Monthly Archives: February 2014

CBS 2: Pothole Damage Claims Can Take Years To Collect

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If you’re a driver who’s experienced vehicle damage from one of the hundreds of thousands of crater sized potholes on city streets and filed a claim with the city–be prepared to wait and wait…and wait.

Local State Senator Pushes Driving Ban On Google Glass

State Senator Ira Silverstein has proposed a ban on driving while wearing Google Glass.

State Senator Ira Silverstein has proposed a ban on driving while wearing Google Glass.

Google Glass isn’t even on the market yet, but state Sen. Ira Siverstein wants to ban users from wearing the high tech eyewear while behind the wheel.

In what could be the first such law in the nation, Silverstein has introduced SB2632, which states “a person may not operate a motor vehicle while wearing a mobile computing headset.” The bill is currently before the senate Transportation Committee.

Google Glass is billed as mobile computing eyeglasses which the company released to a few thousand “Glass Explorers” for beta testing early in 2013. An online demo simulating the field of view for users shows a small window in the upper right which can feature a picture, video or text message, among other displays. The glasses can be controlled by voice or by moving your head.

The $1,500 headsets are tentatively scheduled to be released to the public by the end of 2014.

Although Silverstein (D-Chicago) has not tried the eyewear, he says from his research he believes wearing the glasses is similar to texting while driving or using a handheld mobile phone while driving. Illinois banned texting while driving several years ago and a law prohibiting using a cell phone without a hands free device went into effect Jan. 1.

Read more at DNA Info.

Paid Sunday Meters Returning To North Side Neighborhoods?

A report by WGN TV News spotlights one of the problems with Mayor Emanual’s free parking at meters on Sundays.

Business owners on the North Side are saying the free Sunday meters is affecting their bottom line due to the lack of turnover in the metered spaces. Some say business is down 10-20% on Sundays.

The owners argue some motorists park their car in a spot Saturday night and don’t move it until Monday morning–making it impossible for potential customers to shop in high density retail areas in Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Wicker Park and others.

The Mayor’s office told WGN TV that decisions will be made in the next few weeks.

Here’s WGN TV’s full story, “Free Sunday Parking: Good for drivers, Bad for business.”

Police Lead Surge In Chicago Parking Ticket Issuance For 2013

Parking Ticket bar graphMayor Rahm Emanuel touted the reassignment of hundreds of police officers to the streets as a better way to fight crime.

And while crime did drop last year, the redeployment of officers from desk jobs to beat duty has had another possible outcome: more parking tickets.

After years of steady declines, the number of parking tickets issued in the city went up last year to 2.5 million, a 6 percent increase from 2012, data from the Chicago Department of Finance shows. It was the first time that the number of tickets issued actually increased from the previous year since 2008, when 2.75 million tickets were written.

While several different city agencies and private companies issued the tickets, the biggest jump last year was in the amount of tickets written by police officers, who penned more than 1 million of them in 2013. That’s nearly 170,0000, or nearly 20 percent, more than they wrote in 2012.

Police spokesman Adam Collins insisted police brass did not order officers to write up more parking scofflaws.

Read more at DNA Info.

City Fights Pothole Epidemic With Additional Manpower

City pothole repair crews patch asphalt on Halsted Street Saturday. Photo credit: Quinn Ford/DNA Info.

City pothole repair crews patch asphalt on Halsted Street Saturday. Photo credit: Quinn Ford/DNA Info.

Some say they’ve never seen Chicago’s streets in a worse state than 2014.

This malevolent sub-zero and snowy winter of 2014 has left most city streets pockmarked and bone shaking for drivers.

But the City of Chicago is fighting back by bringing in six seasonal work crews to assist the repair crews already trying to keep up with a never ending outbreak of axle breaking potholes.

The Chicago Department of Transportation made the announcement Saturday according to DNA Info.

New Speed Cameras Go Live Near Six Area Schools

A sign warns drivers on Irving Park Road near Challenger Dog Park warn drivers of speed camera enforcement.

Signs like this near speed camera zones warn drivers to slow down or face an expensive speeding ticket.

On streets near a handful of schools, city speed cameras have started or will start catching fast driving motorists on video according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

Speed cams near two South Side schools starting ringing up expensive tickets near St. Rita High School (2600 W. 79th Street) and Morgan Park High School (11100 block of S. Vincennes Ave.) this past Friday, February 21st.

While cameras near St. Genevieve Elementary (4800 block of W. Fullerton Ave.) and the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, (3800 block of W. 111th St.) will begin issuing tickets on Tuesday, February 26th.

Move Your Crap, City Starts ‘Dibs’ Junk Removal Monday

Dibs--RefreshingGet your crap off the street or the city will remove it for you starting Monday.

With the weather warming up and much of the snow melted from city streets, Streets and Sanitation crews will start collecting the junk people use to “reserve” street parking spaces according to DNA Info.

With the extreme amount of snow piling up on streets this winter, this practice or reserving spaces or ‘dibs’ has grown more pervasive than in normal winters.

Department of Streets and Sanitation spokesperson Molly Poppe told DNA Info crews will hit the streets Monday morning to start collecting the chairs, buckets, tables and many other items littering city streets.

Redflex Had Inside Track To Red Light Camera Contract

A sign on Irving Park Road warns drivers of the red light camera at at Kedzie.

A sign on Irving Park Road warns drivers of the red light camera at at Kedzie.

Redflex Traffic Systems had the inside track to win Chicago’s red light camera contract in 2003 reported the Chicago Tribune on Friday.

According to a former Redflex employee, former Deputy Director for the Chicago Department of Transportation John Bills allegedly coached the Redflex team on how to act during their pitch for the multi-million red light camera contract.

Bills and five Redflex employees allegedly met at the Signature Room atop the John Hancock Building in 2003, the night before they would present their bid at City Hall. The employee implies to the Tribune,  Bills had put the fix in for Redflex to get the contract.

Not surprisingly, Redflex ended up winning the contract–a contract which will finally end in April, 2014.

Geek Talks Snow Related Parking Tickets On Outside The Loop Radio

Snow warning signHas all this snow been driving you insane?

It’s certainly been a challenge for motorists in Chicago.

The Parking Ticket Geek joins Mike Stephen, the host of Outside the Loop Radio, Thursday morning at 10 AM to chat and vent about all the crazy snow related parking tickets and other driving issues.

Listen or stream Outside the Loop Radio on WLUW 88.7 FM at 10 AM.

Snow Covered Cars Are Parking Ticket Targets

Chicago has been pounded with snow this winter.

And it’s because of all this snow that many motorists who don’t drive their car very often risk an expensive $75 ticket.

Chicago motorists are required by law to move their street parked vehicle every seven days. Otherwise you can be ticketed and ultimately towed for Chicago municipal code violation #09-80-110(a)–or in English,”Abandoned Vehicle: 7 Days or Incapable of Operation.”