Daley wants to raise cost of O'Hare, Midway parking; Also proposed: $30 city stickers for hybrids

Air travelers who gobble up close-in parking spaces at O'Hare and Midway airports instead of remote lots would pay for the convenience, thanks to a mayoral plan to raise parking rates for the first time in seven years.

Mayor Daley proposed the $24 million rate hike as the City Council returned from a summer recess to tackle a host of consumer-oriented issues Wednesday.

They included allowing dogs to accompany their owners to sidewalk cafes and new proposals to:

- Slap a 10-to-25-cent surcharge on bottled water and other plastic containers

- Establish a new, $30 city sticker fee -- down from $75 -- for owners of hybrid vehicles

- Create a task force of local government agencies to ensure that dangerous toys are pulled off the shelves after a wave of recalls.

Five years ago, the Daley administration reduced O'Hare parking rates to ease congestion in the terminal core.

Instead of paying $8 for the first three hours, the rate was reduced to $3, a reduction that had previously been in effect only during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Motorists lucky enough to time their pickups just right didn't pay anything at all. The first hour of parking, previously $3, became free.

Now, Daley is squeezing those who park close-in to get them to move their vehicles farther out.

Under the mayor's plan, hourly parking rates would remain unchanged, but other rates increase.

"You want to get them off-site. You want to take care of the people just going for one day in and out as quickly as possible," Daley said.

Aviation Commissioner Nuria Fernandez said the city's goal is to "redistribute" airport parking.

The new doggie dining ordinance will take effect Jan. 1. Downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd), who co-sponsored the ordinance, said doggie dining would "go a long way to restoring our prestige as one of the most dog-friendly cities in America."

He added that it "allows restaurant owners to decide for themselves if they wish to allow dogs at their sidewalk cafes. . . . The market will shift with consumers. Restaurants that find that dogs are not so popular will likely eliminate those options."


Daily rates at O'Hare Airport

- Economy parking: from $13 to $16.

- Regular parking: from $26 to $30.

- Valet parking: from $32 to $45.

- International terminal: from $30 to $50.

Daily rates at Midway Airport

- Economy parking: from $12 to $14.

- Regular parking: from $25 to $28.

- Valet parking (first time being offered): $40.