time they do not need, such as feeding a meter for two hours of parking when your appointment might take only 45 minutes.
Solutions for the Parking Headache
That’s some of the bad news found in the INRIX report, but it also contains some good news for frustrated drivers. The report points out that advances in technology, especially applications for smart phones and wired vehicles, will help drivers find parking easier and stop wasting time driving in circles.
While it hardly seems like it when you’re scouring for a parking space, the U.S. actually has a surplus of parking because of long-held rules developers had to adhere to about providing sufficient parking for tenants, leaving cities with anywhere from 3 to 8 parking spaces for each vehicle on the streets, according to a study by MultiFamily Executive Magazine. But most appear to be off limits to drivers because they are in residential parking lots or garages.
In steps ParqEx, which provides a forum for developers or regular people who have excess parking to lease those spots on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis, thereby making it simple for drivers to locate a parking spot in advance of their trip into the city, be it a one-time trip or a daily commute.
In surveying drivers for its study, INRIX found that 77 percent of drivers would love to or like to use technology to make a reservation for parking as one way to solve their parking headache. INRIX predicted these apps would address city’s parking demands in the next five years, but ParqEx provides the solution for Chicago now.
ParqEx allows drivers to find private parking in areas where they need to go, book the spot in advance (short-term or long-term), pay directly from their phones, then park and get on with their activities.
If you’re the owner of a parking spot or spots in Chicago, you also can take advantage, make life easier for fellow drivers and earn a little extra money by listing your parking spot(s) on ParqEx.
Contact us to learn how easy it is to ease your parking headaches and save time and money by getting started with reserved parking spots in Chicago.