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Free Lakefront Parking to be a Thing of the Past This Fall

By Anthonia Akitunde in News on May 16, 2009 7:20PM

2009_05_anthoniaakitunde_beach.jpg The Chicago Park District has announced it will begin charging $1 for parking along the lake in the fall, ending free lakefront parking. Along with the charges being applied to the 4,400 once free parking spots, 537 metered spots will see fees double or quadruple according to the Tribune.

Outdoor lovers who drive to Foster, Montrose, 31st Street, 63rd Street, Rainbow and South Shore beaches, just to name a few, will have to pay the new price in the future. The new fees would bring in an estimated $700,000 to the city in its first year, according to the Chicago Park District, and would save jobs and services from being cut.

Drivers would use new "pay and display" devices with a credit card or cash and put the receipt in their windshields. If time expires, police can still give out a $50 parking fine according to park and city revenue officials.

As part of a deal approved on Wednesday, the Park District will keep money generated from the new meters for three years. Officials said the fees could generate $1.5 million a year after covering start-up expenses. Standard Parking, a parking management company which will oversee close to 5,700 spots, will see upwards of $86,000 per year.

Photo by isawthisthing