Parking, Chicago

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  • Parking
    by midnight_mike
  • Parking
    by frankcanfly
  • Chicago
    Chicago
    by kristii
  • midnight_mike's Profile Photo

    Cars get broken into when parked by "El" stations

    by midnight_mike Written Jan 21, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I had a friend whose car was broken into twice when parking in one of the CTA parking lots near the Orange Line of the "El" train. I have also seen plenty of broken glass in these parking lots. If you do have to park in one of these lots, do not leave anything on the seats. I once had my car broken into because I left an open box in the back seat.

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  • Parking at Cubs Games

    by grkboiler Written May 3, 2004

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Wrigley Field Parking Nightmare

    Unless you have no choice, avoid driving to Cubs games. Parking is expensive ($25 - $50 and sometimes much higher), the streets are jam packed after the game, and in some cases you will be trapped into your spot and not be able to leave until the people around you leave. Some places will ask you to leave your keys. And if you decide to try your luck at street parking, you will probably get towed. Also, avoid parking on Clark at all costs - you will sit there in traffic forever.

    I would recommend taking the CTA Red Line to Addison Station.

    If you must drive here, there are 2 decent options I always use:
    1. If you are willing to pay the price for good parking and easy-out privileges, there is a lot on Addison directly across from Wrigley Field. You can follow the alleys to the south when you are ready to leave.
    2. If you don't mind a walk, you can find a couple cheaper lots east of Wrigley Field on Addison at a school, or a few up and down Halsted near Addison.

    In the picture, my car (left) was sandwiched between 2 cars, was backed up against a brick wall, and had an SUV parked an inch in front. I waited 45 minutes before the person to my left showed up to leave, then another 2 hours before the SUV left. This is why I urge you to take public transportation.

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Parking

    by Dabs Updated Sep 16, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Updated 9/16/13

    Parking in Chicago is expensive, especially during the week. Sometimes you can get early bird specials on the weekdays if you come early enough. If you are coming in by plane, you should not need to have a car.

    If you are lucky enough to find a free or metered spot on the street, check all the signs very carefully. There are resident only parking zones, there are rush hour/business hour tow zones, no parking if it's snowing zones, leaf cleaning, etc. A lot of the meters have been replaced by Pay Box type meters, they will be located in the center of the block and you have to display a slip of paper with the expiration time on your dashboard. You can usually only park for 2-3 hours at these meters, they do take credit cards in addition to coins.

    There are still a few free spots to park at in Chicago, no one who lives here will tell you where they are for fear that a) someone forgot to meter them or b) that they won't be available when they need them. If you think you've found a free spot, walk the entire block to make sure you didn't miss a sign. Chicago police LOVE to give out tickets.

    If you need to park near Michigan Avenue or in River North, try the Sterling Self Park on Kinzie between LaSalle and Clark. Last time I parked there it was $12 after 3:00pm on weekdays and on weekends. If it's the weekend, you might check some of the garages in the downtown business area or in River North since their customers are mostly downtown only Mon-Fri during the day, some of the garages have weekend/evening specials.

    When I drive downtown, I check Chicago Best Parking to find the best rate for the time and day I'll be there, it will vary depending on when you plan on arriving as some have early bird parking, some have flat rate evening parking, some have discounted rates on the evenings and weekends.

    Hotel parking is the worst, they seem to range around $30-40 per day. One of the few hotels that has free parking is the Best Western River North at Ohio and LaSalle, also Howard Johnson River North.

    If you are downtown on a major event day such as a Bears game, Taste of Chicago, Chicago Marathon, etc., the garages will hike the rates even higher calling it "Special Events Parking". The closer you are to the event, the higher the rate will be.

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  • Spothero is the greatest thing I've discovered

    by ajkwon86 Written Nov 13, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I've attended an uncountable amount of cubs games and the parking spots around wrigley seems to be increasing exponentially in price. Even when you park far off by Sheridan and irving park, its $20 to $25 bucks. A friend told me about an awesome website called Spothero where you can reserve parking and pay less than the normal Wrigley amount. I highly suggest checking Spothero.com for parking before attending a game. Actually they have parking spots all over Chicago.

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    Parking dibs

    by Dabs Updated Jan 15, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If are you driving into Chicago and parking out in any of the neighborhoods in the snowy winter months, in addition to watching out for all the snowfall tow signs and resident sticker only parking signs, you also need to watch out for objects such as lawn chairs, milk crates, buckets or cones marking the parking spot for a local resident who shoveled out the spot for their car.

    There's public debate about this practice every year after the first big snowfall but as it's a long standing tradition, some say endorsed by the Mayor, and it's not likely to go away anytime soon. It's technically illegal but then again so is ghost payrolling and dead people voting ;-)

    So don't move those items littering the streets and try to park there, you may return to a nasty note if you are lucky, slashed tires or a broken window if you're not. One of the worst stories I've heard was about a poor clueless suburbanite who dared to move a cone, they returned to find their car buried in snow and buckets of water poured over their car. Needless to say, it was there for awhile.

    But the worst is from the 2007 Darwin Awards:

    "A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space...understandably, he shot her."

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  • Parking for Chinatown

    by claygrace Updated Mar 12, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Street parking is very difficult to find in and around Chinatown. You could pay at the official Chinatown lot but it is expensive and there's no guarantee there'll be space. Why waste time looking around for parking??? Drive two and a half blocks south on Wentworth street (which runs through the heart of Chinatown) and park in a huge lot that is never full under the Dan Ryan expressway. This lot was opened to alleviate the double and triple parking that used to take place in front of RicoBenes restaurant on 26th St. This, by the way, is a Chicago landmark restaurant well worth a trip by itself. Take Wentworth south out of Chinatown to 26th, turn right (west) and immediately turn on your left blinker to enter the lot marked "for Ricobenes". Don't worry, they don't own it. The city made the space available and it is open to all, for free!!!!

