Monthly Archives: August 2010

Sun-Times Columnist Catches Up On City Sticker Problem

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown is back on the story of the defective Chicago city stickers.

Brown, who did some initial coverage on the city stickers that would not stick story back in June at the same time this site covered the issue, is back to do some followup.

He interviews a spokesperson for SecureMark, the “local” decal company that was the lowest bidder for this year’s city sticker and through 2014, who claims SecureMark went out of its way to fix the problem.

ALERT!: Cubs Night Games Monday & Tuesday

The only thing keeping the Chicago Cubs out of the cellar in the NL Central is the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates.

And those under performing Pirates come to Chicago and open up a three game stand against the Cubs with two back to back night games.

First pitch is at 7:05 both Monday and Tuesday evening.

This deep in the season, Chicago drivers should know the drill by now: stay the heck out of Wrigleyville/Lakeview if you don’t have the proper residential permit parking stickers, guest passes or private parking.

Mayoral Candidate Weighs In On Meter Lease Deal

GEEK EDITOR’S NOTE: Jay Stone is one, if not the only person officially in the running in the 2011 Chicago mayoral campaign.

Stone is making the parking meter lease deal one of the main issues of his campaign and estimates Chicago has lost billions of dollars over the 75 years of the lease.

Here’s the first of a three part series.

The Parking Meter Fiasco Part 1

By Jay Stone

Chicago Lost One Billion Dollars or More in Revenue

Daley sold the rights to Chicago’s parking meters for $1.15 billion. Most American cities would consider $1.15 billion a financial bonanza, but the critics of the Chicago parking meter deal strongly disagree. Chicago’s Inspector General’s office said the Daley administration undervalued the parking asset by $1 billion.

ALERT!: Crosswalk Stings Saturday Morning

Be careful if you’re driving on the South Side Saturday morning.

The Chicago Department of Transportation and the Chicago Police Department will be doing crosswalk enforcement at three locations between 8 AM and approximately 2 PM.

Cops posing as peds will try to cross the street at the crosswalk. If you don’t stop to let the faux pedestrian to cross the street, you will be ticketed anywhere from $50-$500.

PLEASE! Slow down, drive carefully, watch out for and be respectful of pedestrians. Not just today but every day.

Here’s the three locations:

City Clerk Reminding Drivers Of Free Replacement For Defective City Stickers

Clerk’s Office Mailing 72,000 Postcards To Select Drivers

Safe to say, the City Clerk’s office was a tad embarrassed back in early June.

After getting the city sticker season off to a fast and healthy start with record breaking online sales, something happened.

Reports of city stickers that wouldn’t stick to car windshields started trickling in. The trickle turned into a flood and after some quick checking, the Clerk’s office realized they had a bit of a fiasco on their hands. An aggressive campaign to alert drivers of free replacements for defective city stickers ensued, a two week extension of the grace period was announced, and so far, over 55,000 (approximately 5% of total sales) city stickers have been replaced since mid-June.

But now, concerned some drivers who unwittingly received a defective sticker and hadn’t heard about issue and/or the free replacement policy, the Clerk’s office is reaching out again to a select number of city drivers with a postcard mailing.

ALERT!: Critical Mass Bike Ride Friday Evening

“Happy Friday!”

Yeah, it’s the last Friday of the month and that means a few thousand bike riders will take to Chicago’s streets this evening for Critical Mass.

For whatever reason, the route is being kept under wraps until the Mass steps off at 6:00 PM from Daley Center.  The ride, we’re told, has been getting a little bit of heat from CPD lately, so this may be an effort to keep attention from the cops to a minimum.

Lakeview Rolls Out The Quarters

Parking frustration.

That’s the inspiration for the Central Lakeview Merchant’s Association’s month long promotion kicking off this Saturday.

This local chamber of commerce for the Lakeview neighborhood is offering shoppers a free $10 roll of quarters if they just spend $100 at two or more participating businesses between August 28th and September 30th.

“The issue was the quantity of quarters it took to park just to visit a business in this neighborhood,” says CLMA Executive Director Gus Isacson referring to the large parking meter rate increases that have come about in the last two years. “We’re trying to help people pay the meters then go shopping in the neighborhood.”

August Marks 75th Anniversary Of World’s First Expired Meter Parking Ticket

Augusts are hot in Oklahoma City, and August of 1935 was no exception.

The Reverend C. H. North, of Oklahoma’s City’s Third Pentecostal Holiness Church, drove his automobile downtown, and parked at a spot in front of one of those new-fangled devices called the Park-O-Meter the newspapers had been talking about.

Park-O-Meters, the brand name of the first parking meters were just recently invented, and the first batch of 150 had just been installed the month before creating sort of a hub-bub around town over those past few weeks.

North stepped out of his car, and wiping sweat from his forehead stepped into the hot and dusty street. He walked to the curb where the meter was planted in cement just in front of his automobile, and read the gadget.

It demanded 5 cents to park there.

The good Reverend checked his right pocket, and then his left. A few pennies, a dime, a quarter and a few silver dollars, landed in the palm of his hand. But there were no nickels.

9 Day Traffic Jam Grips Bejing China

You think traffic jams around Chicago are bad?

Try Bejing, China.

60 miles, on highways  in every direction, traffic has come to a virtual standstill for over nine days. On some of the past few days, some vehicles did not move an inch according to some drivers.

According to news reports, road construction sparked the massive jam and predictions are it could last for another three weeks.

Redflex Rejects Initial Bid For Takeover

Redflex Demands More Cash From Toll Road Firm Macquarie

By The Newspaper

Redflex, the company that has the contract for Chicago’s red light camera program has recently been the target of a corporate takeover by Macquarie, a company that coincidentally operates the Skyway toll road.

Redflex Traffic Systems reported Tuesday to the Australian Securities Exchange that it had rebuffed the $275 million offer from toll road giant Macquarie Bank for outright control of the company. The Australian red light camera maker believes that it can spark a bidding war to drive up the purchase price and enrich shareholders.