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It's OK, I'm a Real Estate Agent

By Matt Wood in News on Nov 7, 2006 4:52PM

chicagoist_200611_carrey.jpgThe city council is considering a new measure that would allow real estate agents, home healthcare workers, and social workers to park in any residential zones using a special $300 permit. The proposal was approved by the council's finance committee Monday, and now goes to the full council for a vote.

The special permits are expected to generate $2.4 million a year in revenue as those lucky few clamor to buy their super-duper stickers. But Chicagoist wonders if it won't be somewhat of a wash, when considering that those with fancy new permits will no longer be parking illegally and picking up tickets faster than a Wrigley Field turnstile in July. We know some real estate agents who easily chalk up $300 a year or more in parking fines and just consider it an operating expense.

Plus, we all know where this is going: as soon as this measure passes, every service professional from Peapod drivers to dog walkers will demand that they be cut in on the deal. We could reason with doing this for healthcare and social workers, but including realtors just smacks of self-interest groups hard at work. The proposal brings to light the issue of residential permit parking in general. Some alderman feel that the system has become a monster, as the number of zones has tripled since their inception back in 1979.

Chicagoist would love to hear your opinions on zoned parking. We've lived in neighborhoods both with and without zones, and we could take it either way - the parking sucked no matter what kind of sticker we had to buy.