Monthly Archives: February 2010

WGN’s Extension 720 Talks Red Light Cameras Tonight

Extension 720 is the most cerebral radio show in the nation.

Milt Rosenberg has been holding forth every weeknight evening for 27 years, bringing some of the world’s leading thinkers to the air to discuss the issues of the day.

Now Dr. Rosenberg takes on red light cameras this evening’s show.

Rosenberg’s guests include Chicago Dept. of Transportation spokesperson Brian Steele, and Active Transportation Alliance president Rob Sadowsky to support the pro-red light camera position. The National Motorist Association’s Barnet Fagel and Republican nominee for Illinois state representative in the 11th district, Scott Tucker, will represent the anti-red light camera point of view.

You can hear all the fireworks this evening from 9 – 11 PM on WGN 720 AM or stream it live here.

Still No Word On Ticketing Investigation

Jon Yates does a great job.

Yates is the Chicago Tribune’s Problem Solver columnist and spends his time trying to help out consumers who are getting screwed, get some help. It’s great consumer advocacy journalism and it’s fun to see the little guy get some justice.

A year ago Yates reported on the plight of Mark Geinosky, who received 24 Chicago parking tickets for violations at places he had never been. The curious thing was that 13 of them were written sequentially out of the same police ticket book.


A year later, Geinosky has contested and beat all 24 tickets, but the investigation into the story,  spurred on by Yate’s reporting is still ongoing.

Allegedly, CPD says the investigation is nearly complete.

Read Yate’s column on the subject, “A year later, no answers in parking ticket probe.”

Also, check out Yate’s “Ticket-challenging tips.”

Personally, at least on this subject, Yates might want to stick to consumer journalism.

Photo copyright Chicago Tribune 2009.

Photo by Nuccio Dinuzzo.

Buffalo Grove Says ‘Stop’ To Red Light Cameras

It was nearly 11 PM when Chief of Police Steve Balinski walked up to the podium in front of the Buffalo Grove Village Board.

He dutifully gave his report of his department’s support for a red light camera enforcement program in the north western suburb, and then introduced two representatives of Gatso USA, the preferred potential supplier for the town for red light cameras.

Paul Bazzano, Vice-President of Sales and Rich Kosina, Chief Technology Officer for Gatso USA, gave their very slick presentation extolling the benefits of their enforcement cameras. They talked about their company’s 51 years in business and the 47,000 cameras installed in 60 different countries. They ticked off other Illinois communities like lake Zurich, Streamwood, Hanover Park and Libertyville that have successfully implemented their cameras.

But, after two long years of studies, presentations and work to get to this evening, and after 15 minutes of presentation, it took just about five minutes before it was evident all that effort was for naught.

Red light cameras were not coming to Buffalo Grove.

Red Light Camera Media Spotlight Tonight

Fox Chicago‘s Craig Wall covers the red light camera hearings at the Buffalo Grove village council meeting tonight at 9 PM.

In addition, CBS 2′s Jay Levine looks into some of the problems with some suburban red light camera locations tonight at 10 PM.

The National Motorists Association‘s Barnet Fagel  is interviewed for both news segments, while Brian Costin, of the Schaumburg Freedom Coalition and the man who played a big part in shutting down red light cameras in that suburb, appears on CBS 2.

Ticketing Problems On The Border


It looks like some of Chicago’s overly aggressive or geographically challenged ticket writers are writing tickets where they shouldn’t.

At least according to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown.

Brown talks to a handful of people on the border of Chicago and unincorporated Stickney Township where more than a few times Dept. of Revenue Parking Enforcement Aides have come just over the border to issue improper tickets to Stickney residents.

The problem is, Chicago personnel have no legal jurisdiction outside Chicago.

But, in some cases, even when some of these Stickney residents contested their tickets, they were not dismissed.

Part of the confusion is the fact that unincorporated Stickney has a Chicago zipcode, despite not being part of Chicago proper.

