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 »

 

Politically Connected Profit From United Center Parking Scam

Red Top Parking signThey don’t own the land.

They don’t pay rent or property taxes.

But three clout heavy parking lot companies have been operating parking lots on several city owned lots for the past 20 years and now City Hall wants to end the practice according to the Chicago Sun-times.

The city has erected barriers around at least one of the properties and is seeking to stop the three private companies from using the city’s property for free.

Tribune Study: Red Light Cameras Have Zero Impact On Safety

red_light_cameraNo effect.

None.

That’s the main finding from an extensive research study of Chicago’s red light camera system commissioned by the Chicago Tribune.

The Tribune teamed up with researchers from the Texas A&M University’s Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, who analyzed crash data at RLC intersections before and after the cameras were installed.

The city claims the cameras have reduced dangerous right angle crashes by 47%.

But the Tribune study refutes the city’s numbers saying their analysis shows only a 15% decrease in injury causing T-bone crashes, but a 22% increase in rear-end crashes that caused injuries. At best, the researchers numbers indicate red light cameras have provided no improvement in overall traffic safety or at worst a 5% increase in the number of crashes that cause injuries.

City Clerk Debuts Online Residential Permit Parking Map

A screen shot of the City Clerk's new RPP zone map.

A screen shot of the City Clerk’s new RPP zone map.

Chicago drivers now have a new data resource to help them navigate city streets and avoid parking tickets–an online map of the city’s residential permit parking (RPP) zones.

Thursday, at the 1871 technology incubator located within the Merchandise Mart, City Clerk Susana Mendoza announced the launch of the map of all 1,429 residential permit parking zones located within the city limits. RPP zones cover 20% of all residential streets and more than 200,000 RPP permits were issued to vehicles this past year according to the Clerk’s office.

Mendoza explained Chicago residents were always asking for a map listing all the permit zones, but the data changed so frequently and quickly any published book would become obsolete almost immediately. She also recognized that motorists sought the data to try to avoid a $75 parking ticket if they parked on the wrong block.

Vanity Plate Causes Parking Ticket Headaches For Suburban Man

His car rarely leaves the garage, and has never been driven on the streets of Chicago. But one suburban driver is getting all sorts of parking tickets for places he’s never been.

The problem?

A vanity license plate that reads “FINANCE” according to NBC 5.

Overnight Lane, Ramp Closures For Harrison St. Bridge Project

Road Construction AheadDrivers on the Dan Ryan (I-90/94) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways will be facing late night lane and ramp closures starting Tuesday night for the work on the new Harrison Street Bridge.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation beams on the new bridge will be installed during overnight hours for the duration of the week ending early Monday morning (December 21st).

Lane and ramp closures will begin at 11:59 PM every night and end at 5 AM the next morning most nights.

City Hall Explores DIY Denver Boot Release Program

The Denver boot immobilizes another Chicago scofflaw.

The Denver boot immobilizes another Chicago scofflaw.

Chicago drivers dread getting booted–that is–the bright yellow Denver boot.

But now, getting booted–or at least getting the boot removed may become much easier.

The city has recently issued an RFP (request for proposal) for a vendor to provide some sort of “self-release vehicle immobilization devices,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Unfortunately, city motorists will sometimes come back to their vehicle to find one of these metal vehicle immobilization devices attached to a tire due to unpaid parking tickets.

Time To End Winter Overnight Parking Ban? Aldermen Plan Review

Mayoral candidate Bob Fioretti. (Photo credit: DNA Info).

Mayoral candidate Bob Fioretti. (Photo credit: DNA Info).

After more than 30 years on the books, Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) says it might be time to freeze the city’s winter overnight parking ban.

The mayoral candidate introduced a resolution at Wednesday’s City Council meeting calling for a hard look at the 34-year-old practice to see if it needs to be revised or even eliminated altogether.

Fioretti’s resolution had four other signers including aldermen Scott Waguespack (32nd), John Arena (45th), Nick Sposato (36th), Brendan Reilly (42nd) and Roderick Sawyer (6th).

Beginning every December 1st and continuing until April 1st, parking is prohibited on 107 miles of what the city considers “vital arterial streets” every early morning from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. — whether there’s snow on the pavement or not.

Thousands of unwary motorists every winter end up at one of the city’s auto pounds to pay the $150 in tow fees and a $20 per day storage fees to retrieve their vehicles, in addition to the $60 parking ticket for violating the ban. Historically, the city tows 8,000 to 9,000 vehicles every season, generating nearly $2 million in fees and fines for the city.

Read more at DNA Info Chicago.

Candidate Fills Potholes In Campaign For 2nd Ward Alderman

 Bita Buenrostro fills a pothole in a photograph on her campaign website. Photo credit: Bitanow.com

Bita Buenrostro fills a pothole in a photograph on her campaign website. Photo credit: Bitanow.com

Bita Buenrostro is a DYI sort of candidate.

So much so she’s offering to fix potholes on streets of potential voters in the 2nd Ward aldermanic election according to DNA Info.

Buenrostro posted a photo of herself on her campaign website filling a pothole with a note explaining she will fill potholes on request on the blocks of 2nd Ward residents.

The concept is alleging generating positive responses from residents of the ward according to her campaign.

City Crack Down On Valet Parking Companies Yields 229 Violations

 

Over four days the City of Chicago issued 229 violations to 35 different valet parking companies and took CBS 2 News along to chronicle the crackdown.

The enforcement explosion is part of a push by the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection to hold valet parking companies accountable and to scare them into following the rules.

Cook County Owes City $41,000 In Parking, Red Light Tickets

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

$41,640.

That’s the total amount owed the City of Chicago for 773 parking and red light amassed by Cook County vehicles over the past 10 years according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Cook County Board is considering paying the entire amount to the city in one lump some, while also trying to collect the past due fines from the county employees who was driving the vehicle at the time of the violation.

However, since the tickets go back so far and county record keeping may not be that exact, it may be impossible to track down all the drivers. It is county employment policy to hold the employee driving the vehicle responsible for any infractions while operating the vehicle.