When Chicago sold its parking meter revenue in 2008, the city traded away more than the money from meters. Aaron Renn, who published a paper this month for the Manhattan Institute, a free-market think tank, says the city lost an urban planning asset: Public space. For example: as part of the revival of Times Square. New York closed parts of Broadway to cars. That meant closing parking spaces too. For every metered space Chicago closes, it has to compensate the meter operators for lost revenue. In 2015, Chicago paid $8.6 million in compensation fees.
WBEZ’s Dan Weissmann reports.