Chicago may get rid of anti-pickup policies

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Tough pickup laws in Chicago may be on the way out as truck sales surge.Tough pickup laws in Chicago may be on the way out as truck sales surge.

Pickup owners in Chicago may no longer be required to adhere to rules reserved for big-rigs if proposed legislation passes muster with local politicians.

No matter the size of the pickup, Chicago residents have had to deal with some tough policies: no parking on boulevards, permit-only parking on residential streets and a vehicle tax over double that of cars.

However, anti-pickup rules in the Windy City may be on the way out, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“There is legislation pending to do so,” says Patrick Corcoran, spokesman for City Clerk Susana Mendoza, who administers what’s known as the wheel tax. “It seems to be an outmoded rule and the concern we hear from constituents is more often related to the shabby appearance of a vehicle parked on their block than the fact that it’s a pickup.”

Past concern about neighborhood blight has centered mostly around commercial pickups that, along with privately owned trucks, are not allowed to park on city streets.

But attitudes are changing. Vast changes in pickup designs are attracting more consumers than ever before. From utility to sporty to luxurious, private pickup sales continue to climb and leave commercial sales far behind.

A GM sales representative reports that 90 percent of its pickup sales are to private individuals.

“Personal use is the fastest growing (pickup truck) segment right now,” reports Stu Pierce, a marketing manager for GMC trucks.

Despite the anti-truck sentiment in Chicago, pickup sales there last year increased six percent.

Registering a pickup in Chicago requires a special truck license plate and paying the wheel tax. The tax currently costs pickup owners $202.28 while car owners pay only $85.97.

The wheel tax for pickups has increased 33 percent since 2009, while the rate for cars has increased 13 percent over the same period.