Monthly Archives: February 2015

James Bond Inspired Device Gets NYC Trucker In Hot Water

EZ Pass logoThis is what happens when you watch too many James Bond films.

It seems, according to NY Port Authority Police via Yahoo News, a truck driver used a device inspired by 007 to avoid paying a $95 toll to get across the George Washington Bridge and enter New York City.

The truck was outfitted with a switch, that when triggered would flip the back license plate so the EZPass toll readers couldn’t read it–saving nearly $100.

Unfortunately for the truck driver, a police officer saw the plate prank in action and arrested the driver.

The driver confessed to purchasing a $2,500 kit to make the plate flipping device.

Here’s the full story, “NYC trucker accused of avoiding toll with device inspired by James Bond.”

H/T to Jeff for the story.

Indiana Lawmakers Pull Plug On Speed Camera Bill

speedometerThe Indiana State Legislature punted on speed cameras.

Lawmakers there were trying to push through a bill that would allow automated speed cameras in construction zones and near schools to catch speeders and send them tickets in the mail. The bill would have also allowed for bus cameras to catch drivers illegally passing a bus when a bus’s stop arm was engaged while loading or unloading passengers.

However, according to WISH TV, Rep. Edmund Soliday (R-Valparaiso) pulled the bill just minutes before a final reading because he simply didn’t have the votes.

WISH TV contends their reporting quoting camera critics who believe these type of programs are about revenue instead of safety may have inspired debate challenging the bill.

Here’s the full report from WISH TV, “Speed camera proposal hits red light at Statehouse.”

Did ‘Dibs” Start In Chicago? Maybe Not.

Dibs letter 3In honor of another several inches of snow coating the streets of Chicago today, and the assumption drivers will drag their household junk back outside to “reserve” the spot they shoveled out, we present a history of dibs via DNA Info.

DNA Info city hall reporter Ted Cox researched the subject and says the practice here goes back to the Blizzard of ’67 which crippled the city for days nearly 50 years ago.

But his research seems to indicate that dibs actually began in Pittsburgh as late as the 1950′s and perhaps even before that.

Here’s the full story, “The History of ‘Dibs’: Did It Begin in Chicago?

‘Dirty Trick’ Parking Ticket Flier Pops Up In 33rd Ward Race

A fake parking ticket critical of Alderman Deb Mell popped up in the 33rd Ward before Tuesday's election.

A fake parking ticket critical of Alderman Deb Mell popped up in the 33rd Ward before Tuesday’s election.

Better late than never–I guess.

Somehow this story escaped my Google alerts until the day of the election.

It seems fliers designed to look like Chicago parking tickets bashing 33rd Ald. Deb Mell, the daughter of former alderman Dick Mell and sister to Patti Blagojevich, were left on car windshields all over the ward just before election day according to the Sun-Times.

It’s Election Day! Go Out And Vote-But Park Legally

Election Day No Parking SignToday is election day and the tow trucks will be out on patrol.

The polls open at 6 AM and are open until 7 PM.

Get to your polling place and vote.

In most cases, your polling place should be within walking distance.

But remember, parking restrictions to accommodate the disabled will be in place around polling places. So if you have to drive, just be careful where you park.

Emanuel Flier Attacks Rival Fioretti For Parking Meter Votes

Fioretti meter flier

A recent flier from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s election campaign is attacking Ald. Bob Fioretti for his votes on the parking meter lease deal.

Back in 2008, Ald. Fioretti voted for the former Mayor Richard Daley’s infamous parking meter lease deal–an agreement that sold the city’s metered parking spaces for a fraction of their worth.

It was a vote he regretted and which inspired him to vote against a revision of the meter deal that Emanuel pushed in 2013. The revised deal did get Chicago Parking Meters, LLC to drop tens of millions of dollars in claims against the city. But in return, Emanuel allowed most metered spaces to extend enforcement hours until 10PM–a two hour increase, and meters in River North to be fed until midnight.

But now, according to the Chicago Reader, a mailer attacks Fioretti for both his original vote for the meter deal and now his vote against the revisions.

Prankster Using Parking Meters For Faux Fundraise For Emanuel

paydisplay600Somebody is having a laugh at Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s expense while using Chicago’s much maligned parking meters to do so.

The Sun-Times reports of a faux fundraising scheme where someone slapped a decal on the front of parking meter pay box which reads “Re-Elect Rahm Emanuel Text your lic. plate to .”#D4M Use pay buttons to indicate your donation amount. #rahm4chicago”.

The Emanuel campaign is loudly denouncing the prank telling people who see the sticker on a meter box to call 311 to report it.

Here’s the full story, “Fake Rahm Emanuel re-election decal pops up on parking meter.”

Crow Poop Wreaking Havoc On Bloomington, Indiana Parking Meters

The BirdsVandals, graffiti “artists” and thieves are the usual threats parking meters face in most cities.

But an obnoxious swarm of crows is making life hard for parking enforcement officers to do their job around the Monroe County Courthouse in downtown Bloomington, Indiana according to the Associated Press.

The droppings from hundreds of crows nesting in trees near the courthouse are coating the meters and making it difficult to keep them clean.

Solution?

Surprisingly, it’s not shotguns. Instead, the city is re-purposing old street signs to cover the meter heads and protect them from all the crow poop.

Here’s the full story, “Bloomington parking meters besieged with crow droppings.”

Another State Rep Pushes Bill To Restrict Red Light Cameras

red_light_camera

The anti-red light camera train is gaining speed in Springfield.

First, Illinois State Representative David McSweeney proposed a ban on all red light cams statewide.

But more recently, Rep. La Shawn Ford who’s from Chicago, has introduced a bill which would specifically halt Chicago’s RLC system until the city submits a report to the General Assembly addressing all the issues surrounding the system including short yellows, thousands of tickets issued under questionable circumstances and a general distrust of the how tickets are adjudicated.

Ford’s bill would force Chicago to explain how they would fix these problems before allowing the city to restart its program according to the Associated Press.

Hoosiers Contemplating Speed Camera Enforcement For Indiana

Speed camera enforcement may be coming to Indiana.

Legislators in Illinois’ next door neighbor are considering passing legislation to allow speed camera enforcement in construction zones, school zones or illegally passing a school bus according to WTHI TV.