Monthly Archives: November 2013

Police Catch Shoppers Parked Illegally In Handicapped Spots

NBC 5, hanging out with law enforcement in a few shopping mall parking lots on Black Friday and finds some drivers parking illegally in spots reserved for handicapped drivers.

Earlier this week, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced a crackdown on this type of illegal behavior over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend at malls and shopping centers.

The fines are expensive, ranging from $500 to $2500, and drivers violating these laws risk having their driver’s license suspended.

Speed Camera Tickets Start At 3 More Locations Saturday

A speed camera near Douglas Park watches for speeders on Roosevelt Road.

Time’s up.

Lead-footed drivers that drive through or by Humboldt Park (3100 W. Augusta Blvd.), Douglas Park (2900 W. Ogden Ave.) and Major Taylor Trail Park (445 W. 127th St.) need to slow down or pay up.

The Chicago Department of Transportation announced Friday that speed cameras at those three parks will stop issuing warnings and begin issuing $35 and $100 tickets beginning on Saturday, November 30th.

But, despite the city’s legal authority to issue tickets for drivers going as low as 6 mph over the speed limit, CDOT says it will only issue tickets for vehicles traveling 10 mph or more over the posted limit. That threshold will be lowered over time according to CDOT, but no firm time frame for this was given.

Winter Parking Ban Starts Early Sunday, Record Total of Cars Could Be Towed

A towed vehicle exits the Auto Pound at 701 N. Sacramento last year after the first night of Winter Overnight Parking Ban.

Record numbers of drivers could have a rude awakening Sunday morning when the city’s annual Winter Overnight Parking Ban starts.

That’s because the ban begins on a weekend this year, just like it did last year when far more cars were towed on the first two nights of the ban than during any year since 2007, including many revelers out for a night at the bars. While city officials couldn’t say for sure, they believed the two-day opening total was a record number.

But this year there could be even more unhappy drivers, city officials acknowledge, for two reasons:

• With the ban starting at 3 a.m. Sunday, at the end of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, many visitors from out of town might be unfamiliar with the prohibition on parking on 107 miles of arterial streets, which runs till 7 a.m. daily from Dec. 1-April 1. The ban is a precautionary measure in case the city needs to plow the streets after a snowfall, but it remains in effect even if it doesn’t snow.

• The city started offering free parking at metered spots in most neighborhoods on Sundays earlier this year, which has led many people to simply leave their cars parked from late Saturday to early Monday, many business officials said.

Read more at DNA Info Chicago.

White Announces Black Friday Crackdown On Disability Parking

Don’t even think about it!

If you have some Black Friday shopping planned at a mall and see that alluring empty space reserved for handicapped drivers–don’t even consider parking there.

That’s because Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is sending out stepped up enforcement to bust people who illegally park in these spots.

Illinois Secretary of State Police will be at Water Tower Place and Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, as well as malls in Carbondale, Champaign, Peoria, Fairview Heights, Marion, Rockford and Springfield according to the Daily Herald.

Tribune: Parked Car Gets Caught Speeding By New Speed Camera

A sign warns drivers of speed cameras near Douglas Park.

Parked on a street near a speed camera was enough to get one driver a speed camera warning notice according to the Chicago Tribune.

The driver, received a warning notice for her parked car getting clocked going 37 miles per hour. Confused, she checked the online video and saw that her car sitting still while another car speed past in the opposite direction.

The incident upset her enough that she reached out to the newspaper to share her story.

Early Warning, Winter Overnight Parking Ban Starts This Weekend

Drivers beware!

Chicago’s annual Winter Overnight Parking Ban kicks off late Saturday night or more accurately early Sunday morning, December 1st at 3 AM on 107 miles of arterial streets.

The ban runs every night from December 1st to April 1st from 3 AM to 7 AM whether there’s snow on the pavement or not.

The city claims these critical thoroughfares must be kept car-free in case of an overnight snow storm as parked cars prevents plows from quickly and efficiently clearing streets if a major snow storm strikes.

Department of Streets and Sanitation crews have been flyering cars parked on streets along the ban route and are reminding drivers to read and obey the posted signs.

Heavy Traffic, Enforcement Present Challenges For Holiday Drivers

The Thanksgiving Day holiday drivers will be facing a handful of challenges in their travels this weekend including heavy traffic and increased enforcement.

Perhaps the biggest problem will be traffic for motorists trying to exit the city. The big travel day is Wednesday according to AAA Chicago which says 37% off all holiday traffic will take place then.

AAA estimates 2.08 million people will be traveling by car this Thanksgiving, a mild decrease of 1.3% compared to last year.

“While the economy continues to improve, the sluggish pace of the recovery is creating uncertainty in the minds of some consumers and therefore AAA is projecting a slight decline in the number of Thanksgiving travelers this year,” said AAA Regional President Brad Roeber.

The key to avoiding traffic is getting an early start on your travels. The earlier the better because by mid-afternoon on Wednesday, traffic should be pretty brutal on Chicago expressways.

Video: The Expired Meter On CAN-TV’s Issue Forum

Frank Avila, the host of CAN-TV‘s Issue Forum interviewed The Expired Meter’s publisher and resident nutjob, the Parking Ticket Geek recently.

The two discussed the city’s notorious parking meter lease deal, the new speed camera program, ways to possibly avoid speed camera tickets as well as tips for fighting improper parking tickets.

This is part one of the interview.

Speed Camera Goes Up Near Challenger ‘Park’ Over Weekend

Contractors bring in the electrical power for a new speed camera near Irving Park and Clark Street.

This past Saturday, crews for the contractor working with American Traffic Solutions, the company with Chicago’s speed camera contract, worked to get the proper electrical power working for a new speed camera in the 1100 block of West Irving Park Road.

Shortly after that, ATS techs installed the actual speed camera.

The speed camera was assigned to Challenger Park–a park that seems to defy the definition of what most people understand a park to be. That’s at least within the context of the city’s Children’s Safety Zone Program, which rationalized bringing speed cameras to the city to reduce the number of child pedestrians struck by cars in Chicago every year.

WBEZ Explains Chicago Style Street Cleaning

A listener to WBEZ 91.5 FM posed a question to the stations excellent Curious City producers asking, “What’s the deal with street cleaning? Does it actually do anything?”

The listener contended that after street cleaning, the street doesn’t look much different than on the day the bright orange Street Cleaning signs went up, implying it was some sort of scam for the city to collect more revenue through parking tickets.

Curious City, in its usual thorough way, gives listeners a near dissertation on the subject of street sweeping in a recent radio story and on their website.