Monthly Archives: September 2013

Lake Shore Drive Lane Closures For Resurfacing To Start Monday Night

Avoid the Drive — at least at night.

That’s the message the Illinois Department of Transportation is telling drivers, as a resurfacing project begins Monday night and continues overnight for the next five weeks.

The project will close two and sometimes three lanes in both directions between North Avenue and Balbo Drive from 8 p.m.-6 a.m. Monday through Thursday nights, according to IDOT.

Drivers will face long delays, and IDOT is recommending drivers allow extra time if they travel on that portion of Lake Shore Drive or avoid it altogether.

“Motorists should expect delays and are encouraged to take alternate routes,” said IDOT spokesman Paris Ervin.

Read more at DNA Info Chicago.

Parking Ticket Geek Is On The Air Saturday Night On WGN Radio

Nick D. behind the microphone at WGN Radio 720 AM

Take two.

A last minute change in programming has the Parking Ticket Geek joining Nick Digilio Saturday night on WGN Radio 720 around 9 PM.

After a twenty plus years anchoring the evening weekend shift for WGN, Nick D. was recently bumped up to overnights from 2 AM to 6 AM.

But thankfully, management decided to let Nick keep his highly entertaining Saturday evening show.

But tonight, the Geek and Nick will be talking tickets–parking, red light camera and speed camera–along with all sorts of other stuff.

Of course, the Parking Ticket Geek will be doling out his idiotic parking ticket advice to listeners.

If you want to call in, WGN’s call in number is 312-981-7200.

Hey! If you missed the show live, here’s the Nick D. podcast of the show.

Video Captures Couple Having Sex While Driving On Expressway

Talk about distracted driving.

A YouTube video showing a couple having sex while driving down the Eisenhower Expressway, went viral over the past week or so.

It seems another couple saw a woman bouncing up and down on top of the lap of a male driver on the Ike and decided to shoot some video with her phone. According to news accounts, the couple being videoed, despite realizing they were being caught on video, kept going at it for at least several miles.

Fortunately or unfortunately, YouTube got wind of the video and deleted it.

But here’s New York Daily News’s account, “Couple caught having sex while driving down busy highway.”

Critical Mass To Make Rush Hour More Challenging Friday Night

Bikers "Mass" up traffic in Wicker Park

Heads up Friday drivers.

Rush hour may be a little more challenging than normal as September’s monthly Critical Mass ride gets going at 5:30 Friday evening.

The last Friday of the month “parade” of bicycle riders steps off from Daley Center Plaza and will take some unknown 10-20 mile route through the city this evening.

Typically, the mass of bicyclists take over streets on their route and clog up traffic at intersections completely stopping cross traffic for long durations between 10-30 minutes at a time.

With beautiful weather Friday, the turnout for Critical Mass should be large. Big turnouts translate into a longer line of bikes, longer delays for motorists and pedestrians at intersections.

So if you stumble upon Critical Mass this evening be prepared to wait.

And as the Critical Mass drivers shout at passersby…”Happy Friday!”

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Chicago Red Light Camera Case

A sign warns drivers of the red light camera at the intersection of Irving Park and Kedzie.

The Illinois Supreme Court will hear a case challenging the legality of Chicago’s red light cameras, giving new life to a 3-year-old lawsuit that was dismissed by a lower court.

Several motorists filed a lawsuit challenging the validity of red light cameras back in 2010. But the case was dismissed by the Cook County Circuit Court in 2011 and that ruling was unanimously upheld by the First District of the Illinois Appellate Court in January.

John Bowman, spokesperson for the National Motorists Association, a group that opposed automated traffic enforcement, says their organization is pleased Illinois’ high court has decided to take the case.

“It seems like the appellate court that rejected the original class action suit had to engage in some pretty twisted logic to come to its ruling, such as its observation that the cameras don’t actually record moving violations since they only capture still images,” said Bowman about the prior court ruling. “We hope the Illinois Supreme Court engages in some common-sense collective thinking when considering the facts of the case.”

Simmons Law Firm filed its petition to be heard by the Supreme Court in May.

Read more at DNA Info Chicago.

2013 Fall Bridge Lift Begins Wednesday Morning

Wednesday morning marks the first day of the city’s annual fall bridge lift and drivers caught by a raised bridge should expect long waits.

At 9:30 AM, just after the morning rush hour subsides, the Lake Shore Drive bridge will be raised to allow the season’s first flotilla of sail boats to enter the Chicago River on their way to dry dock storage according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

Every Wednesday at 9:30 AM and Saturday mornings at 9, from late September through mid November, a pair of city bridge tenders raise the 27 movable bridges sequentially along the main and south branches of the river to allow these tall masted ships to pass without obstruction.

The city schedules these “boat runs” in the spring and fall for boat captains to move their recreational boats from Lake Michigan to winter storage locations along the North and South Branches of the river.

Grand Avenue Bridge Closed For Emergency Repairs

The Chicago Department of Transportation announced the Grand Avenue Bridge is going to be closed to all traffic for the next two weeks due to emergency repairs.

The bridge, which spans the North Branch of the Chicago River, officially closed Monday night at 7 PM and will be closed until Monday, October 7th at 6 AM.

CDOT is saying the bridge will be closed to both vehicular and pedestrian traffic to replace steel components on each of the four corners of the bridge.

Drivers are being detoured around the Grand Avenue Bridge by using Halsted Street, Chicago Avenue and LaSalle Street.

The bridge had been closed the past two weekends for painting.

Airplane Makes Emergency Landing On Lake Shore Drive Sunday

Drivers must have been shocked Sunday morning to see a small plane temporarily turning Lake Shore Drive into an airport landing strip.

Lombard resident John Pedersen was taking a small airplane for a spin when he started having problems with the plane’s tail. He radioed mayday. But Midway and O’Hare were too far away. Former Mayor Daley unceremoniously and illegally closed Meigs Field back in 2003, so that option was out.

Man Shot Over Parking Spot In The Gold Coast

Parking is at a premium in Chicago’s Gold Coast.

The high density residential area is chock full of high rises and is also home to many bars, nightclubs and restaurants which makes things even more frustrating for drivers trying to find a decent, legal parking space–especially on weekends.

We’ll this past Friday night (early Saturday morning), two drivers got into an altercation over what must have been one helluva parking space. Because one of the drivers pulled out a gun and shot the other driver in the stomach on Chestnut near State Street about 4 AM Saturday morning according to the CBS Chicago website.

Car Seat Safety Checks Set For 5 Chicago Locations Saturday

Almost every parent has experienced the frustration of trying to correctly install a child car seat in their vehicle.

So Saturday, the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois Secretary of State has teamed up with AAA to conduct 88 car Seat Check Saturday events across the state including a bunch in Chicago.

AAA claims three out of four car seats are either installed or used improperly, while the Illinois Department of Transportation says while 90% of kids on Illinois roads are belted in, just three out of five car seats are being used incorrectly.

Despite these eye-opening numbers, AAA Chicago’s Beth Mosher says the state is improving in this area.

“Illinois actually does very well as a state in educating and promoting child seat safety.” says Mosher. “We are among the states with the most trained child passenger safety technicians and we certainly do have a number of opportunities like Seat Check Saturday for families to ensure that their seats are used and installed correctly. Continuing to promote this educational, important resource and parents and families taking advantage of it, is so critical.”

Certified child passenger safety technicians will be providing free advice and hands-on child safety seat inspections to help harried parents learn the correct way to install car seats and booster seats, as well advise how older children should be buckled in using the standard seat belt.

Mosher says approximately 1300 safety checks will be done statewide on Saturday.

IDOT lays out car seat guidelines for parents: