Monthly Archives: March 2012

Winter Overnight Parking Ban Ends

For many Chicago drivers, it’s not the sight of flowers blooming or a robin pulling a worm out of the ground that indicates spring is here.

And even though spring officially began March 2oth, city motorists mark the beginning of spring as April 1st when Chicago’s winter overnight parking ban ends.

This annual ban from December 1st to April 1st every year prohibits drivers from parking overnight from 3 AM to 7 AM on 107 miles of main arterial thoroughfares within the city. Every year thousands of vehicles get towed off these banned streets much to the frustration and chagrin of their owners and putting over $1.5 million in the city’s pocket.

Critical Mass Bikers To Clog Friday Evening Traffic

Bikers "Mass" up traffic in Wicker Park

It’s the last Friday of the month.

That means those crazy hordes of bicycle riders of Critical Mass Chicago will take over the streets of the Windy City tonight for their monthly ride.

Critical Mass steps off from Daley Center at 5:30 PM and will take a roughly 10 mile route unknown to anyone until minutes before the start time.

But drivers on the road during early evening will risk getting stuck at an intersection for 10-30 minutes depending on the turnout while the many hundreds of bike riders wave, smile and shout “Happy Friday” at the mostly pissed off drivers delayed by the chaos.

Illinois Boasts Nation’s Largest Fast Charge Station Network For Electric Vehicles

Electric Car Owners Can Now Juice Up At Tollway Oases

EV charging station outside a West Loop Walgreens

Above the din from hundreds of traditional gas powered vehicles roaring past the O’Hare Tollway Oasis Thursday afternoon, Governor Quinn announced Illinois will soon be the home to the nation’s largest network of fast charging stations for electric cars.

“We want Illinois to be the greenest state in America,” Governor Quinn said. “By installing the largest network of cutting edge fast-chargers, Illinois will continue to support green jobs and provide people with environmentally-friendly and affordable travel options.”

The O’Hare Oasis is just one of four oases where fast chargers have been installed. The other three locations includes the Des Plaines Oasis (along I-90), the Lake Forest Oasis and Chicago Southland Lincoln Oasis.

Eventually, electric vehicle fast charger units will be available at all seven oases in the Illinois Tollway system.

The state has partnered up with EV charging station management company 350Green, the Illinois Tollway and the 7-11 locations at each of the four oases to allow owners of electric vehicles re-charge their batteries in under 30 minutes.

Thanks A Lot Joe!

Police units block the Addison St. entrance ramp to the Kennedy Expressway last September when VP Biden was last in town.

Commuting on 90/94 is always a challenge to begin with.

But anytime someone from the White House comes to town, traffic gets even worse.

You can blame today’s pre-rush hour, rolling closures along the in-bound Kennedy on Vice-President Joe Biden, who’s in town for some fundraising.

Biden and posse drove in from Milwaukee on the way to an event in Lincoln Park and the Gold Coast according to the Sun-Times.

Although routes are kept secret, you can bet your bippy drivers will see similar closures and traffic impacts later this evening when Biden has to return to D.C.

Court Says Bogus Parking Ticket Case Can Move Forward

There are ups and downs to any court case.

Wednesday was an up day for Mark Geinosky according to the Chicago Tribune.

That’s when the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision that threw out Geinosky’s lawsuit against the City of Chicago and several Chicago police officers for violating his rights when he was issued many, many bogus parking tickets several years ago.

The Chicago Police Department, after much prodding and attention from the Chicago Tribune’s Jon Yates, is moving to fire four of the officers with hearings scheduled for two at the end of April.

Chicago Speed Camera Hearing Postponed

Hmmmm.

There was supposed to be a hearing on Chicago’s proposed speed camera law at the next meeting of the City Council Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety on Monday.

Despite the meeting not appearing on the City Clerk’s website, and Committee Chair Margaret Laurino’s (39th) staff telling this writer multiple times no meeting had been scheduled, the Chicago Tribune is reporting a meeting was scheduled and then postponed to allow committee members to gauge constituent sentiment on the issue.

‘One Second For Safety’ Bill Passes Illinois Senate 43-5

DEVELOPING…

One step closer to one second.

Illinois Senate Bill 3504, or the “One Second For Safety” bill got passed 43-5 this evening in Springfield.

The bill wants to add one second of time to the yellow light interval at intersections where red light camera enforcement is being utilized.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Dan Duffy (R-Barrington), who relied on research which seems to demonstrate that adding a second of yellow light time at RLC intersections reduces the number of drivers running the red light and therefore reduces crashes and improves traffic safety.

Drivers have complained for years  that red light camera intersections with artificially short yellow light times are partially to blame for many of the millions of dollars of $100 RLC tickets issued over the years.

The bill now moves to the Illinois House of Representatives.

15 Tips For Maxing Out Your MPG

Fuel Saving Tips To Deal With Record Breaking Area Gas Prices

Chicago gas prices have again hit all time highs again today.

ChicagoGasPrices.com has the average price of regular unleaded gasoline at $4.56 per gallon, 4 cents above the previous record set last year.

While AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report has city prices 2 cents higher than last year’s record at $4.67 per gallon and Chicago area prices (including the suburbs) are at a record $4.50 per gallon.

So, with local gas prices ranked as the most expensive in the nation, and more pain at the pump on the horizon with some experts expecting $5 a gallon gas soon as gas stations start selling the more expensive summer blend, The Expired Meter has some tips to maximize your mileage.

With some help from AAA and the U.S. Department of Energy’s website, here’s our favorite 15 tips for squeezing a few extra miles out of a gallon of gas and reducing your pain at the pump.

Drive Like Grandma

Driving & Using A Cell Phone May Not Actually Be Risky

Illinois may soon ban driving while using your cellphone without a hands free device.

Illinois State Representative John D’Amico (D-Chicago) sponsored a bill banning cell phone use while driving, that was passed in the Illinois House and is now being considered in the Senate, that would make the 10th state in the nation to embrace the ban. The City of Chicago has had a similar ban in place for several years.

But, according to a Chicago Tribune article, there seems to be some research that challenges whether using a hands free device while talking on a cell phone improves safety. In fact, one study seems to show that cell phone users on average are actually safer drivers. While other research seems to indicate using a cell phone while driving doesn’t effect safety at all.

How Many Miles Does One Travel In An Hour At 80 MPH?

That’s the question at the core of this YouTube video that’s gone viral.

The husband, who’s driving the car, poses this question to his passenger wife, then tries to explain to his very blonde wife how to calculate MPH.

The video will either have you slapping your forward in frustration, laughing out loud or questioning our education system–or perhaps all three.