Today’s Headlines

  • Senate Squashes Detroit Bailout, For Now (NYT, News)
  • VMT Down Again in October, Even Though Gas Got Cheaper (AP)
  • Ryan Avent: Decline in Driving Signals a Political Shift (Grist)
  • Chicago Sells Rights to Its Parking Meter System: $1.16B for 75-Year Deal (WSJ)
  • The Dangers Seniors Face on City Streets, Explained (NYT)
  • Bx4 Riders Plead for Their Line (News)
  • Villager Covers Eighth Avenue Cycle Track
  • New South Ferry Station Will Open Next Month (NY1, NYT, News)
  • Teenage Victim Describes Car-Touching Incident Turned Violent (News)
  • NYC Walk Signals Starting to Look Riddled With Gaps (City Room)
  • Larry Littlefield

    Am I understanding this correctly — Chicago plans to, in effect, to spend in the next couple of years most of its parking revenues for the next 75 years?

    And an even bigger share by 2012?

    Meaning that from 2012 on, people will be paying to park in Chicago streets, maintained with Chicago taxes, but virtually none of those parking revenues will be available to maintain those streets or for other purposes?

    Sounds like something that might happen in New York State. The generations in charge are desperating seeking to cash in anything that might be left for their current use, leaving nothing behind.

    Evil with a capital E, and happening over and over and over.

  • JK

    Larry

    I did a couple present value calculations using different interest rates. The lump sum they got is greater than the present value of the current meter revenue for 75 years. The really big money Chicago left on the table is from the called for increases in meter rates. The total net (now $20mil)should triple or quadruple under Morgan Stanley.(This maybe published somewhere.)The present value of that tripled or quadrupled parking income is a billion plus more than what they paid Chicago. In short, Chicago paid a very high price for lacking the political will to raise meter rates on its own.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The present value of that tripled or quadrupled parking income is a billion plus more than what they paid Chicago. In short, Chicago paid a very high price for lacking the political will to raise meter rates on its own.”

    I’m seeing these stupid deals pop up all over, and I fear them coming to NY. Sickening quote — to the politicians it’s like the money is “free.”

    I guess if your discount rate is high enough, a few bucks to hand out political favors would outweigh the extinction of the human race given enough time. What is the political discount rate? 25%?

  • Jason A

    I agree that these deals are woefully shortsighted (and just more of same kicking the can further down the road…), but I do think it would be shrewd for NY to sell off the airports.

    Peak oil assures that there is no future in air travel and this is the one privatization deal where I believe the government would actually come out on top.

  • Jason A

    ooops, “ensures”

  • Shemp

    You launching a Zeppelin line Jason?

  • k. geis

    > Chicago’s 36,000 parking meters generated $23 million in 2007.
    >

    $23m * 75yrs == 1.75bn, assuming zero inflation and price hikes.

    Assuming (conservatively) a tripling of income and all else being equal, 23*3*75 == $5.175bn.

    In conclusion: What Larry said.

  • The government — wisely — makes individuals who dip into their 401(k)s pay tax plus a penalty for early withdrawal. But they don’t apply the same constraints to their short-sighted, boneheaded mortgaging of the future.