Read the full story, “City’s parking ticketers are crossing the line.”

Buffalo Grove Ponders Red Light Cameras Monday

These last weeks have been very busy for Barnet Fagel.

When the Buffalo Grove resident heard his town’s village board was going to discuss the possibility of bringing red light cameras to intersections within the Chicago suburb, he swung into action.

The 66-year old Fagel, a traffic researcher and a highway safety advocate with motorist advocacy group the National Motorists Association, is arguably this state’s number one expert on red light camera enforcement and also the industry’s strongest critic here in Illinois.

Ald. Waguespack’s Parking Meter Politicking

32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack is kicking off his 2011 re-election campaign with the help of Chicago’s parking meters.

Waguespack, who was one of only five votes against the infamous parking meter lease deal and has been quite outspoken on the issue, has put together a very clever invitation to an upcoming fundraiser.

Our friends over at Chicagoist questions whether the alderman is starting his fundraising campaign too soon.

But, considering Waguespack has not made any friends in the current administration, he probably needs as much of a financial head start as he can get. Although, his minority opinion in the city council on the meter lease fiasco, that not surprisingly frustrated the majority of Chicagoans,  should end up being an issue he can ride to victory next February.

Although, I don’t think the alderman should count on any political donations from LAZ Parking, Chicago Parking Meters, LLC or Morgan Stanley.

The alderman’s “The Meter Is Running…” event takes place Thursday, March 4th, beginning at 6 PM at the Lincoln Tap Room, 3010 N. Lincoln Ave.

The Geek On Outside The Loop Radio At 10 AM


What are you doing at work this morning?

Ya’ got the radio on?

Well,  at 10 AM, tune into Outside the Loop Radio.

That annoying dumbass, the Parking Ticket Geek joins OTL Host Mike Stephen to discuss red light camera legislation and the mayor’s so-called parking meter grace period.

OTL is a seriously great public affairs radio show. I have no idea why he brings the Geek on the show to diminish the quality of the show.

Tune into WLUW 88.7 FM at 10 AM or stream it live right here.

Well, at 10 AM, tune into Outside the Loop Radio.

Red Light Tickets On Chicago Tonight

Barnet Fagel from the National Motorists Association opposes red light cameras.

Brian Steele from the Chicago Dept. of Transportation supports the city’s red light camera program.

Phil Ponce referees the two sides of the issue.

Who’s comes out on top?

Snow Covered Cars Are Targets For Tickets

It’s been a week since the big snowstorm.

And if you park on the street, and haven’t cleared the snow off your car, dug it out or better yet, moved your vehicle out of the space it’s been hibernating in for the past week, you had better get your butt in gear.

If you don’t know already, motorists are required by law to move their street parked vehicle every seven days. Otherwise you can be ticketed and ultimately towed for Chicago municipal code violation #09-80-110(a)–or in English,”Abandoned Vehicle: 7 Days or Incapable of Operation.”

Many city dwellers will find a choice spot on their street and just leave it there until the weekend while utilizing the CTA to get to work during the week. Or perhaps it’s a second vehicle not used very often.

In normal circumstances, unless the tires are gone, the windows smashed in or the car was a victim of a fire or accident, it’s hard to tell that a vehicle is abandoned or has not been moved.

But, a week or more after a substantial snowfall, it is VERY easy to see what cars have not been moved. The humongous snow drift on top of the car or a vehicle locked in a snowplow created glacier is the tip off.

One of our favorite contributors and Parking Enforcement Aide for the city, DoR Employee says he’s heard unconfirmed rumors of city ticket writing detail especially assigned to enforcing this violation, with over 150 of this ticket being written just after the snowstorm before last.

“Heard through the grapevine that the new Squad is hunting for vehicles that haven’t moved within 7 days , so keep the snow from building up on your vehicles,” says DoR Employee.

So don your long underwear and snowsuit and get shoveling. Hopefully, the fear of a $75 ticket and a potential tow (another $160) will be enough inspiration for you.