No parking meters in downtown Aurora

May 22, 2013
no more parking meters in Aurora

Cars in Aurora. Image by Steve Wilson.

It’s official, parking meters in downtown Aurora (located in Illinois) saw their last sunset on May 13, 2013 as the city finally geared up for a free public parking system. All remaining parking meters were removed and passed on to the Aurora Historical Society. New sign boards that indicate areas which permit parking for 90 minutes to 10 hours have taken their place.

An estimated 900 parking meters have been removed to make way for a color-coded system for on-street parking and parking lots. Areas have been designated for 90 minutes or two, three, six or 10 hours of parking time. (Source: Daily Herald)

The new parking plan aims to make turnover more frequent near shops and restaurants so that their business increases.

Jeff Noblitt, chairman of Aurora Downtown said that the new parking plan is expected to serve the visitors to downtown better. He added, “We can now put our quarters away and enjoy the free parking.”

One of the shoppers in downtown Aurora, Juan Moreno, welcomed the new plan. He felt that it would make it convenient to park when he needs to pay bills at city hall or take the kids to the library. Moreno said, “It’s wonderful. I love the change they made.”

However, Penny Cameron, another downtown frequenter, didn’t seem impressed by the new system. Roadways like New York Street, where she usually parked before eating at downtown restaurants, would now carry a 90-minute limit. This meant that she would have to rush through her meals if she wanted the closest parking.

Road parking in the heart of downtown like New York Street, Galena Boulevard, Downer Place, and River Street, has shorter limits of 90 minutes only. Visitors can park for two hours on streets like Lincoln Avenue, LaSalle, and Benton which are further from the centre.


View this sign here.

The other option is parking lots. All public lots in downtown Aurora permit parking for a minimum of two hours. Some public lots in the downtown even allow parking for as long as 10 hours.

All day parking permits are also available. These range from $15 to $35. The cheaper ones restrict parking to certain color coded areas only while the most expensive permit is valid in all parking lots.

Enforcing time limits would be a challenge. The city had bought a $133,091 license plate recognition system earlier this year. This system includes scanners with printers for generating tickets when vehicles have stayed in a space beyond the permitted time.


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