Between overpriced parking lots and the prospect of navigating among hordes of fans, there's really no good reason to drive to a Cubs game. Now, people heading to a ballgame on the North Side have even more incentive to use public transportation. Parking meter rates in Wrigleyville will double during Cubs home games, Wrigley Field concerts and other special events this season, as part of a new surge pricing program approved by the City Council.
Starting on Monday (just in time for Cubs home opener), the cost of parking will increase from $2 to $4 an hour for about 1,100 spaces near the ballpark. Surge pricing will begin two hours before games and concerts at Wrigley Field and stay in effect for a total of seven hours. Parking spots subject to the new higher rates are located in the area boarded by Irving Park Road to the north, Belmont Avenue to the south, Broadway Street to the east and Southport Avenue to the west.
The plan, which the city expects to generate about $1.5 million in revenue, will only affect parking spaces in Wrigleyville in 2017. However, city officials have proposed bringing surge pricing to other high-demand parking areas during popular events. According to the Tribune, Chief Financial Officer Carole Brown said the city would consider extending the program to areas that "because of certain events or certain things that happen through the course of the year, experience a surge in activity and visitors..." Others have been critical the surge pricing initiative, calling it a veiled attempt at price gouging.
Regardless of future plans, the new rates officially go into effect at 5pm on April 10. If you do make the questionable decision to park in the area during surge times, be aware that the higher rates may extend past the meter's regular end time. If your plan is to avoid the area all together, you can see the full surge pricing schedule here.
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