Monthly Archives: September 2010

ALERT!: Crosswalk Enforcement Sting Thursday Night

Look out Lakeview drivers.

The police will be doing night time crosswalk enforcement on Belmont at Seminary (just west of Sheffield) Thursday evening from 7:30 to 9:30 PM.

Same drill as always. Cops act like pedestrians and try to cross the street at the well marked crosswalk.

If you’re driving and don’t stop to let the “pedestrian” walk on by, you face a big dollar ticket ranging from $50 to $500.

PLEASE! Drive safely and stop for pedestrians at crosswalks all the time. Especially tonight on Belmont Ave.

For more info, check out CDOT’s website.

Study: Chicagoans Spend Less Time In Traffic

What?

Is this some kind of practical joke? Is there a video camera hiding around here?

Because a new study released Tuesday says, no kidding, Chicago drivers spend the least time stuck in rush traffic than any U.S. city. We’re either last or number one–depending on how you look at it.

The study, entitled Driven Apart, released by CEOs for Cities, unlike another, older and more prominent study, the Urban Mobility Report issued by the Texas Transportation Institute, says it accounts for travel distance which is the reason for somewhat contrary rankings between each study.

Considered the gold standard in traffic congestion research, TTI’s bi-annual report ranked Chicago third (next to LA #2 and NYC #1) traffic congested city¬† in the nation in their last report. A 2010 Urban Mobility Report is scheduled to be released this fall.

Driven Apart contends that urban sprawl helps contribute to increased travel times and more importantly increases the time drivers spend in rush hour traffic. Chicago, because of its relatively compact urban area allegedly helps area drivers spend less time in traffic than every other city in the nation according to the study.

Is it true?

Do Chicago motorists really spend less time behind the wheel during rush hour than other American cities?

Hard to say, but all I can tell you is this writer keeps expecting Ashton Kutcher to jump out and tell us the Windy City has been Punk’d.

Bans On Texting While Driving Increasing Crashes?

A startling new report from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) released Tuesday, seems to indicate texting while driving laws seem to be having no effect on reducing car crashes.

And, at least according to the HLDI’s analysis of automobile accident insurance claims from four states (none of them Illinois), crashes have ticked up slightly after the texting bans were installed.

“Texting bans haven’t reduced crashes at all. In a perverse twist, crashes increased in 3 of the 4 states we studied after bans were enacted. It’s an indication that texting bans might even increase the risk of texting for drivers who continue to do so despite the laws,” says Adrian Lund, president of both HLDI and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Some Towns Utlizing Red Light Camera Enforcement Not Following IDOT Rules

Municipalities all around Illinois employ red light cameras to catch and fine drivers breaking the law.

But it turns out some area towns have red light camera intersections which are out of compliance with their permit and possibly shouldn’t be issuing violations, according to a Fox Chicago News report with contributions from The Expired Meter.

Cambridge Issues Parking Tickets With Yoga Poses To Calm Drivers

Rage is the probably the most common emotion a driver will experience when they see a parking ticket tucked under their windshield wiper.

But now, at least one town thinks they have a unique solution to calm irate, just ticketed motorists–drawings of yoga poses on parking ticket envelopes.

Hilariously, inexplicably, and possibly embarrassingly the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has recently rolled out new parking ticket envelopes with these allegedly “calming” graphics.

Brookfield Rejects Red Light Cameras

It didn’t even come up for a vote.

Monday, at the Brookfield village board meeting, trustees spent all of 15 minutes discussing bringing red light cameras to two town intersections, but decided not to go forward with a vote.

At the previous board meeting two weeks prior, the issue came up for discussion again after a full two year hiatus. While Redflex Traffic Systems was the original RLC suitor in 2008, upstart local camera enforcement company SafeSpeed, LLC was being considered as the vendor this time around.

While there was discussion about safety, revenue, and all the typical RLC issues, there were two out of the ordinary issues that killed the cameras.

The first was the additional cost necessary to upgrade the intersections according to IDOT standards in order to erect red light cameras to the tune of over $30,000 according to reports.

Ask the Parking Ticket Geek

Hello Geek,

I let a friend borrow my car and he got a parking ticket.

I have gotten several letters about it saying it needs to be paid and I give them to him. After the last one he claimed he paid it and then left town. Now I just got another letter saying it isn’t paid and it will be going to collections.

My questions is if I contact the city and give them this license information (which I have) will they transfer it to him?

I am wondering this because if he had gotten a ticket while driving it would be under his name not not mine. Do I have any hope of this or am I going to have to eat the cost of this and use it as a valuable lesson in friendship?

Always Delivery

Dear Always,

The Ticket Doctor Helps Out CBS 2 News

On Thursday, a horrific fiery and fatal car crash killed one and injured two on a portion of Devon Ave. that runs through a forest preserve near O’Hare Airport.

CBS 2 News alleges this strip of Devon is by it’s nature, is inherently dangerous and called in Barnet Fagel aka The Ticket Doctor to share his thoughts and expertise.

Fagel, a traffic safety adviser for the National Motorists Association (NMA) backs up CBS 2′s claim saying the road’s heavy forestation and a curvature of the road diminish the ability to see far down the road.

Combining these factors, a lack of a shoulder and a majority of drivers who tend to speed down this portion of Devon, you get perilously dangerous stretch of road according to Fagel.

Read the full CBS 2 report and watch the Ticket Doctor’s contribution to the video report here.

Fagel, is also a frequent contributor to this website.

ALERT!: South Side Crosswalk Stings Saturday Morning

This just out.

Be careful Saturday morning South Side drivers.

A full morning of “crosswalk enforcement initiatives” aka crosswalk stings are scheduled today at three different locations.

Crosswalk enforcement is simply posing as pedestrians trying to cross the street at a posted crosswalk. If a motorist doesn’t stop to allow the pedestrian to cross safety, they could get a ticket ranging from $50-$500.

PLEASE drive safely. Stop for pedestrians at all crosswalks–especially at the locations below this morning.

ALERT!: Critical Mass Friday Night

Don’t be surprised to see a few thousand bike riders tying up traffic this Friday evening. Especially with the weather being so nice.

If you don’t know, Critical Mass is the monthly bike ride that originates from Daley Center the last Friday of every month.

And while the bike riders are fun and friendly, the ride always ties up vehicular traffic wherever it winds around the city. So if you accidentally get caught on the wrong side of an endless parade of bikes, be prepared to wait.

Our advice if you get stuck? Just relax, roll down the windows and enjoy the spectacle.

And oh, in the spirit of Critical Mass…Happy Friday!

Photo copyright and courtesy of Rich Johnson aka nixternal.

Check out his great photostream over at Flickr.