Monthly Archives: July 2011

Paul McCartney Comes To Wrigley Field, Plan On Parking Chaos Sunday & Monday

He hasn’t played a concert in Chicago since 2005, but this time Paul McCartney brings his tour to Wrigley Field.

The ex-Beatle brings his show to Wrigleyville for two nights Sunday and Monday, leaving a wake of parking and driving chaos in his wake.

Parking restrictions will begin as early as 4 PM both days and last as long as 2 AM in some cases.

Drivers are encouraged to read and pay heed to any temporary paper signs prohibiting parking over the next two days.

Bikers Gone Wild! Critical Mass Tonight

The once a month chaotic bike “parade”, Critical Mass hits the hot asphalt of Chicago’s streets tonight to screw up vehicular traffic wherever it goes.

Illinois Tollway Drivers May See Price Hike

Toll Authority Proposal Nearly Doubles Toll Cost

Get your wallets ready motorists, it may cost you more to drive the Illinois Tollway starting January 1st.
The Illinois Tollway Authority unveiled a $12 billion, 15-year capital improvement plan on Thursday. But this ambitious plan comes with a cost to I-PASS users, nearly doubling the current cost of a toll using an I-PASS unit.

It’s been 28 years since toll rates were last increased to the current 40 cents per toll, most tollbooths charge. The Toll Authority’s plan calls for bumping up the price 35 cents to 75 cents per toll. Of course, drivers paying with cash will pay twice that.

EXCLUSIVE: City Recruits School Crossing Guards To Write Parking Tickets Over Summer Break

Program Adds 50-75 New Ticket Writers To The Street

Every morning, children who walk to school are familiar with the smiling, friendly faces and the outstretched arms of their local crossing guard who get them safely to class each day during the school year .

But what do crossing guards do  when school’s out for summer?

At least some of the friendly faced school crossing guards are spending their summer vacation writing parking tickets to Chicago drivers on behalf of the city.

It began as a pilot program last summer,  and  as a way to give crossing guards,  unable to get  one of the rare summer school crossing guard positions, a way to continue to bring in a paycheck when school was finished in June, according to Crossing Guard Coordinator John Maciezjewski, a retired police officer. This year it’s been rolled out city wide to give summer employment opportunities to the over 1,100 crossing guards working for the city.

Chicago Unveils First Protected Bike Lane, More On The Way

Construction Of 2nd Bike Lane On Jackson Begins In August

Cars park adjacent to bike lane eastbound on Kinzie

Visually confusing and completely foreign to Chicago motorists, pedestrians and bikers, the city unveiled its first protected bike lane on Kinzie Street this past Monday according to Huffington Post Chicago.

The lanes begins at Milwaukee Ave. and runs eastward to its endpoint at Wells Street.

ParkMagic Chicago In-Car Meter Program Ends

Innovative Pay-By-Cell Phone Option Quietly Dies

ParkMagic's in-car parking meter

Just over four years after Chicago’s Department of Revenue announced its ground breaking pay-by-phone,  in-car parking meter program to great fanfare, glowing reviews and overwhelming positive user response, the plug was finally pulled on the ParkMagic Chicago pilot program just over two weeks ago.

An e-mail from ParkMagic to its remaining users from the pilot program went out July 8th saying in part, “As you know the ParkMagic Pay by Cell parking system has been in pilot phase with the City of Chicago over the past two years and this phase is now complete.”

It was back in June of 2007, when the DOR debuted the blue and silver in-car meters in a pilot program limited to 1000 initial users. The first units were snapped up in less than a week, and after the first year the program was considered a success by an independent research study showing  a 97.6% positive feedback from the initial 1000 users.

ParkMagic was essentially the parking meter equivalent of the Tollway’s I-Pass unit.

Street Parking Coming To Logan Boulevard, Residents Upset Over Change In Law

For years, parking along Logan Boulevard has been prohibited.

But, starting in a few weeks, parking on the boulevard from Western Ave. to Kimball, and some of the adjacent side streets in the Logan Square neighborhood will be allowed for up to 16 hours a day in some cases according to the Chicago Tribune.

A new law was passed unanimously in the City Council last month to allow parking along this historic street, but some residents are angry and vowing to fight back against the measure, sponsored by 35th ward alderman Rey Colon.

Curiously, the Chicago Department of Transportation says allowing parking along thoroughfares to improve safety by naturally slowing traffic.

Crosswalk Stings Hit West Side Saturday

A motorist gets caught at a crosswalk sting at Elston and St. Louis on July 9th

Be careful Saturday morning West Side drivers.

The police will be out at three locations doing crosswalk enforcement stings from 8 AM until noon.

The Crosswalk Enforcement Initiatives is a program run by the Chicago Department of Transportation to educate drivers through violations and hefty fines, to make you stop to let pedestrians cross the street safely.

Undercover cops acting like pedestrians try to cross the street at a designated intersection and you’re supposed to stop and let them cross to the other side.

If you don’t let the faux pedestrian completely cross the street, you can be hit with a $50 to $500 fine and a trip to court.

Ouch.

So, drive safely. Give pedestrians a brake–they have the right of way at EVERY crosswalk–not just a stop signs and traffic lights.

Not only is it the law, it’s the right thing to do.

Here are the three locations:

Avoid Milwaukee Avenue This Weekend

Orange and white barriers are ready when this no parking sign goes into effect

Motorists driving around the city this weekend should do their best not to use Milwaukee Ave. from Wood to North Ave. this weekend.

 

Milwaukee Ave., a major diagonal thoroughfare which runs from just north and west of downtown all the way into the suburbs, will be closed for Wicker Park Fest, a street music festival, on Saturday and Sunday.

Drivers who are planning on patronizing the many restaurants, bars and night clubs Friday night/early Saturday morning, be careful.

Towing begins at 1 AM Saturday morning, which is one hour before 2 AM bars close and three hours before closing time for bars with a 4 AM license.

Geek Scores A Hat Trick Against The City

Some days are just better than others.

My plan for yesterday was simply to fight another of the seemingly endless stream of parking tickets my ’83 Impala seems to attract.

I had planned my day so I could take an hour off after lunch time to hit a hearing facility, but per usual my plans took a left turn.

Beer Drinking In The Park

A colleague’s niece stormed into the office waving one of the city’s blue colored ordinance violation tickets in my face asking me if I could help her with her ticket. I was a bit hesitant at first as my expertise lies with the orange tinted tickets–not the blue.