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  • kristii's Profile Photo

    Parking fees

    by kristii Written Nov 18, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Chicago

    The thing that you can pick about is the parking fees. It´s usually 10-15$ for parking or per hour. When we were going around in Chicago we parked the car about 3 or 4 times and paid together about 40$ - that´s quite alot for the city trip. If you find a place where to leave your car and it will not cost so awfully lot, then walk around and use the cab. It will be cheaper in the end than just park alot and pay like crazy.

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    Neighborhood Parking

    by TRimer Written Aug 27, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Most of the neighborhoods (gold coast, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Wicker Park, etc) have designated their sidestreets for residential parking. This means at certain times of day (sometimes all day), street parking is only for cars with residential permits. If you are visiting a friend in a particular neighborhood, they can get you a day pass to put in the right side of your car windshield. The pass MUST be filled out correctly and in pen- I know people who have gotten tickets for it not being filled out completely. Most of the time you can park on a major street the borders the neighborhood (i.e. Clark, Division, Fullerton) but you may have to pay for a meter. Also, be careful for signs that prohibit parking on these streets when the snow if over 2 inches or during rush hour.

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  • Cheap Parking!

    by php1004 Written Nov 14, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I recently used SpotHero to find parking for a trip to downtown Chicago. I was able to buy a spot for only $15 for the whole day (9AM-9PM), right in the heart of the Loop. The seller owned the parking space and was not going to be in the city for the whole day, so I ended up parking my car in a very secure spot at an awesome price. The website was very user-friendly and efficient. I was in and out within minutes. Definitely recommend SpotHero for anyone coming from the suburbs or just visiting from outside the area.

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  • chicago parking in residential areas

    by get.a.real.addy Written Dec 6, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Chicago residents don't like it when you take their spots for an enormous amount of time. I am reading all this cheap parking reviews, but keep in mind residents pay a lot to live here. A lot more than the suburban areas. Take the train or move to the city. Stop with all this free parking, because it really isn't free. Yes, we do claim our spots in the winter with chairs, cones, or whatever artifacts will stick as we have done our due diligence in clearing that space, so we deserve to reserve it respectfully. It's a Chicago tradition & will not change any time soon. If you all who visit come with a shovel to clear a spot out, you can reserve that spot too. Until then, just pay a garage to park your car.

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  • kimberbakos's Profile Photo

    Avoid the Chinatown parking...

    by kimberbakos Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Avoid the Chinatown parking lot. There are never any spaces there anyway. They charge a huge fee and it is easy to get 'trapped' in there. People park anywhere and you often find the only way out is to back out, which is hard when there are more cars behind you in line. Find a spot on the street, which is free or just a few quarters (make sure you have a few with you.)

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  • J_lynch's Profile Photo

    Parking. Make sure you pay...

    by J_lynch Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Parking. Make sure you pay close attention to the parking signs. DOn't think you can get away with parking illegally for just a few minutes. Towing companies are paid by how many people the tow, so they are usually just around the corner waiting to tow you. It's pretty expensive and a big hassle to get your car out of the impound lot (~ $150). I've had a sister that was parked for about ten minutes in one spot and was towed. WHile they were trying to figure out what happend to their car, another car illegally parked in the same spot for a few minutes and was also towed! Two cars in a half hour from the same spot.

    Also, be careful of the rates that the downtown parking lots charge. A lot of the rates posted are only 'early bird' rates which only apply if you park before a particular hour of the day.

    The best bet for parking is the Monroe parking lot below Grant Park (between Madison and Monroe and about a block East of Michicago Ave). The rate have recently went up, but it's usually ~ $8 for all day parking. The Grant Park lot (about a block closer to michigan) is similar, but it costs a few dollars extra. I always park the Monroe lot since it's cheap, for the entire day and is a self park lot.

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  • Free parking near city center

    by PeterPanner Written Aug 5, 2011

    Was able to park for my whole 8 day visit without paying meters. I was able to even use the car one day to visit Starved Rock and still found a spot when I returned! Drive along Chicago and Segwick - there are about two blocks of parking along Chicago and more if you park off Chicago but I was not too sure of the area so I stayed on Chicago which seemed safe...and it was. There were almost always lots of cars on the road or people walking by. No break-ins for me, none seen near my car, and NO PAYING FOR PARKING!!!! This area is where our dear friend lives and is right off the Brown line so if you parked here you could easily get to other parts of the city. This spot was in such a good location that each day we walked to the city center so we didn't need to keep accessing the car, but if we did it wouldn't have been problem to find parking again as there we often many open spots in the evenings. Enjoy the free parking and Chicago....what a fun city!

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  • Cheap Parking!

    by php1004 Written Nov 14, 2011

    I recently used SpotHero to find parking for a trip to downtown Chicago. I was able to buy a spot for only $15 for the whole day (9AM-9PM), right in the heart of the Loop. The seller owned the parking space and was not going to be in the city for the whole day, so I ended up parking my car in a very secure spot at an awesome price. The website was very user-friendly and efficient. I was in and out within minutes. Definitely recommend SpotHero for anyone coming from the suburbs or just visiting from outside the area.

    Related to:
    • Luxury Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

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  • Cheap Parking!

    by php1004 Written Nov 14, 2011

    I recently used SpotHero to find parking for a trip to downtown Chicago. I was able to buy a spot for only $15 for the whole day (9AM-9PM), right in the heart of the Loop. The seller owned the parking space and was not going to be in the city for the whole day, so I ended up parking my car in a very secure spot at an awesome price. The website was very user-friendly and efficient. I was in and out within minutes. Definitely recommend SpotHero for anyone coming from the suburbs or just visiting from outside the area.

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