City Yellow Lights Too Short, Judge Says Before Tossing Red Light Tickets

Some of Chicago’s yellow lights are too short, according to an administrative law judge who said he’s thrown out “60 to 70 percent” of red light camera tickets he’s come across recently More »

Trib Says Mayor Got $10,000 In Donations Linked To Red Light Camera Bidder

The Chicago Tribune is alleging the wives of two executives for a company vying for the city’s red light camera program donated $5000 each to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s political campaign. According to More »

Writer Predicts No Other Cities Will Ever Privatize Their Parking Meters

NBC Chicago writer Edward McClelland last week boldly predicted that due to Chicago’s horrible experience with it’s infamous and hated parking meter lease deal, no city will ever privatize their parking meters More »


Did ‘Dibs” Start In Chicago? Maybe Not.

Dibs letter 3In honor of another several inches of snow coating the streets of Chicago today, and the assumption drivers will drag their household junk back outside to “reserve” the spot they shoveled out, we present a history of dibs via DNA Info.

DNA Info city hall reporter Ted Cox researched the subject and says the practice here goes back to the Blizzard of ’67 which crippled the city for days nearly 50 years ago.

But his research seems to indicate that dibs actually began in Pittsburgh as late as the 1950′s and perhaps even before that.

Here’s the full story, “The History of ‘Dibs’: Did It Begin in Chicago?

‘Dirty Trick’ Parking Ticket Flier Pops Up In 33rd Ward Race

A fake parking ticket critical of Alderman Deb Mell popped up in the 33rd Ward before Tuesday's election.

A fake parking ticket critical of Alderman Deb Mell popped up in the 33rd Ward before Tuesday’s election.

Better late than never–I guess.

Somehow this story escaped my Google alerts until the day of the election.

It seems fliers designed to look like Chicago parking tickets bashing 33rd Ald. Deb Mell, the daughter of former alderman Dick Mell and sister to Patti Blagojevich, were left on car windshields all over the ward just before election day according to the Sun-Times.

It’s Election Day! Go Out And Vote-But Park Legally

Election Day No Parking SignToday is election day and the tow trucks will be out on patrol.

The polls open at 6 AM and are open until 7 PM.

Get to your polling place and vote.

In most cases, your polling place should be within walking distance.

But remember, parking restrictions to accommodate the disabled will be in place around polling places. So if you have to drive, just be careful where you park.

Emanuel Flier Attacks Rival Fioretti For Parking Meter Votes

Fioretti meter flier

A recent flier from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s election campaign is attacking Ald. Bob Fioretti for his votes on the parking meter lease deal.

Back in 2008, Ald. Fioretti voted for the former Mayor Richard Daley’s infamous parking meter lease deal–an agreement that sold the city’s metered parking spaces for a fraction of their worth.

It was a vote he regretted and which inspired him to vote against a revision of the meter deal that Emanuel pushed in 2013. The revised deal did get Chicago Parking Meters, LLC to drop tens of millions of dollars in claims against the city. But in return, Emanuel allowed most metered spaces to extend enforcement hours until 10PM–a two hour increase, and meters in River North to be fed until midnight.

But now, according to the Chicago Reader, a mailer attacks Fioretti for both his original vote for the meter deal and now his vote against the revisions.

Prankster Using Parking Meters For Faux Fundraise For Emanuel

paydisplay600Somebody is having a laugh at Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s expense while using Chicago’s much maligned parking meters to do so.

The Sun-Times reports of a faux fundraising scheme where someone slapped a decal on the front of parking meter pay box which reads “Re-Elect Rahm Emanuel Text your lic. plate to .”#D4M Use pay buttons to indicate your donation amount. #rahm4chicago”.

The Emanuel campaign is loudly denouncing the prank telling people who see the sticker on a meter box to call 311 to report it.

Here’s the full story, “Fake Rahm Emanuel re-election decal pops up on parking meter.”

Crow Poop Wreaking Havoc On Bloomington, Indiana Parking Meters

The BirdsVandals, graffiti “artists” and thieves are the usual threats parking meters face in most cities.

But an obnoxious swarm of crows is making life hard for parking enforcement officers to do their job around the Monroe County Courthouse in downtown Bloomington, Indiana according to the Associated Press.

The droppings from hundreds of crows nesting in trees near the courthouse are coating the meters and making it difficult to keep them clean.


Surprisingly, it’s not shotguns. Instead, the city is re-purposing old street signs to cover the meter heads and protect them from all the crow poop.

Here’s the full story, “Bloomington parking meters besieged with crow droppings.”

Another State Rep Pushes Bill To Restrict Red Light Cameras


The anti-red light camera train is gaining speed in Springfield.

First, Illinois State Representative David McSweeney proposed a ban on all red light cams statewide.

But more recently, Rep. La Shawn Ford who’s from Chicago, has introduced a bill which would specifically halt Chicago’s RLC system until the city submits a report to the General Assembly addressing all the issues surrounding the system including short yellows, thousands of tickets issued under questionable circumstances and a general distrust of the how tickets are adjudicated.

Ford’s bill would force Chicago to explain how they would fix these problems before allowing the city to restart its program according to the Associated Press.

Hoosiers Contemplating Speed Camera Enforcement For Indiana

Speed camera enforcement may be coming to Indiana.

Legislators in Illinois’ next door neighbor are considering passing legislation to allow speed camera enforcement in construction zones, school zones or illegally passing a school bus according to WTHI TV.

Lakeview: Chicago’s Car Alarm Complaint Capital

The numbers are in and the Lakeview is the uh…winner.

DNA Info reports that the Northside neighborhood registered far and away more car alarm complaints than any other area of the city according to data obtained through a Freedom of Information request.

Lakeview’s Town Hall police district notched 1,662 complaints in 2013 and 2014 blowing away second place Rogers Park with 773 complaints and Logan Square which came in third place with 715 complaints.

Is Chicago’s ‘Dibs’ Tradition Turning Violent?

A driver's smashed windshield was probably due to 'dibs'  violence. Photo credit: Ashley Mater.

A driver’s smashed windshield was probably due to ‘dibs’ violence. Photo credit: Ashley Mater.

Is the quaint Chicago tradition of ‘dibs’ turning violent?

Several recent incidents being reported by DNA Info seem to indicate that some people who use household junk to save a parking spot they’ve dug out are becoming increasingly thuggish in enforcing their dibs domain.

Last week DNA Info reported on a Ukranian Village woman who believes her brake lines were cut because she parked in a spot being “reserved” using lawn chairs.

In the same report, a driver in Ravenswood had a threatening note left on her windshield for violating the unwritten rule of the road.

Then on Friday, a Logan Square motorist returned to her car to find it completely vandalized with her windows busted and interior destroyed. The damage is pegged at $5000 or more. In this case, the driver says there was nothing in the street to indicate the spot was being saved but a pair of chairs on top of the curbside snow bank.

Here are the full stories from DNA Info: “Dibs Gets Dangerous as Woman Claims Her Brake Lines Were Cut in Retaliation” and “Another Dibs Attack? The Owner of This Car Wonders Why She Was Targeted.”