Monthly Archives: March 2011

Parking Ticket 101: Street Cleaning

Tips For Avoiding & Contesting Street Cleaning Violations

Street cleaning season in Chicago officially kicks off this Friday, April 1st.

While parking tickets are frustrating, perhaps the most annoying parking violation is for street cleaning.

In  most cases, the signs were posted and the driver knew the big blue street cleaners would be there in the morning–but simply forgot.

60 bucks is an expensive mistake.

But here are some tips so you move your car in time and keep those damn bright orange street cleaning tickets off your windshield.

Street Cleaning Schedules

The City of Chicago just posted the 2011 street cleaning schedule on the Streets & Sanitation website.

Find your ward and your zone within the ward, and it should list every date for the entire street cleaning season, which runs through October 31st.

Write all the street cleaning dates on the household calendar and plug them into your phone’s calendar application . Then set the alarms to remind you ahead of time to move your car.

Your local ward’s website should have the street cleaning schedule for your ward listed.

Some wards will actually provide printed schedules to constituents.

Chicago’s Overnight Winter Parking Ban Ends

Street Cleaning Season Kicks Off April 1st

Spring is here.

It’s official, at least according to Chicago’s overnight Winter Parking Ban signs.

As of 7 AM today, the Winter Parking Ban is over, and drivers can go back to parking on the 107 miles of seasonally restricted streets starting tonight.

Early Thursday morning was the last “night” of the annual ban that bans parking on what are considered critical arterial thoroughfares from December 1st to April 1st between 3 AM and 7 AM.

Each winter Streets & Sanitation tow trucks remove thousands of illegally parked vehicles on affected streets. Drivers who are towed face a $160 tow fee to free their car from the auto pound and a $50 ticket.

City Street Sweeping Schedule Still Not Posted

Street Cleaning Season Begins In Two Days

Screen shot from Streets & Sanitation website

UPDATE 11:36 AM: New street cleaning schedule is posted at Streets & Sanitation website.

UPDATE 9:33 AM: Streets & Sanitation responds.

“We hope to have the street sweeping schedule posted soon,” says Matt Smith, spokesperson for Streets & Sanitation. “We have a lot of areas to cover so it might take a little time to get all of the components online.”

ORIGINAL POST: While Chicago’s street cleaning season is only 48 hours away from its official start on April 1st, the Streets & Sanitation Department has still not posted the city’s 2011 schedule for street sweeping.

As of midnight Wednesday, the Streets & San website still had a place holder image that simply stated, “Street Sweeping Information Is Still Being Updated.”

In addition, the link to the 2010 schedule is still active and is causing confusion with at least one ward office. One aldermanic staff member claims their office is getting calls from confused constituents who are unsure whether to believe the schedule posted on the ward’s website or the one posted at the city’s Streets & Sanitation website.

Congress Racks Up Over $15,000 In Parking Tickets

Even members of the U.S. Congress get parking tickets.

A lot of parking tickets.

According to The Hill Newspaper, Congressional members racked up more than $15,000 in parking and red light camera tickets in Washington D.C., over the past few years.

That’s despite members of Congress enjoying many privileged immunity from such minor infractions like parking tickets and such.

Parking Ticket Lawsuit Targets 2 Chicago Cops

Some people just shrug off parking tickets.

Some ignore them. Others just pay up. A few contest their tickets.

But not suburbanite Paul Kozlowski–he really fights back against parking tickets.

Ask The Parking Ticket Geek

Dear Geek,

Apparently I have over $4,000 in parking tickets.

Arnold Scott Harris (the collection agency)  has been contacting me like crazy.

The problem is I have no money. I have been unemployed since September of 2010.

Do you have any idea what my options are? I wanted to see if they would offer me a settlement where I can pay half, but they claim they don’t do that. Do you know if that is true?

The lady said my only option is a payment plan. Is that true?

Thanks,

Jake

Unfortunately, the payment plan is your only option Jake.

Fox Chicago, BGA: Taxpayers On The Hook For CTA Bus Red Light Camera Tickets

Red-Light Cameras: Taxpayers Pay for CTA Bus Drivers’ Tickets: MyFoxCHICAGO.com

Fox Chicago News and the Better Government Association have also been looking into which city owned vehicles have been receiving red light camera tickets.

According to their reporting, vehicles in nearly every city department have been ticketed for red light camera violations since 2006.

But, as reported elsewhere, one in particular accounts for more than half.

The CTA.

TRAFFIC ALERT: March Critical Mass Friday Night

Watch out Friday evening.

Critical Mass takes place this Friday evening.

Critical Mass is the massive bike ride that takes place the last Friday evening of every month, and takes hundreds if not thousands of bike riders through a leisurely ride on the streets of Chicago.

Rides can be 15-20 miles and take three to four hours and due to the huge number of bikes, will create major traffic impacts wherever it snakes through the city.

If you’re in a hurry to get somewhere Friday evening, you don’t want to get caught at a traffic light with the Critical Mass express coming through. It’s like being at a railroad crossing with a very long and slow freight train crossing.

U.S. Senators Attack Driver Alerting Apps

It all started Monday.

That’s when USA Today ran a story about different smart phone apps that alert drivers about known speed traps, speed camera locations, red light camera intersections and other dangerous intersections.

This list includes Cobra’s iRadar, Trapster, Fuzz Alert and Phantom Alert.

Phantom Alert got special attention in the article due to the fact it kept a list of DUI checkpoints in its database so drivers could avoid those spots.

Someone on Capital Hill read the article Monday, because on Tuesday, a group of 4 U.S. Senators came out with a statement asking Apple, Google, and Research In Motion (RIM) aka BlackBerry, to pull any of these apps with data on DUI or DWI check points off their websites.

Group Says Thousands Of Illinois Bridges ‘Structurally Deficient’

 

It was perhaps the least glamorous place in Chicago to have a press conference.

But on Tuesday, it was amongst the dirt and grime under the Western Ave. Bridge at Belmont Ave. and Clybourn, where a spokesperson on behalf Transportation for America delivered the bad news to Chicago drivers about the sorry state of Illinois bridges.

But maybe, since the 50 year old Western Ave. bridge is slated for removal by CDOT sometime in 2012, it was the perfect place for the Transportation For America to report that 8.5% or 1 in 12 Illinois bridges are considered “structurally deficient.”