Monthly Archives: April 2011

ALERT!: Move Your Cars, Ravenswood Run Sunday

Sunday is the annual Ravenswood Run, up on Chicago’s Northside.

If you live up in the Ravenswood neighborhood, make sure your car’s not parked on the race course Sunday or it will be towed.

Three years ago, race promoters did a very poor job of getting the word out and/or not posting enough signs along portions of the race route and several hundred cars were erroneously towed.

Since then, race promoters havedone a great better job and this year, it looks like they’re going out of their way to make sure things run smoothly again.

They’ve got bright yellow posters on trees all along the as well as white lawn signs on every corner and they’ve also been sticking fliers on the windshields of cars to warn drivers parked along the race course.

ALERT!: Critical Mass Bike Ride Tonight

If you’re caught in traffic early this evening because a seemingly infinite number of of bike riders are crossing the intersection, blame Critical Mass.

Critical Mass is the monthly massive bike ride which takes several thousand bicyclists on a chaotic ride throughout the city the last Friday of every month.

With the weather warming up, this should be a much larger turnout than the previous winter months. So be prepared to wait a long time if you get caught.

The “Mass” starts downtown from Daley Center at 5:30 PM.

If you do get stuck, just put the car in park, recline your seat and wave to all the happy bike riders screaming “Happy Friday!”

CDOT, Police Kick Off Crosswalk Enforcement Season Saturday On Southside

Be extra careful driving on your Saturday morning errands this weekend.

Because that pedestrian crossing in front of you may actually be an undercover cop.

The Chicago Department of Transportation and the Chicago Police Department kick off the start of the city’s annual Crosswalk Enforcement Initiative at three locations on the Southside this Saturday.

According to the CDOT website, the three locations on Saturday will be:

8 AM      Essex Avenue and 79th Street
10 AM    Commercial Avenue and 88th Street
Noon      9141 S. South Chicago Avenue

Essentially at each location, off-duty police officers posing as pedestrians will step off from the curb and into the crosswalk as a vehicle approaches. If the driver fails to yield to the pedestrian and allow them to cross safely (as required under both municipal and state law), the motorist will be pulled over by police officers laying in wait further down the street.

City Unveils Bold New Reconfiguration Plan For Damen-Elston-Fullerton Intersection

Work For Proposed Elston Bypass Could Start In 2013

Aeriel rendering of proposed Damen-Elston-Fullerton reroute

It’s one of the most congested, confounding and accident prone intersections in the city.

Every day an average of 70,000 drivers get delayed and frustrated by the asphalt tentacles of the six corner, three way monster of an intersection of Damen-Elston-Fullerton, on the western edge of Lincoln Park.

“Our office gets more calls from drivers about this intersection than anything else,” says 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack saying the traffic has gotten worse over the past few years. “Due to the vast amount of development that went on in past years, all these people (in the ward) get to the highway using this intersection.”

But Wednesday afternoon, the city formally announced its plans for a bold and dramatic reconfiguration of this troublesome intersection at a public hearing held at the Bucktown-Wicker Park Library at 1701 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Secretary Of State Unveils Chicago Bulls Plate

Now Bulls fans show pride for their hometown NBA team with a Chicago Bulls license plate.

The new plate was unveiled on Wednesday by Secretary of State Jesse White and former Bulls star Scottie Pippen according to Fox Chicago News.

Sales for the specialty plate begin Tuesday and will cost drivers a minimum of $27, but could cost more depending on several options available to the driver.

Drivers can purchase Bulls plates through the Secretary of State’s website.

Obama Visit Temporarily Close Down Expressways

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are in town to for a taping of the Oprah Winfrey Show today.

But they’re leaving major traffic impacts in their wake.

Lake Shore Drive was closed down in both directions between 31st Street and Soldier Field for a short time Wednesday morning. Portions of the Kennedy, Dan Ryan and the Stevenson Expressways where they feed to LSD, were also closed temporarily to allow the President’s motorcade to make it to Oprah’s west side studio.

Of course, we’ll see similar impacts when the President and First Lady return to O’Hare Airport to fly out of town and head to New York City in the mid-afternoon.

The Obamas will be in the Big Apple to attend fundraisers and screw up traffic there Wednesday evening according to Fox New York News.

Survey: Chicago Gas Prices Highest In Nation?

Lundberg Says Chicago #1, But GasBuddy.com Ranks Us #2

Chicago is number one again, but this time the Windy City is number one in highest gas prices at least according to one company.

According to the Lundberg Survey via Fox Chicago News, Chicago boasts the highest gas prices in the nation with an average price of $4.27 per gallon for regular, well above the national average of $3.88 per gallon.

But hold your horses–another fuel price tracking company challenges Lumberg’s assertion.

GasBuddy.com, which runs the website ChicagoGasPrices.com, has the average price at $4.30 per gallon as of Monday morning.

But also according to GasBuddy.com, it’s Honolulu, HI which that has the highest gas prices in the nation with fuel at $4.41 per gallon–Chicago is number two.

ALERT!: Cubs Night Game Tonight, Tomorrow

The Colorado Rockies come to town to play a three game series at Wrigley Field.

The first two nights, tonight and tomorrow are night games.

Of course this means lots of ticketing and towing for vehicles without proper RPP city stickers or guest passes in LV2 and 383 zones.

Restrictions kick in at 5 PM and last until 10 PM.

First pitch scheduled for 7:05.

Try to avoid Lakeview this evening if you can.

Here’s the full Cubs’ night game schedule for 2011 and other news you can use on Wrigleyville parking.

Tollbooth Scofflaws Can Now Fight Violations Online

Illinois Tollway drivers now have a new way to dispute violations for not paying their tolls–online.

According to an informative piece in today’s Chicago Tribune, the Illinois Tollway Authority quietly unveiled this internet based option to contest tollway violations at the beginning of April. Previously, much like parking tickets, motorists only had two ways to fight back–by mail or at an in-person hearing.

The problem with an in-person tollway violation administrative hearing, there is only one, inconvenient location for hearings. Drivers have to travel all the way out to west suburban Downers Grove to fight a tollway ticket.

Forbes Lists Worst Cars On The Road

Chevy's Aveo makes Forbes list of worst cars on the road

Most news stories about the new crop of automobiles to make it to dealer floors spotlight the best cars on the road, car of the year or best vehicle values out there.

But Forbes Magazine, based on studies by Consumer Reports, has compiled a list of the worst cars on the road based on performance, quality, and value.