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 »

More Warnings, Few Tickets For Bicyclists Ignoring Traffic Laws

While the City of Chicago has seemingly stepped up its enforcement events on bike riders, as in recent past years, disproportionate numbers of warnings are being issued compared to actual traffic violations–at More »

 

Major Northside Streets Temporarily Closed To Move Bridge Saturday Morning

Workers remove the bridge over Ashland Avenue Saturday morning. Photo credit: Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd).

Workers remove the bridge over Ashland Avenue several weekends ago. Photo credit: Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd).

Starting at 4 AM Saturday morning, a large metal bridge which previously spanned Ashland Avenue will be relocated to Western Avenue.

Temporary parking restrictions will be put in place along the bridge procession which will run from Ashland south to North Avenue, then proceeding west to Western where the bridge will hang a right to go northbound a few blocks to its final resting place–Bloomingdale Avenue.

Western Avenue will then be temporarily closed about a block in each direction at Bloomingdale starting at 6 AM until crews can safely secure the bridge. The Chicago Department of Transportation did not give an estimate of when Western would be re-opened.

Anti-Speed, Red Light Camera Groups Plan Saturday Protest

Two anti-speed camera protestors wave to supportive drivers Saturday on Foster Avenue adjacent to Gompers Park.

Two anti-speed camera protestors wave to supportive drivers on Foster Avenue adjacent to Gompers Park at a similar protest last year.

Two anti-camera enforcement groups will be targeting 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett at a protest this Saturday, April 19th.

Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras and Cook County Campaign for Liberty will be near Union Park on the city’s near West Side from 11 AM to 2 PM with signs, fliers and manpower to remind drivers of Burnett’s part in passing Chicago’s speed camera ordinance in 2012.

“Now is the time to take action and inform the VOTERS of Chicago about what their elected officials are doing when they are not watching,” group officials say via e-mail. “It’s time to Ban The Cams!”

Burnett was a yes vote for installing speed cameras near parks and schools.

The Geek Joins Outside The Loop Radio Thursday Morning

CDOT filled over 150,000 potholes from 2010 through 2012.Outside the Loop Radio‘s Mike Stephen has a real problem with Chicago’s pothole epidemic.

Not surprisingly, so does that idiot the Parking Ticket Geek.

Stephen invites the Geek on today’s episode of Outside the Loop Radio for a bitch session about potholes and to discuss the new ParkChicago app that launched earlier in the week.

Tune in to Outside the Loop Radio at 10 AM on WLUW 88.7 FM or stream it here.

MetroMile to Pay 100 Street Sweeping Tickets; App to Send Cleaning Alerts

ticketsHate street sweeping tickets?

A company called MetroMile has an app it says can help you avoid getting tickets in the future by using GPS to alert you when your car is parked on a street scheduled for street sweeping the next day.

What’s more, the company, which is now offering its miles-based auto insurance in the area, says it will pay the street cleaning tickets of 100 drivers.

On April 23, MetroMile will be outside at 435 N. Michigan Ave. from 8 a.m. until early afternoon handing out a free device called a Metronome. At noon, the first 100 drivers who show up with a 2014 Chicago street cleaning ticket and who have downloaded the MetroMile app will get $60 toward paying their tickets, officials said.

MetroMile offers auto insurance coverage based on the miles a motorist actually drives as opposed to the typical insurance plan that charges based on an estimate of miles driven. The device plugs into a diagnostic port on cars to track miles driven and also pinpoints your car location via GPS.

Read more at DNA Info.

Listen Up! Parking Ticket Geek Joins WBEZ’s Afternoon Shift

The nice people at WBEZ’s Afternoon Shift asked that oddball character the Parking Ticket Geek, to come down to their swanky Navy Pier studios to talk parking issues Tuesday afternoon.

The discussion ranged from the newly launched ParkChicago app, restoring paid Sunday meters, street cleaning and general tips on how to fight Chicago’s parking tickets.

Thanks to Niala, Kathy, Joyce and the entire Afternoon Shift staff for inviting the Geek down. It was a lot of fun.

Have a listen
.

Local Entrepreneur Turns Potholes Into Profit

"Wabash Hash" is just one of several varieties of pot themed baggies of city asphalt being sold by The Pothole Store. Photo credit: The Pothole Store.

