Monthly Archives: May 2012
The footprint of road closures related to the NATO Summit continues to grow.
Saturday afternoon, Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management & Communication (OEMC) announced Columbus Drive would be closed from the Chicago River at Wacker Drive to Illinois Street “until further notice.”
The two block stretch is about a block east of Michigan Ave. and two blocks west of Lake Shore Drive.
A few hours later, OEMC announced temporary extension of the closure on Lake Shore Drive on Sunday.
Stay far, far away.
That’s The Expired Meter’s best advice for driving during the duration of the NATO Summit occurring over the next few days here in Chicago–just stay the hell away from the vicinity of McCormick Place Friday night through Monday afternoon.
While streets directly adjacent to McCormick Place have been closed since this past Sunday, the scope of road closures and parking restrictions will begin at midnight Friday night/Saturday morning and continue through Monday afternoon.
If you park on a street that’s slated to be closed for this event, expect that your car will be towed starting at midnight Friday.
Here’s the full list of road closures associated with the NATO Summit.
The Secret Service and Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications believe all affected streets roadways will be open for Monday evening’s rush hour.
Major Roadways Closed
Every year during Chicago’s annual city vehicle sticker season, each of the city’s 50 aldermen, host a one-day sale to give their constituents the convenience of purchasing their sticker close to home.
“Our City Vehicle Sticker sales in each ward office are always very popular,” says City Clerk Susana Mendoza. “I’m proud to partner with each Alderman to offer this convenient service, Like last year, this year I will be going to each ward sale to see our operations first-hand and hear ideas from Chicago drivers on how we can improve our sticker sales and services to constituents.”
Ward office sales kicked off successfully Wednesday with over 300 city stickers purchased at the 48th Ward office of Alderman Harry Osterman located at 5533 N. Broadway.
So, when that bright orange parking ticket colored phone rang in the Geek’s underground bunker earlier in the week, we knew it’s someone important.
It was Mike Stephen, the affable host of Outside the Loop Radio.
Stephen was desperate. With NATO in town, all the potential cool, interesting and important guests he usually has on the show had fled town.
New York City seems to be taking tentative steps toward embracing privatizing their parking meter system, according to the Wall Street Journal.
After putting the initial idea on hold for several months, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has restarted the process exploring the idea of a private firm operating the city’s 39,000 parking meters.
Pet Safety Advocate Vows To Try Again
That’s essentially what Illinois State Senator Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) called it when motorists allow their pets to ride in their laps while driving.
Sandoval sponsored an amendment to the Illinois Vehicle Code which would prohibit motorists from such behavior and fine them $25 if caught in the act. And while Illinois would have joined Hawaii in outlawing driving with Fido on your lap, the measure got voted down 21-27 last Thursday.
“I was disappointed, but not shocked as it moved very quickly so we didn’t have much time to rally support,” explained Chicago resident Melissa Ramirez who had lobbied Sandoval to sponsor the legislation.
It seems, according to AAA Motor Club, dogs make driving dangerous.
AAA claims 30,000 accidents a year can be attributed to unrestrained dogs in the car and strongly encourages pet owning drivers to utilize some sort of restraint when driving with their dog.
Not by increasing the 25,000 parking spaces it controls at lots and garages adjacent to the airport, but through technological improvements to allow drivers to use their cell phone to locate and pay for parking.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the city is seeking bids from companies that have technology which will allow drivers to locate open parking spaces within garages or lots and even pay for their parking using smart phone applications.
Drivers with pre-paid parking would not have to wait at long lines to pay for parking before exiting. The city believes they can eventually decrease the number of manned pay booths at each parking lot or garage location.
The story says 3.4 million cars park at O’Hare annually, or an average of 20,000 vehicles a day.
But the bid description also has a mildly sinister request for potential bidders.
Who would have thought we’d still be talking about the Chicago parking meter lease deal nearly four years after the fact.
The Parking Ticket Geek joins John Williams on WGN Radio 720 AM Thursday afternoon at 2 PM to discuss how the meter lease deal continues to haunt the city.
Tune in 720 AM or stream WGN radio here.
Second Ward Alderman Bob Fioretti proposed consolidating nine small residential permit parking zones into four big ones explains the Chicago Tribune.
The idea was hatched and the ordinance passed in the City Council. So far, so good.
But issues began when some 2nd Ward residents decided to get their 2012-2013 city stickers in late April when the City Clerk’s office made them available earlier than in past years.
While Chicago area gas prices are still significantly higher than last year, local gas prices dropped nearly a quarter a gallon for regular unleaded gasoline in April, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.
“Prices are starting to stabilize a little from the price increases we saw due to the switch over to the summer blend of gasoline,” said Beth Mosher, director of public affairs for AAA Chicago.
It was the end of March when Chicago gas prices reached a record high price of $4.68 per gallon in the city proper and $4.50 per gallon for the Chicago metro area according to AAA.