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 »

 

“The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective

Extra ExtraCompiled by Otto Mobile

Your transportation related headlines for Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Body cameras in Illinois could be funded by $5 tax on traffic tickets (Chicago Tribune)

Sun Times editorial – yes to motor voter registration (Chicago Sun Times)

Rauner appointees join the Tollway Board (Chicago Tribune)

Elgin O’Hare tolls could start next summer (Daily Herald)

Michigan Avenue stores to host dog and cat adoptions this Sunday (DNA Chicago)

Paper Chronicles Another Costly Parking Privatization Failure

The beautifully designed Aqua Building cost city taxpayers $62 million because of botched decision to allow public parking there. Photo credit: Studio Gang.

The beautifully designed Aqua Building cost city taxpayers $62 million because of botched decision to allow public parking there. Photo credit: Studio Gang.

Richard M. Daley’s legacy continues to disintegrate at the hands of horrible parking privatization policy mistakes.

The most heralded is the torturously painful 2008 parking meter lease deal which, for a mere $1.3 billion dollars, Daley handed over control of the city’s parking meter system to a private company which stands to reap multi-billion dollar profits over the 75 years of the contract.

A lesser known relative of the meter deal is the Aqua parking garage fiasco which the Sun-Times chronicled recently.

The story begins in 2006 when the city privatized four downtown parking garages under Grant Park and Millennium Park to Morgan Stanley for $563 million for 99 years. One of the main caveats is the city cannot license any new parking garages within a mile in any direction from those leased parking properties.

But in 2009, developers of the Aqua building were given the go ahead by the city to allow public parking in their nearly 1,300 space garage–despite the fact the garage was within the zone where new garages weren’t allowed by the 2006 privatization deal.

“The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective

breaking_news1Compiled by Otto Mobile

Your transportation related headlines for Thursday, May 28th, 2015

What you need to know about the Damen-Fullerton-Elston project (DNA Chicago)

Gas prices higher in Chicago area (Chicago Tribune)

Environmentalists sue to stop Illiana Tollway (Chicago Tribune)

New Tollway director touts benefits of Route 53 expansion in Lake County (Daily Herald)

Video Kicks Off Push To Kill Red Light Cameras In East Dundee

When Allen Skillicorn was elected as a village trustee in suburban East Dundee, he won running on a platform to rid of that town’s red light camera program.

This week he unveiled a video and a website that he hopes will help him put a stake in the heart of East Dundee’s red light cameras.

“The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective

Breaking News!Compiled by Otto Mobile

Your transportation related headlines for Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

WGN gives props to the Geek, for his intrepid investigative reporting, on Chicago’s failure to collect billions in parking ticket revenue (WGN Channel 9)

Could variable rates make the parking meter deal less of a shit-sandwich (Chicago Magazine)

NFL draft not only fouled up Loop traffic for three weeks – it also cost the city $1 million in waived fees for Grant Park (Chicago Tribune)

Off duty Evanston cop saves man attempting suicide jump from a parking garage (CBS 2 Chicago)

With asshole behavior like this on the CTA, is it any wonder why so many people choose to drive instead (DNA Chicago)

“The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective

Daily-News-headline-newspapersCompiled by Otto Mobile

Your transportation related headlines for Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Work on Damen-Fullerton-Elston intersection starts Thursday (Chicago Tribune)

Rauner names 4 to Tollway Board (Chicago Tribune)

Letter to Sun Times: Tax the rich for road repair (Chicago Sun Times)

Fight over Mag Mile alley will cost County taxpayers $44 million (Chicago Sun Times)

When bikers need an etiquette lesson (beezodogsplace.com)

What to do when you are hit by a car (City Lab)

WGN TV Spotlights Chicago’s Parking, Camera Ticket Debt Crisis

WGN TV focused their news cameras on Chicago’s parking debt crisis Tuesday, a story The Expired Meter broke several months ago.

Drivers owe the City of Chicago over $1.3 billion in unpaid parking tickets. When you add over $250 million in unpaid red light camera and speed camera tickets the totals top off at over $1.5 billion.

The worse news is that debt has been growing on average of $1 million a week since Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office.

The Geek Dispenses Driving, Parking Advice On WGN Radio

WGN Radio 720's Mike Stephen.

WGN Radio 720′s Mike Stephen.

While everyone else was celebrating Memorial Day grilling, chilling and drinking adult beverages, The Parking Ticket Geek spent some time on the radio doling out his idiotic parking and driving advice.

WGN Radio’s Mike Stephen asked the Geek to come downtown and hang out for an hour to answer the questions of frustrated Chicago area motorists.

It was a ton of fun. Big thanks to Stephen, the host of Outside the Loop Radio every Saturday morning from 6-7 AM, for allowing a reprobate like the Geek into the luxurious WGN studios.

Here’s a link to the full podcast, “Mike Stephen: The Parking Ticket Geek drops in to help listeners with their parking and transportation problems.”

What’s The Best Car Or Driving Themed Song Ever?

Jan_and_Dean_-_Dead_Man's_CurveBy Otto Mobile

Now that warmer weather is here, it’s time to head out for a drive, roll down the windows, and crank up your favorite music on your car’s sound system. With that in mind, The Expired Meter asks the question – what is the best car or driving themed song ever?

We want to hear your choice for the best car/driving tune of all time. To help you make a decision, we’ve compiled a list of 50 memorable/notable songs (in alphabetical order) that speak to the experience of cars, driving, road trips, etc.

Our list includes songs that celebrate unique or classic cars (“Pink Cadillac” “Fun Fun Fun”), road trips (“Goin’ Mobile” “Love Shack” “Radar Love”), and the iconic roads that deserve their very own song (“Lakeshore Drive” “Route 66″). Not to mention the songs which use the car as a poetic metaphor for change, loss, life and death (“American Pie” “Big Yellow Taxi” “Cadillac Ranch” “Running On Empty”). And of course, the songs that pay homage to the unbreakable cultural connection between cars and love/sex (“Paradise by the Dashboard Light” “Freeway of Love” “Pull Up To The Bumper”).

So let us know what you think is the best car/driving themed song ever (and tell us if you think we’ve forgotten to include a song that deserves recognition in this category).

  1. American Pie – Don McLean
  2. Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell
  3. Born to Be Wild – Steppenwolf
  4. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
  5. Cadillac Ranch – Bruce Springsteen

“The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective

HeadlinesCompiled by Otto Mobile

Your transportation related headlines for Friday, May 22nd, 2015

IDOT will suspend much road work during holiday weekend (Daily Herald)

More street closures next week for Loop BRT project (Chicago Sun Times)

Where to find suburban Memorial Day parades (Daily Herald)

New section of Riverwalk opens this weekend (DNA Chicago) – but construction workers are still using the right-hand, westbound lane of Lower Wacker as free parking

City breaks ground on new consolidated rental car facility at O’Hare (CBS 2 Chicago)

Randolph Street Market this weekend (randolphstreetmarket.com)