Monthly Archives: January 2013

Appellate Court Upholds Legality Of Chicago’s Red Light Cameras

Since 2010, a group of Chicago drivers have been quietly challenging the legality of Chicago’s red light camera program in a class action lawsuit.

But, this past week the plaintiffs’ case was dealt a major blow when the First District of the Illinois Appellate Court unanimously upheld a previous ruling by the Cook County Circuit Court, which dismissed the lawsuit in 2011.

“We are pleased that the appellate court has upheld the validity of our ordinance and dismissed this case in its entirety,” said Chicago Department of Law spokesperson Roderick Drew in an email.

The lawsuit claims the City of Chicago did not have the legal right to establish its red light camera program when it was first created. That’s because the original RLC ordinance was passed in 2003, before the State of Illinois had a law on the books permitting this type of automated traffic enforcement.

Further, the lawsuit argues the city lacked home rule authority to do so, claiming the Illinois Vehicle Code did not permit this type of enforcement at the time. Home rule is the ability for municipalities with populations over 25,000 to pass laws that might normally be issued at the state level.

Read more at DNA Info Chicago.

Horrors! Tribune Reports On Cars Parked On Shoulder Of Road

In a major expose’, the Chicago Tribune reports on some drivers who pull over on the side of I-190 waiting to pickup friends or family landing at O’Hare Airport.

It seems, according to the story, it’s a common occurrence and possibly dangerous for a line of cars to build up there in violation of the signs prohibiting such heinous behavior and the risk of a $120 fine.

However, enforcement is lax. Perhaps because there is confusion over which police agency–the Chicago Police Department or Illinois State Police–actually has jurisdiction at that specific location.

The story correctly reports there is the nearby cell phone parking lot off of Manheim Road and adjacent to O’Hare parking lot F, where drivers can park safely and legally for free while waiting to pickup up at the airport.

Tribune: Half The Kids Hit By Cars Within A Block Of Schools

The Chicago Tribune has been crunching some numbers.

Looking over Illinois Department of Transportation pedestrian crash data between 2007 and 2011, the newspaper calculates almost 1,700 school age children (between 5-18 years old), were struck by vehicles within a block of a school. This number accounts for 10% of all pedestrian crashes.

The Trib says 16,500 pedestrian crashes occurred in this five year period, with about 22% involving children.

Gov. Quinn Signs Law Allowing Driver’s Licenses For Illegal Aliens

Gov. Quinn signs new bill Sunday. Photo copyright and courtesy of DNA Info Chicago and Geoff Ziezulewicz

Sunday afternoon Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill into law that will allow illegal aliens to obtain a state driver’s license.

According to DNA Info Chicago, in the advance of the ceremonial bill signing, a group of politicians were on hand, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and State Representative Edward Acevedo spoke for over an hour and a half to a large and enthusiastic audience.

New York City Kills Parking Meter Privatization Deal

A New York City Muni-Meter. Photo courtesy and copyright DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

Blame it on Chicago.

New York City has opted not to move forward with plans to privatize the city’s more than 85,000 metered parking spaces and Chicago is at least partially responsible according to the Wall Street Journal .

New York is just the most recent of many large U.S. cities that considered privatizing their parking meters but backed off. This list also includes Pittsburgh and Los Angeles. The WSJ blamed this inability for cities to consummate these privatization deals on the failure of Chicago’s meter lease deal and subsequent public backlash.

The Geek Joins Nick Digilio On WGN Radio Saturday Night

Sure, most people have better things to do on a Saturday night than stay home and listen to the radio.

Dates, movies, restaurants, night clubs, bars–all sorts of fun stuff.

But if you happen to be enjoying your Saturday night at home, tune in WGN Radio 720 AM at 11 PM.

The Parking Ticket Geek is joining weekend host extraordinaire Nick Digilio for an hour to talk parking and driving in Chicago.

Tune your radio’s dial to AM 720 or stream it live here.

Chicago Driver Boots His Own Car To Stop Thieves

What lengths would you go to in order to prevent your car from being stolen?

Car alarm? Lojak? Steering wheel lock?

What about booting your own automobile?

CBS 2 News came across a guy putting a boot on a car–his own car.

Critical Mass Chicago Friday Night

Critical Mass Chicago takes place tonight, the last Friday of the month.

The monthly parade of bikes steps off from Daley Center at 5:30 PM.

While normally hundreds if not a few thousand bikers participate in Critical Mass when the weather is kinder, gentler and warmer, one would expect this evening’s ride to be somewhat smaller.

A weeks worth of extra cold weather and a few inches of snow this morning will probably discourage only the most hardy and hardcore bike riders from participating.

The good news for drivers is the traffic impact from those crazy bikers will probably not be significant.

Drivers should keep an eye out for Critical Mass bikers all the same.

Happy Friday!

CBS 2 Covers Delay In Parking Meter Rate Increase

It seems other news gathering organizations in Chicago also think it’s odd the city’s parking meters won’t be going up until February, a story originally broken here at The Expired Meter.

Parking Tickets On The Rise In Arlington Heights

It seems like some suburban towns are learning from the City of Chicago.

The Chicago Tribune reports parking tickets in Arlington Heights were up 18% in 2012.

The volume of tickets rose from 14,724 in 2011 to 17,346 in 2012, which is dramatically up from just two years ago when only 11,685 tickets were issued back in 2010.

The story says there’s no explanation for the impressive increase as the number of parking enforcement personnel has remained constant at five.

Perhaps the most interesting nugget of data is that, despite increases in ticket volume, the number of drivers contesting parking violations has gone down a smidgen.

While 17,346 parking tickets seems like a lot of tickets for a suburban town, it’s still a drop in the bucket compared to Chicago which issues over two million tickets each year.

Here’s the Tribune story, “Parking tickets up in Arlington Heights.”