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Old 11-08-2007, 03:33 PM
 
Location: San Fernando Valley, CA
1,719 posts, read 4,673,477 times
Reputation: 744

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Well I live in northern Los Angeles...we ALL need cars here and we don't pay for parking (for the most part, 95%) and can all park at our homes, apartment streets and usually inside the apartment complex.

From reading this it would seem Chicago has terrible parking conditions with $200/mo to rent a spot just to leave the car.

Is is reasonable to rent an apartment somewhere that includes parking...say $800-1000/mo for a 1br with an assigned spot on a gated lot inside the complex? Or is that now how Chicago does it?
I'm thinking about moving there eventually, but bought a much needed new car here that I plan on keeping for 10 years and using daily.

Can I live in a suburb apt with parking readily available for free? Houses have to have garage, street parking and driveways right?
If I commute to a job, do they have parking lot that is free for employees?

The city comes across and anti-car and the people as heavy public transportation users.
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Chicago's burbs
1,013 posts, read 3,165,115 times
Reputation: 884
Chicago apartments are mostly either high rises or 2 and 3 flats and small apartment buildings along residential streets. Often highrises have underground garages with parking and this will cost you, usually around $100-$175/month. Sometimes 2 and 3 flats and smaller buildings have parking spaces in the alleys behind the building, sometimes included in the rent, sometimes for an extra fee. Some Chicago neighborhoods have parking readily available on the street, other neighborhoods are more difficult to find street parking. You'll get pretty good at parallel parking if you go this route. Apartment complexes in the suburbs mostly all have parking lots, and parking is usually always free in the burbs.
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Chicago
4,347 posts, read 6,093,898 times
Reputation: 2398
The suburbs here are like suburbs everywhere, where cars are a requirement. You won't have to worry about paying for parking, and you'll be able to take your car to the endless sea of stripmalls, traffic jams, and drive-thrus. It will be like LA without the Paris Hilton sightings - heaven.

If you want to commute into the city, you might work for a company that pays for employee parking, in which case you'll have a free garage spot. If not, you'll probably be paying 20 bucks a day for the privilege.

The difference is that, while you certainly can own a car, you don't NEED to have one. And if you plan on moving here with the mindset that you NEED to drive everywhere and expect a parking lot for every store and errand you run, you're better off staying in the world's biggest suburb.
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:14 PM
j33
 
4,625 posts, read 9,801,653 times
Reputation: 1584
I'd like to emphasis the 'sometimes' when it comes to two-flats and small apartments having private parking at any cost. My two flat has a garage in which one car can fit, and there are 3 apartments, every building I've lived in for the past twelve years has had no parking whatsoever, at any cost, it just didn't exist (because these buildings were built at the turn of the century when people didn't have cars and the housing stock is far to dense to go back and put parking in now). Most people who rent in my neighborhood (which is the majority of my neighborhood) either park on the street or do not own cars.

Oh, and generally an apartment complex here doesn't usually involve a gate, it is usually an old turn of the century courtyard building or a highrise.
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:40 PM
 
1,815 posts, read 4,266,683 times
Reputation: 711
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hungry For Cheese View Post
The city comes across and anti-car and the people as heavy public transportation users.

Well coming from LA this may come as a shock, but as others have mentioned, if you live in the city you dont NEED a car. suburbs are a different matter because everything is spread out...but most people who live in the city dont think twice about walking a mile or two to pick something up at the store. or if its something longer, hopping on a bus, L, taxi, or riding their bike. This is the difference between Chicago and LA...we arent tied to our cars! if you choose to be thats your choice, but you may come to regret that pretty quickly. over 300,000 people take Metra rail daily, over 100,000 take suburban PACE buses, and over 1.5 million ride the CTA L trains/buses. theres a reason.

Last edited by via chicago; 11-08-2007 at 04:53 PM..
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:57 PM
 
Location: San Fernando Valley, CA
1,719 posts, read 4,673,477 times
Reputation: 744
Great info.....is it normal to work office jobs in the burbs?
I live in a valley, a huge valley that could be its own mini Los Angeles, but we have everything here...including plenty of jobs.
Or does mostly everyone with a degree and a job requiring a degree commute to the city?

Sounds like Chicago might be the next step, AFTER Texas, where cars will be needed for sure.
I appreciate it.
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Old 11-08-2007, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Chicago's burbs
1,013 posts, read 3,165,115 times
Reputation: 884
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hungry For Cheese View Post
Great info.....is it normal to work office jobs in the burbs?
I live in a valley, a huge valley that could be its own mini Los Angeles, but we have everything here...including plenty of jobs.
Or does mostly everyone with a degree and a job requiring a degree commute to the city?

