Chicago - Parking Downtown for Motorcycles?

Discussion in 'Central – From Da Nort Woods to the Plane States' started by alexk243, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. alexk243

    alexk243 Been here awhile

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    I am going to be commuting to downtown Chicago occasionally on my BMW F650GS and in the past I have found street parking on lake st under the L, but its paid parking and quite expensive. Does anyone know of any spots where you can leave a motorcycle for free for a few hours?
    #1
  2. cjoles

    cjoles Adventurer

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    It’s been awhile since I commuted downtown but there might be a spot on Wells, just south of Washington on the south edge of Calhoun St entrance, east side of Wells. There might be 5-10 yards or so of unsigned ‘free’ parking until you hit the garage entrance ramp. Otherwise I might recommend taking a couple of hours off in the AM any given weekday and do some recon riding around the loop and see where all of the motorcyclists are parking these days. Good luck!
    #2
  3. alexk243

    alexk243 Been here awhile

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    I looked around that area on google maps and I think there may be something but it is hard to tell on street view. I like your idea of recon. I think Ill take a day and explore places downtown to park for free. Was hoping someone knew some good spots on here.

    I am sure riding around on a workday Ill be able to see where everyone parks their motorcycles, good idea!
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  4. OldTimeBiker

    OldTimeBiker Been here awhile

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    Sorry to burst the bubble but, the Daley parking meter deal that installed the pay box system pretty much eliminated free parking anywhere there is a box. The whole idea behind the pay box system was to eliminate free parking in the areas where they are installed. Be cautious when you are doing your recon and make damn sure there is no box on the block! Watch closely because new boxes are being installed that look different now as well.
    Good luck! I'd recommend scouting the nearby lots for a monthly pass that you could use for your motorcycle.
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  5. alexk243

    alexk243 Been here awhile

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    Yeah I have the app to pay for those boxes in my phone, but it's crazy because you are paying as much for a motorcycle as you are a car... Doesn't make sense, maybe I'm missing something.

    I don't go downtown enough to justify a monthly pass and when I do it's only for a few hours.

    I have fought a few parking tickets and the city is pretty good at dismissing them if the signage is bad.
    #5
  6. windward

    windward n00b

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    If you can find a street with permit parking, motorcycles used to be exempt. It was always easy to find a spot between cars. Bellevue near Rush was where I used to park when I lived there a few years ago.
    #6
  7. alexk243

    alexk243 Been here awhile

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    Yeah they are still exempt, really useful in the surrounding area, but not much permit parking downtown.

    I use that trick a lot when parking in the Lakeview area.
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  8. diegosaenz

    diegosaenz Been here awhile

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    Don't do it! I see this stuff all the time. Makes me sad. I've seen an older GS parked there, with jesse luggage. Always on the center stand, no one dares to move or push that thing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    Hey, Ill be in Chicago for a few days with my moto. What is the app to pay for parking?
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  10. nihil

    nihil Adventurer

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    When I was unfortunate enough to live in Chicago, I buddied up with some of the local lot monkeys and they would let me stick my bike in otherwise unused corners or behind the shack for a much reduced off-the-books rate. If you're going to be around a regular lot, it might be worth a week or two of full-rate fees and conversation to finagle a more long term arrangement. Works better with the smaller lots than it does the big multi-level garages.
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  11. alexk243

    alexk243 Been here awhile

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    Park Chicago, but there doesn't seem to be any discount for motorcycles.

    https://parkchicago.com/
    #11
  12. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    I managed to only have to pay for parking once when I was touring the Field museum.
    All in all the bike worked well
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  13. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    Resident permit zones. I use them all the time. Definitely do recon.
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  14. alexk243

    alexk243 Been here awhile

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    So I found a decent spot under the L near the MCC, its free street parking and usually packed early on, but usually can fit a motorcycle in there.

    On a side note, when paying by the meter for parking, is it any cheaper for motorcycles? Do you have to pay for motorcycles? I have never seen that option when paying.
    #14
  15. racer

    racer Long timer

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    Just what kind of motorcycle do you have and where and when will you be parking it? Asking for a friend.
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  16. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    It's no cheaper. I almost never pay for parking on the motos though. Resident permit zones are my free go-to. Just look for a bunch of other parked motos if you're having trouble finding a permit zone. The Mag Mile and Loop can be challenging, but not always impossible.
    #16