Monthly Archives: October 2014
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police (ISP) are warning motorists of stepped up efforts by state and local law enforcement to catch impaired drivers this holiday weekend.
“Halloween is a fun holiday to celebrate, but poor decisions too often lead to real tragedy on Illinois roads,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Erica Borggren. “This Halloween, law enforcement will be on the lookout for drunk and unbuckled drivers to help keep the fun from turning into a deadly night.”
With traffic fatalities across the state down significantly compared to last year at this time, Halloween marks the start of a two month, end of the year effort to keep traffic deaths as low as possible.
IDOT says four of 19 motor vehicle related fatalities last year involved a driver who had consumed alcohol.
Drink responsibly, designate a driver and buckle up is the advice IDOT and the state police are giving motorists.
Winds, Waves Close Northbound Lake Shore Drive At Rush HourWind gusts of 60 mph pushed 20 foot waves onto the northbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive Friday afternoon forcing the city to reduce travel to a single lane and causing some severe rush hour traffic backups.
DNA Info reports at one point all four lanes were closed from Oak Street to North Avenue but conditions improved as the evening wore on.
“We are urging motorists to drive with caution and recommending they use an alternate route in the meantime,” said Melissa Stratton a spokesperson for the city Office of Emergency Management.
The problems on Lake Shore Drive, along with snow and sleet showers across the area, made Halloween’s rush hour even more horrific than normal Fridays.
Commuters experienced longer than normal travel times were the norm on most Chicago expressways.
A lake shore flood advisory is in place until 4 AM Saturday.
And not because of all the stomach aches that occur from consuming an overabundance of candy.
No, there are multiple studies that indicate more children are hit by vehicles on October 31st than any other 24 hour period of the year.
So, here are a few tips when you’re out driving on Halloween to make sure everyone gets home safe and sound Wednesday evening.
A group of over 50 protestors shut down traffic at the very busyintersection of North, Damen and Milwaukee Avenues Tuesday night according to DNA Info.
The protestors were marching in “solidarity” with protestors in Ferguson, Missouri, where an unarmed black man named Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer recently.
The chanting marchers blocked the intersection around 9 PM and then walked south on Milwaukee Avenue to Division and Ashland. The protest lasted about 30 minutes. Two protestors were arrested for obstruction of traffic after failing to obey police officers trying to clear the streets.
At Tuesday’s meeting of the Committee for Pedestrian and Traffic Safety, despite many questions from city council members during special hearings on the city’s controversy generating red light cameras, aldermen never really got answers to many of their questions.
Inspector General Joseph Ferguson and Scheinfeld were invited by committee chairman Walter Burnett (27th) to testify Tuesday. Ferguson gave an oral summary of the Office of the Inspector General’s recent investigation on enforcement anomalies reported in the media. According to Ferguson, it was the first time in 25 years the Inspector General has been asked to testify at a city council committee hearing.
Scheinfeld’s opening statement was a history and defense of the city’s RLC program, as well as an answer to the findings and recommendations of the OIG.
The commissioner claimed, based on Illinois Department of Transportation crash data, crashes at red light camera intersections have decreased 43% and fatalities were down 23% between 2005 and 2012 or 225 fewer crashes per year at those intersections.
Europe has a lot of speed cameras.
Where red light cameras are the most used type of automated camera enforcement method used in the U.S., speed cameras are the cams dujour in Europe.
And people don’t like them.
Some set fire to them. Others knock them down or use spray paint to obscure the camera lens.
But video prankster Remi Gaillard just mocks the cameras by dressing up in a big box that resembles a speed cam unit and setting off a flash when cars drive by.
And, to paraphrase Chicagoist who tipped us off to this video, it’s all fun and games until the cops show up.
Watch and laugh.
Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras, the local organization opposed to both red light and speed camera enforcement, is making a return trip to the 27th ward this Saturday.
The group has spent the past year protesting at traffic camera sites located in the wards of city council members who voted for the city’s speed camera program.
The group’s first protest this year was in Alderman Walter Burnett’s 27th ward. Burnett was a supporter of speed cameras.
But with the announcement that Burnett, Chairman of the Committee for Pedestrian and Traffic Safety will hold hearings about the problems with Chicago’s red light camera program, the group felt it appropriate to return.
A trio of maintenance projects will offer short term traffic challenges for motorists this weekend on Chicago expressways.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is conducting two bridge inspections Saturday and Sunday morning.
Alderman Walter Burnett (27th), Chairman of the Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety, says he invited Inspector General Joseph Ferguson to present his office’s recent findings and recommendations at a hearing Tuesday, October 28th at 3 p.m. at City Hall.
“We need to make sure everything is fair and decent for everyone,” said Burnett. “We definitely don’t want people running the red light but at the same time things need to be fair.”
Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) says it’s about time. He and members of the council’s Progressive Caucus have tried to get hearings several times over the past two years of controversy.
“It’s years overdue,” says Waguespack. “With all the issues surrounding the cameras aldermen knew something has to change with this program. It’s been building up for so many years. We’ve been waiting for this a long time.”
A full month ahead of schedule, the 57-year old Van Buren Bridge reopened to traffic Thursday after undergoing a major rehabilitation.
Built in 1956, the bridge spans the Chicago river and connects downtown to the West Loop neighborhood, was given a new roadway deck with repaired girders, floor beams and lateral bracing according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.
“The Van Buren Bridge is an important piece of our infrastructure, and this reconstruction project will ensure this historic bridge can continue to serve residents as they travel to and from work for generations to come,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday while visiting the bridge. “I thank Chicagoans for their patience during the construction and congratulate the CDOT construction crews for a job well done, and a job completed ahead of schedule.”