Yearly Archives: 2010

New Year’s Eve Safety Tips

Go ahead and pop that champagne cork tonight, but also make sure you get home safely.

New Year’s Eve is notoriously one of the most dangerous nights to drive, for obvious reasons. In addition, anytime you mix alcohol and driving, motorists are at risk for DUI.

Perhaps the best strategy if you plan on going out for New Year’s, is consider leaving the car at home tonight.

People residing in the city proper have many alternatives to driving themselves.

Each New Year’s the CTA offers 1 penny bus and train rides so party people can get home cheaply and safely.

Taxi cabs are a convenient, but more expensive alternative as well.

Of course, walking is a very low cost mode of transportation.

If you have to drive, don’t over do it imbibing your favorite adult beverage. Using a designated driver is recommended.

Real Men Of Genius: NYC Tow Truck Driver

One would think New Yorkers know how to handle the snow.

From how the Big Apple handled this last blizzard, I think they need to give Mayor Daley a call for some advice.

Check out this video tale of two geniuses, a tow truck, front loader and an innocently parked Ford Explorer.

WARNING: Video has some strong language.

Thanks to Winky for the tip.

NYC Suspends Meter Regulations, Street Cleaning

People in New York have probably never heard of Chicago’s Mayor Bilandic.

It was a poor response to the Blizzard of ’79 that ended the tenure of Michael Bilandic as mayor of Chicago and swept a relatively unknown named Jane Byrne into city hall.

So now, as New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg is having his own Bilandic moment with the city still paralyzed from the snowstorm, that NYC announced the fourth day of suspended parking meter regulations and alternative side parking for street cleaning today according to Fox New York News.

Symphony Of Lawn Furniture

In honor of the recent snow storms crippling the east coast and the snow the Chicago area has been hit with, we present the following video for your viewing pleasure.

It’s called “Winter Festival” by Denis Mulvihill, A Garbage In The Street Production.

If you like seeing the slow migration of lawn furniture from backyards and garages onto the neighborhood streets of Chicago, you’ll love this.

Enjoy!

New Driving Related Laws Kick In January 1st

As most of 2010 is now in our rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward toward a litany of new rules and laws that take effect at the first of the year.

Most prominently, the Illinois state legislature passed changes to red light camera enforcement.

The law, which originally began as a law to ban all RLCs in the state, eventually became watered down legislation that allegedly streamlined the way Illinois towns handled red light camera ticketing. In it’s final form, the law accomplishes very little from the driver’s perspective.

The main changes to the law are that a safety impact study must be completed before a new red light camera can be installed, vehicles which come to a complete stop but pass the stop bar (but don’t enter the intersection) will not be ticketed, and a policeman–not a technician–must review any potential red light camera violations (although Chicago is exempt from this rule).

Don’t Try This On The Expressway

Man Arrested After Posting Video Driving Corvette 195 MPH

Oklahoma resident Cody Replogle wanted to show off how fast the modified 1999 Corvette he was trying to sell could go.

He shot video and posted it to YouTube.

Parking Meter Rates Jump January 1st

$5 Per Hour Downtown Rates Highest In Nation

It’s almost that time of the year again.

No, not Christmas or New Year’s, but parking meter rate increase season.

It was three years ago this month when Mayor Daley and his cohorts in the city council pushed through the Chicago parking meter lease deal.

One of the more onerous results of the 75-year deal was an initial five years of steep meter rate price increases.

On January 1st, parking meter rates will rise for the third of the five initial years.

Downtown, meter rates will jump $0.75 from $4.25 per hour to $5.00 an hour–giving Chicago the distinction of having the highest downtown parking meter rates in the nation.

New York, and Los Angeles, while both larger than Chicago, have lower downtown rates than the Windy City. New York’s highest rate is currently $3.75 an hour, while LA tops out at $4 per hour downtown.

In areas adjacent to the Loop (River North, Gold Coast, parts of Lincoln Park, Near North) rates will go up $0.50 per hour from $2.50 to $3.00 per hour.

Meter rates in all other outlying neighborhoods will increase just $0.25 from $1.25 per hour to $1.50 per hour.

Christmas Shopping With Booters?

One of our avid readers has been coming across city boot vans parked in front of retail stores while out doing his holiday shopping.

The question is why aren’t the boot vans doing something else like, well…booting?

His theory?

Even booters need to get their Christmas shopping done.

“In the past week, I’ve run into two booters out shopping for Christmas presents,” says Tony via e-mail. “Late last week around 10 PM, I saw this one booter walking into the Target on Elston while I was checking out about 9 PM.”

Click on photos below to see full size image

But then last Thursday night, Tony and his girlfriend ran into another booter shopping at the Village Discount on Kedzie north of Irving Park around 8 PM.

Suburban Red Light Tickets, Revenue Dropping

Red light cameras are certainly not the money making machines they used to be.

At least according to an article in Monday’s Chicago Tribune.

Trib writers have done their homework and seem to identified a verifiable trend–red light camera tickets are down. But so is RLC revenue.

City officials and police all claim the red light cameras are doing what they were supposed to do: reducing red light running by changing driver behavior.

Ask The Parking Ticket Geek

Dear Parking Ticket Geek,

On Friday my family & I visited the Shedd aquarium and fed a meter $5 to park until 4:01 p.m.

At 3:45 we made our way out of the aquarium, but as we were walking past the lockers heading out of the accessible exit, my 2 year old grabbed a door and shook it – and got her thumb pinched between the doors. She instantly shrieked and a blood blister appeared on her thumb. We sat, calmed, consoled, and bandaged as quickly as was humanly possible.

We grabbed our stuff and walked as briskly as you can lugging a 2 year old and a 5 month old, and just as we rounded the odd fountain with the man holding a fish, we could see flashing lights, and my watch read 4:01.

By the time we hit the crosswalk we could see him at our car, and when we reached our car at 4:04 we had a ticket that read 4:03. BAH.

I know since it’s a meter we don’t fall under the 5 minute grace period, but is it worth pleading our sob story? We’ve NEVER had a parking ticket.

Jessica