Monthly Archives: September 2011

Tollway Employees Pilfer $25,000 In Tolls

The Illinois Tollway’s Inspector General has caught some Tollway employees red handed–taking cash from toll booths according to the Sun-Times.

At least one dozen employees (now former employees) took at least $25,000. One 27-year veteran admitted to taking $7000. Another employee was caught classifying regular cars as emergency vehicles (which are not supposed to pay) and pocketing the tolls. Investigators got wise when they saw a suspiciously large number of emergency vehicles recorded on the books.

City Begins Michigan Avenue Repaving Project

The Mag Mile is going to be a little less magnificent starting Wednesday, September 28th.

At least for about six weeks.

That’s because Chicago Department of Transportation crews will begin a resurfacing Michigan Avenue from Illinois St. north to Oak St.

In addition, Inner Lake Shore Drive will also be getting a fresh layer of pavement from Oak St. to Division.

Clerk Mendoza Talks City Sticker Sponsorships

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City Clerk Susana Mendoza sat down with NBC 5 to talk about her plans to hopefully secure corporate sponsorship for the back of next year’s city stickers.

Mall Owner Installs Electric Car Charging Stations

Even though just a handful of electric vehicles are on Chicago area roads, one suburban shopping mall owner is embracing the technology by installing electric vehicle charging stations.

Today, Simon Property Group, cut the ribbon on new EV charging stations at their Chicago Premium Outlets in west suburban Aurora.

“We believe that a well-developed EV charging infrastructure is going to be key to the success of EVs,” said George Caraghiaur, Simon Property Group’s Senior Vice-President of energy and procurement. “Meeting the needs of the first-to-market drivers of electric vehicles in the communities we serve is yet another example of our commitment to sustainability.”

Report: Chicago Traffic Congestion Improves…Barely

Good news drivers–Chicago’s traffic congestion is actually improving.

According to the Texas Transportation Institute’s annual Urban Mobility Report, Chicago has been replaced at number one by Washington DC dropping into the second spot in the for the nation’s worst traffic congestion.

This is due to mild improvements in several areas. But you might not feel the improvements, at least according to a researcher from Texas A&M University.

“Realistically, as drivers will tell you, you can’t really feel it,” says Texas Transportation Institute Research Engineer and co-author of the 2010 study Bill Eisele. “But Chicago’s ranking has gone down from first.”

Police Sting Catches Handicapped Placard Abusers Outside Upscale East Bank Club

East Bank Club Patrons Nabbed for Using Disabled Placards to Park for Free:

Local celebrities, politicians, wealthy people all work out at the East Bank Club.

President Obama is a member there and so is Oprah.

The East Bank Club is perhaps Chicago’s most prestigious athletic club.

Its a pretty expensive membership, so it’s pretty surprising that some drivers were caught illegally hanging handicapped placards from their rearview mirror before entering the East Bank Club just to avoid feeding the meter.

Parking Conflict Still Simmers In Logan Square

For as long as anyone can remember, cars were not allowed to park along Logan Boulevard.

But recently and quietly, Alderman Rey Colon (35th) was able to pass municipal legislation allowing parking along the boulevard on certain days and times.

Celebrating Chicagoland Car Free Day–By Driving

Today is Chicagoland Car Free Day.

Ya know how I’m going to celebrate?

Yup! Sitting behind the wheel of my car watching other suckers taking public transportation, walking or biking to work, school or wherever.

Honestly, as a hardcore motorist who has to rely on my car to every single solitary day to drive kids to school, to work, to make deliveries to customers, to meet with clients, et cetera, et cetera, et freaking cetra–I don’t see the point of this goofy day without a car to get around.

That’s why I decided to give Ethan Spotts from the Active Transportation Alliance a call–to find out why the hell anyone would voluntarily give up their car for a day.

Report: Circle Interchange Ranked Worst In Nation

Chicago's Circle Interchange ranks worst in nation according to study

Chicago is number one again.

But instead of being home to a championship sports team, the Windy City gets to brag that the infamous Circle Interchange ranks #1 for being the most congested highway interchange in the entire U.S for truckers.

Of course, if the trucks are moving slow in traffic, so are Chicago drivers stuck in the same congestion.

According to a newly released report from the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Circle Interchange where the Kennedy, Dan Ryan (I-90/I-94) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways intersect, is the slowest, most congested highway bottleneck in the nation.

The ATRI study claims the average speed for semi trucks coming into the Circle Interchange during peak congestion is 22.34 MPH, 31.89 MPH during non-peak periods, and averages a speed of 29.41 MPH.

Geek On Outside The Loop Radio Thursday Morning

The Parking Ticket Geek and radio host Mike Stephen spend a few minutes chatting underneath the CTA Blue Line tracks Thursday morning on Outside the Loop Radio.

Stephen and the Geek talk about the CTA’s Under ‘L Parking program, a report on pedestrian vs. vehicle accidents and the City Clerk pushing forward with a plan to get advertising sponsors for next year’s city stickers.

Tune into (or stream) Outside the Loop Radio Thursday morning on WLUW 88.7 FM starting at 10 AM.