Monthly Archives: February 2013

Parking Ticket Geek On WGN Radio Saturday Night

WGN Radio's Nick Digilio

About one Saturday night a month, the Parking Ticket Geek’s patient and lovely wife, let’s him out of the house.

It’s only to let the Geek go downtown to join WGN Radio 720 weekend host Nick Digilio for an hour on the radio.

That’s because the Geek’s wife likes Nick D. She thinks Nick, unlike the Geek, is hip and funny. She is, as usual, correct.

But the Geek suspects she might have a crush on Nick D. Uh-oh.

The Parking Ticket Geek joins Nick D. Saturday night at 11 PM on WGN Radio 720.

Listen live or stream it here.

Fox News Jumps Into Red Light Camera Fray


Fox News jumps into the national conversation about the legitimacy of red light cameras last night.

While the report focuses on the RLC issue in Florida, James Walker of the Wisconsin based National Motorists Association weighs in on how yellow light timing is crucial to reducing red light running.

Walker is a frequent commenter at The Expired Meter.

Snowstorm Making For Some Rough Driving Tuesday

In another poorly timed snowstorm, God or nature has scheduled a heavy snowfall just ahead of Chicago’s evening rush hour.

Based on the rate of the snowfall, it should be a pretty brutal drive home tonight.

Snowplows have already been deployed according to Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation spokesman Anne Sheahan on main thoroughfares but with the National Weather Service saying snow will continue falling until 9 PM, road conditions will continue to be slippery and slow going.

“We began the day with 75 on the street and now have all 284 trucks on the road,” said Sheahan. “In addition to our full fleet, we added extra resources to the south side to ensure residents can get to their polling places. Snow removal is going well, we’re making progress on the mains and will continue to focus on the mains until the snow subsides.”

Sheahan says snowplow crews are doing their best to remove the falling snow, but that the evening rush hour will slow down the process.

Redflex Traffic Systems’ Woes Continue

Redflex Traffic Systems has had a rough few months.

First, the Chicago Tribune gets hold of some internal company documents which shows the former Chicago Department of Transportation manager in charge of the red light cameras received some free hotel accommodations. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel disallowed the city’s current red light camera vendor from bidding on the new speed camera contract. A shocking turnaround for the company that seemed a sure bet for that contract.

More recently, the Tribune reported even more unethical behavior. Emanuel struck again and disallowed Redflex from rebidding the red light camera contract–a contract the company has held for ten years, since the program’s inception. The Chicago contract accounted for 13% of total company revenues.

Since then, things have continued to flow downhill.

Today Show Investigates Red Light Cameras

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NBC’s Today Show did an in-depth look at red light cameras last week.

While they covered the issue from a national perspective, they did look at Chicago’s RLC program, among others.

Here’s the full report, “Lights, cameras, reaction: Resistance builds against red-light cameras.”

Chicago Chooses Speed Camera Vendor

A technician installs an ATS speed camera in the 6500 block of north Western Ave. for pilot testing this past November

Chicago is now one more step closer to having speed cameras on its streets as the city’s Procurement Services Department announced its choice for a vendor late Friday.

According to Procurement Services Department spokesperson Bill McCaffrey, the city’s evaluation committee, which included nine voting members from city departments and one technical adviser without a vote, unanimously recommended American Traffic Solutions to be that provider.

“This recommendation was made for a variety of reasons, including the performance of its camera system and technology, cost, the extent and depth of data that can be collected, and its user-friendly web site,” said McCaffrey in a statement.

ATS spokesperson Charles Territo said his team had put a lot of work into the bid and was happy their company was chosen.

“We’re excited to have an opportunity to partner with the City of Chicago on this important public safety initiative,” said Territo.

Read more at DNA Info Chicago.

Bus Hits Car, CTA Denies Liability

A lady tries to back into a parking space on Halsted.


A CTA bus hits her car as it tries to pull around the parking car according to the Chicago Tribune..”

The bus driver is none too happy because this is the third traffic altercation the driver has had and it means she’s in trouble with CTA management.

The motorist tries to get the CTA to pay her insurance company for the damage to her car, but they refuse.

The CTA claims the onboard bus camera shows the car driver was at fault–not the bus driver.

Even after the Tribune’s Problem Solver columnist Jon Yates gets involved, the CTA is standing its ground.

Here’s the full story, “Problem Solver: Bus driver ticketed in accident, but CTA denies fault.”

NBC 5 Reports On Chicago’s Most Profitable RLC Intersections

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NBC 5 News did an investigative piece on Chicago’s red light cameras Tuesday night.

While not really breaking any new ground in its news report, NBC 5 did list the top five revenue producing red light camera intersections in Chicago Tuesday night.

For 2012, these five intersections produced $8 million collectively or almost 12% of all red light camera revenue.

Remember, Chicago has 191 intersections with RLCs.  So these five represent not even 3% of the city’s total camera intersections.

Also, friend of this site,UIC Professor Rajiv Shah, makes an appearance in the report explaining his research seems to undermine the city’s assertions the cameras improve safety.

Here’s NBC 5′s full story and video.

Critics Question IDOT Plan To Improve Circle Interchange

The Illinois Department of Transportation has plans to improve Chicago’s notoriously congested Circle Interchange.

The state agency plans to spend over $400 million to improve the traffic flow and decrease the congestion where the Dan Ryan (I-90), Kennedy ( I-94) and Eisenhower (I-290) slam into each at the foot of Congress Parkway.

But according to Streetsblog Chicago,  there are a handful of organizations and transportation planners are at best skeptical and at worst highly critical of all of IDOT’s proposed plans.

Gapers Block: Parking Meters Create 45 Tons Of Trash A Year

45 tons.

That’s the total volume of non-reyclable trash local news website Gapers Block estimates Chicago’s parking meters generates every year.

Gapers Publisher Andrew Huff along with web developer Scott Robbin broke out their slide rules and HP calculators and spent considerable time doing some fancy arithmetic.

First, the two weighed a parking meter pay box meter receipt.

Then, based on the reported revenue of Chicago’s parking meter lease holder Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, they make an estimate on the number of meter receipts generated per year.

They plug all those numbers into an IBM mainframe super computer the size of a refrigerator and viola! 45 tons.