Here are 5 reasons why shopping in Chicago is frustrating and will add up quickly:
1. Sunday parking meters.
Within the most popular areas of the city, parking meters are in effect seven days a week. These meters are also $6.00 an hour, meaning you might save money if you use a parking garage. The only reprieve to this is a shortened meter period on Sundays, from 8AM until 8PM.
2. Increased violence
Across the United States, violent crime rates are decreasing. Chicago is the exception. While the national murder rate is decreasing, the increase in killings was 58% higher in 2016 than 2015. In 2017, we are already trending toward surpassing the murder rate of 2016.
3. Slower Traffic in the Loop
While Chicago’s year over year time in traffic percentage remains fairly constant, an increase in bicycle lanes and a bus loop decreased the number of viable lanes for car traffic. For those used to zipping North on Dearborn or Wells, those options are gone. If you are store hopping in a cab, expect to spend a lot of time in traffic. If you intend on taking an uber, you may get a driver who isn’t familiar with the city.
4. Police bogged down with Crime
Our men in blue have it rough. They are constantly being scrutinized for the actions of a few bad apples and are no longer able to safely do their jobs. With violent crime on the rise, they aren’t always able to respond to petty thefts. I was the victim of three crimes over two months this year. First, a later-to-be-determined armed man misrepresented himself and wanted me to open the door to my apartment . Five days later, as I was walking to church at 9:30 AM on a Sunday, a man aggressively pushed and groped me on the sidewalk. A month later, someone broke into my car in my enclosed garage and attempted to steal my car battery. I filed police reports for two of the incidents and when I called to report them, was told to wait for police to come to my address. No police ever came.
5. Hidden Fees.
A seven cent bag tax on all bags you get from the grocery store. A five cent tax on all bottled water purchases. All of this along with the highest combined retail sales tax in the country, 10.25%.
That being said, I encourage you to spend your money on intangible items in Chicago. A walking tour, a trip to the museum, or a day at the beach are all great ways to see the city.
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