Sounds like Chicago might be the next step, AFTER Texas, where cars will be needed for sure.
I appreciate it.
There are lots of jobs for college educated people both downtown and in the suburbs.
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Old 11-08-2007, 05:04 PM
 
Location: San Fernando Valley, CA
1,719 posts, read 4,673,477 times
Reputation: 744
So there may be hope yet. I need to spend a few weeks there, but in reality will probably only get one week to "do it all".
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Old 11-08-2007, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Chicago
2,481 posts, read 8,831,048 times
Reputation: 787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hungry For Cheese View Post
Well I live in northern Los Angeles...we ALL need cars here and we don't pay for parking (for the most part, 95%) and can all park at our homes, apartment streets and usually inside the apartment complex.

From reading this it would seem Chicago has terrible parking conditions with $200/mo to rent a spot just to leave the car.

Is is reasonable to rent an apartment somewhere that includes parking...say $800-1000/mo for a 1br with an assigned spot on a gated lot inside the complex? Or is that now how Chicago does it?
I'm thinking about moving there eventually, but bought a much needed new car here that I plan on keeping for 10 years and using daily.

Can I live in a suburb apt with parking readily available for free? Houses have to have garage, street parking and driveways right?
If I commute to a job, do they have parking lot that is free for employees?

The city comes across and anti-car and the people as heavy public transportation users.
If you want to have a car (which it sounds like you do), it is totally do-able. You can street park in nearly every neighborhood, however, the more popular ones may lead you to a hour drive around while you try to find a spot! If you live in a less trendy neighborhood, you can find easy street parking. For six years in Chicago, I had a car. I paid $225 when I lived in the gold coast for parking, $100 in wrigleyville, but then I moved to West Lakeview (west of Ashland and slightly south of Belmont) and I parked on the street easily for free. In other words, you can find neighborhoods where street parking is much easier than others.
Regarding parking at a job, it is rarely (if ever) free if you work downtown/in the loop. You can check out Chicago Transit Authority | 1-888-YOURCTA to see where the buses/els run near your work.
As for apartments with parking including in the rent, I haven't seen it (especially for under 1000!). I'm sure it can happen though.
My advice is that if you have to have a car and don't want to pay for parking, then look in a place like West Lakeview where you can easily street park.
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Old 11-09-2007, 10:13 AM
 
9,184 posts, read 13,723,438 times
Reputation: 7440
I naturally brought my car with me to Chicago when I moved here ( I mean, who doesn't own a car, right? ). Yeah. It took almost 2 years, but I finally realized my car was a pain in the ass, not as asset. I sold it and it was like a huge weight was lifted off my sholders. No insurance, no oil changes, no PARKING, no tickets, no city sticker, no registration, no payments. I figured I had used the bus/train for everything I needed to do for the past 2 years anyway. I just used my car for random trips to friends or target or somewhere I could have just as well taken a bus.

The only thing is instead of going to a store once every week or two and totally loading up, you just stop by on your way home from work or on a random night and just get what you need a few times a week. It really isn't that big a deal. People always look at me in awe that I can go grocery shopping without a car. Well yeah, cause I don't get half a months worth of food every time I go. I just stop by twice a week and grab some random stuff that looks good. Jump on the bus and I'm home in 6 minutes.

Chicago doesn't hate cars, it's just that a large part of the city grew up without them, and it WORKS without them. They're more of a hassle, like an unnatural animal introduced where it shouldn't be.

There are 11 commuter train lines that all head downtown, and have around 240 stations total (Metra), and then the L/Subway system with 10 routes running into the downtown area. That's a total of 22 train lines of some sort entering downtown Chicago, along with maybe 35 bus routes. The system total is around 140 bus routes.

Point being, even if you live in the burbs, many people work downtown. I think between the Loop and Michigan Ave there are roughly 750,000 people who commute to downtown Chicago every day. Included in that number are 300,000 Metra riders who take the trains in from the suburbs. This has been one huge thing that's kept downtown Chicago alive and growing. The "rich suburbanites" have very easy access to a massive central business district without the need of 10 freeways to get them all into the area. It's a much more livable dense environment because of this. Can you imagine having to cram another 200,000 cars into downtown? Impossible. Downtown Chicago is by far the largest and most looked at office market in the Chicago area. Much more than downtown LA is to the LA Metro. There are a LOT of jobs in the suburbs, but no area comes anywhere close to what downtown Chicago pulls in.

So yeah, don't sweat the car. It's just a change of lifestyle, but it's a very interesting one. Makes you much more a part of society.
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