“Wabash Hash” is just one of several varieties of pot themed baggies of city asphalt being sold by The Pothole Store. Photo credit: The Pothole Store.

Dave Stern is turning lemons into lemonade, or perhaps more accurately, potholes into profits.

According to DNA Info, the historic outbreak of potholes has inspired this Old Irving Park man to start an online boutique called The Pothole Store to sell all manner of pothole related products including earrings and necklaces made from pieces of asphalt, pothole snow globes, pothole scented air fresheners and baggies of asphalt from different parts of the city with marijuana themed names like Evanstoned, Skokie Tokie and Wabash Hash. You can even buy something called potholepourri which is a small pile of asphalt with roadway related scents.

The Pothole Store even has a pothole registry. Much like those star registries where people can pay to name a star after a loved one, the International Pothole Registry allows you to name a pothole after a loved one or maybe just someone you’re just fond of, for $6.99. Each named pothole comes with a certificate of authenticity.

Of course the entire concept is all firmly tongue in cheek according to Stern.

A Motorist’s Primer To The ParkChicago Mobile Payment App

Here’s a rundown of some of the questions and answers on this new fangled parking meter mobile payment app called ParkChicago.

Q: How does ParkChicago work?

A: Check out the video above for the general lowdown on this new payment method.

But generally, it’s like IPASS for metered parking. You resister an account, give them credit card info, add $20 to your account and you’re ready to go.

When you want to park you logon, type in the meter box number on the sign and your license plate number and you’re paid up and ready to park.

Q: Where can I download the ParkChicago app?

Neighborhood Group Votes Against Ashland BRT By Narrow Margin

A sign in the median on Ashland Avenue pushes the anti-BRT messsage near Cortland.

A sign in the median on Ashland Avenue pushes the anti-BRT messsage near Cortland.

While the CTA and the Chicago Department of Transportation have been nearly silent in regards to the Ashland Bus Rapid Transit project, groups representing neighborhoods near Ashland Avenue have been making some noise, a bit of news on the proposal.

According to DNA Info at recent meeting the East Village Association narrowly voted 11-9 against the BRT plan.

The project calls for center running express buses along Ashland Avenue between 95th Street and Irving Park Road, with an initial phase running from 31st to Cortland.

Parking Meter Company Debuts Pay-By-Phone Pilot Program in West Loop

An LAZ Parking employee installs a new ParkChicago mobile payment sign on Madison Avenue.

An LAZ Parking employee installs a new ParkChicago mobile payment sign on Madison Avenue.

In a few select blocks of the West Loop, Chicago Parking Meters LLC, will debut its new ParkChicago mobile payment system in a pilot test starting Tuesday.

In a small area with just 279 metered parking spaces between Halsted Street and Racine Avenue, and bordered by Madison and Monroe streets, drivers will be able to test drive the ParkChicago app to pay for their metered parking remotely using any iOS or Android smartphone.

“We’re conducting a pilot to gauge feedback from motorists before rolling it out across the city,” says CPM spokesman Scott Burnham. ”

The technology makes paying for parking much more convenient for motorists by eliminating the need to pay for parking at the pay box or have to place a meter receipt on their dashboard. Drivers can pay for parking or extend parking time from anywhere using a smart phone, iPad or similar tablet computer.

The app even has a built-in timer to remind drivers 10 minutes before their time expires to allow them to add more time or get back to their car before the meter expires.

Read more at DNA Info.

CDOT Announces More Speed Camera Ticketing, Warnings

A speed camera in Uptown catches speeding cars in the 4400 block of North Broadway Ave.

A speed camera in Uptown catches speeding cars in the 4400 block of North Broadway Ave.

The Chicago Department of Transportation announced Friday that speed cameras near two schools will begin issuing tickets, and two new speed camera sites near two parks will begin start mailing warnings to speeding drivers next week.

CDOT says the speed cams near Pickard School (2300 block of W. Cermak) and near Burr Elementary (1600 block of N. Ashland) have both finished their warning phase and will start issuing speeding tickets on Wednesday, April 16th.

While the 30-day warning period will start Monday, April 14th outside of Columbus Park (500 block of S. Central Avenue) and near Ogden Plaza Park (300 block of E. Illinois Street).