Free Sunday parking begins in certain Chicago wards this weekend - KMSP-TV

Free Sunday parking begins in certain Chicago wards this weekend

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Mayor Emanuel's office has some good weekend news, but there's a catch. Free Sunday parking begins this weekend in some neighborhoods, while paying hours are extended in others.

City Council approved the mayor's 75-year deal with the company that owns those meters, Chicago Parking Meters LLC.

Normally in the Loop and River North, drivers would stop paying for parking at 9 p.m. In some areas, the pay period will be extended to 10 p.m. and others as late as midnight.

Kevin Washington lives in Hyde Park, which is one of the neighborhoods that will have free parking this Sunday.

"I think it is a pretty good thing. Especially on Sundays, on the lake front, a lot of people get out and want to do recreation things. Run on the lake front, like me," Washington said. "There is the Museum of Science and Industry, the space center and the lake over there, a lot of people do their running even over there on the point over there, and it's a great thing. I think it is a good idea."

Washington said it's very seldom that he takes his car out to park in the affected areas at night, since he lives close to the Loop and other wards with longer hours. He's glad parking will be free on Sunday.

"The Sundays are good because a lot of people, everybody goes church, get out and go to church or they seem to get out a little more, you know, on Sundays," Washington said. "I'm for it."

But not everyone feels that way. FOX 32 Facebook fans voiced their opinions on Friday. Some said they feel this policy is just another way for the city to make money.

Others pointed out that many who park in the Loop and River North are commuters who work in the area, and they don't have the luxury of living in a Chicago neighborhood where parking will be free on Sundays.

The neighborhoods that will have free parking this Sunday are those south of Roosevelt, west of Halsted and north of North Avenue.

The changes were scheduled to begin on July 1. Be sure to check the signs before you walk away from your car on Sunday, to make sure your space is free.

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