Monthly Archives: May 2014

Illinois Appellate Court Hears Parking Meter Lawsuit Arguments

meterfail600The wheels of justice turn very, very slowly.

That’s why, despite being originally filed in 2009, the lawsuit challenging the state constitutionality of Chicago’s 2008 parking meter lease deal is just now being considered by the Illinois Appellate Court in 2014.

According to Chicago Reader reporter Mick Dumke who was at court Thursday, a three-judge panel heard oral arguments from lead attorney Clint Krislov on behalf of the IVI-IPO on Thursday. Krislov argued the city turned over its “police powers” to Chicago Parking Meters, LLC thus giving up its ability to effectively regulate parking, traffic and the public way. This is something at odds with the Illinois state constitution according to Krislov.

Anti-Camera Groups To Protest Dog Park Speed Cameras Saturday

The speed camera in the 1100 block of W. Irving Park.

The speed camera in the 1100 block of W. Irving Park.

Anti-red light/speed camera groups will be on the North Side Saturday to protest the city’s traffic camera policies–and in particular bring attention to a speed camera that protects dogs and not children.

Members of Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras and Cook County Campaign for Liberty will be protesting at the intersection of Clark St. and Irving Park Road between 11 AM and 2 PM.

This location has both a red light camera and a nearby speed camera just east on Irving Park Rd. which is situated between two cemeteries and near the entrance to a dog park.

The speed camera there is within 1/8th of a mile from the entrance to Challenger Park, but park is actually a dog run and is 3/8ths of a mile of parking lot from Irving Park Rd.

Critical Mass + Wrigleyville = Car Chaos

Critical MassIt’s the last Friday of the month.

That means hundreds, if not thousands of bicycle riders will be participating in the monthly Critical Mass ride.

Unfortunately for motorists, the Critical Mass route brings all those bike riders into Wrigleyville this evening.

Pothole Damage Claims at Record Level in 2014; Repairs Also on Record Pace

Claims for pothole damage are at historic levels from this year's harsher than normal winter.

Claims for pothole damage are at historic levels from this year’s harsher than normal winter.

With pothole damage claims at record levels and pothole repairs expected to top the most ever in Chicago, the brutal winter is still being felt on city streets.

The city this year has received 3,668 claims from drivers who say potholes damaged their cars. That’s the most ever — and 1,200 more than the number of complaints received in the past four years combined.

In those years, the most the City Clerk’s office processed was 817 in 2011. That’s not much more than the 694 introduced for reimbursement at Wednesday’s City Council meeting alone.

“Since we’ve been keeping track, it’s been off the charts,” City Clerk spokesman Patrick Corcoran said.

Claims are expected to continue rolling in for at least another month and possibly beyond that, Corcoran said.

Read more at DNA Info Chicago.

Over 15,000 Drivers Sign Up For ParkChicago App

When you start seeing signs like this around areas you park, you can start using the ParkChicago app.

When you start seeing signs like this around areas you park, you can start using the ParkChicago app.

In just a few weeks after the city wide expansion of its service began, over 15,000 drivers have signed up to use the ParkChicago mobile payment app according to Chicago Parking Meters, LLC.

ParkChicago is the pay-by-phone app that allows Chicago motorists to pay for metered parking remotely via their smartphone remotely, instead of having to feed the meter.

CPM launched the service with a three-week pilot test confined to a four block area in the West Loop neighborhood back in mid-April and then started the expansion the first week in May.

“The response to ParkChicago has been very positive as you can tell by the number of drivers who have signed up in just a short amount of time,” said CPM spokesperson Scott Burnham. “Our customers obviously like the ease and convenience of the app, which allows them to avoid a trip to the meter box and eliminates the need of having to walk back to their vehicle to place a parking receipt on their dashboard. It also gives them added flexibility by enabling them to extend their time remotely so they don’t have to rush to get back before their time expires.”

Video Coverage Of Red Light Camera Case In Illinois Supreme Court

ABC 7 was on hand in Ottawa, IL to cover the oral arguments for Keating V. Chicago in front of the Illinois Supreme Court last Wednesday.

WGN News also did a piece on the hearing but, use video of speed cameras not red light cameras in their reporting.

The day before the hearing, NBC 5 sat down with Patrick Keating, the class action lawsuit’s lead attorney, to lay out his case.

Red Light Roundup: Waukegan, E. St. Louis, Palos Hills & More

County State’s Attorney Stops East St. Louis “Speed Camera” Program

Speed camera enforcement is only legal in one city in Illinois–and that’s Chicago.

But that didn’t stop East St. Louis.

The city hired a private company to help them start issuing $240 camera tickets to drivers allegedly speeding in construction zones.

But now, after many complaints the St. Clair State’s Attorney stepped in and told the East St. Louis Police Department to discontinue the practice according to KDSK TV.

The Police Chief claims they are legal, but was forced to non-suit a bunch of these tickets recently because the State’s Attorney says these tickets are not being adjudicated by a judge but by an administrative law officer.

H/T: Stephen Donaldson

Palos Hills To Install New Red Light Camera

Illinois’ Zero Plate Receiving Improper Tickets From Oak Park

OakPark parking ticketA vehicle adorned with the the “0″ Illinois license plate is at the receiving end of a slew of improper parking tickets from the Village of Oak Park according to

Chicagoan Tim Feddor, received approximately 200 improper Chicago parking tickets a few years ago due to ticket writers testing their handheld ticket writing computers by using “0″ for the license plate. Ultimately, after some media attention, the tickets went away.

But now, it’s happening again. This time, despite Feddor trying his best to get Oak Park to simply toss out the 11 tickets he’s been issued since the make of the vehicle doesn’t match, the west suburban town says there’s no easy solution and seems to be pursuing the innocent driver to pay up.

Law Enforcement Gears Up For Memorial Day Holiday Weekend

Click It or TicketIllinois motorists planning to travel this Memorial Day holiday weekend are being urged to buckle up or risk being ticketed in a surge in seat belt enforcement.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, State Troopers, along with local law enforcement units across the state will be operating hundreds of seat belt enforcement zones and other enforcement patrols looking for seat belt law violators and drunk drivers.

This enforcement push is part of a Click It or Ticket campaign that began May 9th and goes through Memorial Day this Monday.

City’s Red Light Cameras Unlawful & Unconstitutional, State Supreme Court Told Wednesday

The historic Ottawa courthouse where the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case challenging the validity of the state and City of Chicago's red light camera laws.

The historic Ottawa courthouse where the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case challenging the validity of the state and City of Chicago’s red light camera laws.

OTTAWA — A class-action lawsuit that aims to end the city’s red-light camera program — and possibly lead to refunds to drivers for every ticket issued since it started in 2003 — was argued before the Illinois Supreme Court Wednesday, but justices gave no indication which way they might rule.

Attorney Mike Reagan told the court that the city did not have the legal authority to start using cameras in 2003 because the Illinois General Assembly had not passed a law specifically allowing this type of traffic enforcement.

Reagan also argued that the city, by using the cameras, actually violated Illinois laws requiring uniform traffic rules statewide, which applies to such things as the color of stop signs, traffic lights and other rules of the road.

“The city lacked the power to enact this ordinance,” Reagan said. The city law “destroys uniformity and uniform enforcement of traffic laws.”

State lawmakers did not OK automated red-light cameras until 2006, but then restricted their use to just eight of 102 counties, including Cook, the collar counties and counties near St. Louis.

Read more at DNA Info Chicago.