Category Archives: Chicago driving

‘Smash & Grab’ Car Break-Ins Up In Some Chicago Neighborhoods

Graphic courtesy and copyright DNA Info Chicago.

Graphic courtesy and copyright DNA Info Chicago.

Never leave valuable stuff in your car where criminals can see it.

That’s the lesson DNA Info Chicago columnist Mark Konkol learned the hard way recently.

A thief smashed and grabbed his laptop, camera and other valuables leaving a hole in his window and shattered glass on his backseat for Konkol when he came back from having a drink with a friend in the River West neighborhood after work one evening.

So Konkol turned his misfortune into a reason to research the state of these type of vehicle break-ins in the city and found out some interesting stuff.

State Street Bridge Closed All Week For Riverwalk Construction

A small flotilla of boats passes through the open State Street Bridge on the Chicago River, Chicago, Illinois. Photo credit: Jeremy Atherton, © 2006.

A small flotilla of boats passes through the open State Street Bridge on the Chicago River, Chicago, Illinois. Photo credit: Jeremy Atherton, © 2006.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Better late than never.

The State Street Bridge over the Chicago River downtown will be closed all this week for construction work to be completed on a walkway for the Chicago Riverwalk according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

The bridge closed to traffic Monday, July 14th at 6 AM and will reopen on Monday, July 21st at 6 !M.

Both the Clark Street and Dearborn Street bridges have been closed in past weeks for the same project to allow for support to be installed for the new walkway.

The city is extending the current Riverwalk pedestrian path which will, when finished, stretch from Lake Shore Drive to Lake Street. The Riverwalk currently terminates at Franklin Street.

Photo credit: Jeremy Atherton.

True Cost Of Speeding Ticket Much More Than The $120 Fine

?Graphic via:NerdWallet

The true cost of a speeding ticket in Illinois is 6.2 times the cost of the $120 fine–at least that’s what consumer finance website NerdWallet says.

The website did a survey of how insurance rates increase for drivers who receive speeding tickets based on the city they reside. NerdWallet says drivers who receive a speeding ticket for going 15 mph over the limit will face an average rate increase of 12.34% from their insurance company or an average of $124.80 per year. The website says that insurance companies keep that increase in effect for five years or, that $120 ticket will really cost the average Illinois speeder $744.

But, this number varies depending on where you live. According to NerdWallet, residents of south suburban Harvey will end up paying almost $1000 for getting caught speeding while an Evanston resident will pay less than $600.

Public Weighs In On Rehabbing Lake Shore Drive At Meeting

Cars back up at rush hour at the Belmont Avenue exit on northbound Lake Shore Drive. Photo credit: NorthLakeShoreDrive.org

Cars back up at rush hour at the Belmont Avenue exit on northbound Lake Shore Drive. Photo credit: NorthLakeShoreDrive.org

Tuesday July 8th, the Drake Hotel played host for a meeting to “Redefine The Drive” to elicit the public’s input on what changes should be made on a planned $1 billion facelift of North Lake Shore Drive.

The Illinois Department of Transportation in conjunction with the Chicago Department of Transportation plan a dramatic rehab and perhaps reinvention of the seven mile stretch of LSD between Grand and Hollywood. The agencies say due to the age of the roadway it will need to be rebuilt.

The project wouldn’t even break ground until 2019 or even 2020, with costs estimated to be around $1 billion–a hefty sum for a city and state which are both close to insolvency.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, all sorts of ideas were suggested including: a double-decker configuration with an upper and lower LSD; a light rail line down the middle of LSD; or dedicated express bus lanes.

Some Chicagoans Disowning Cars To Save Money, Hassle

RedEye logoAccording to RedEye, the City of Chicago is making it easier not to own a car in the city which is inspiring some people to say bye-bye to vehicle ownership.

The Chicago Department of Transportation has publicly announced it’s plan to prioritize pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders over motor vehicles with investments in infrastructure to meet the needs of non-drivers.

With more transit and transportation options like bike lanes and Divvy bike share, some people are ditching their cars and saving significant cash in the process. One former motorist claims they save $250 a month compared to their former life as a car owner.

Pothole Repair Vigilante Plans Run For City Council

Doris Lewis Brooks was so fed up with potholes in her South Side neighborhood, she decided to take matters into her how hands and start filling potholes herself according to NBC 5.

But it seems her pothole vigilantism may also be part of a ploy to bring attention to her plans to run for alderman against Ald. Howard Brookins (21st).

Cops Harassed Rideshare Drivers With Tickets, Impoundment

save_uberThe new city law regulating rideshare companies like Lyft, Sidecar and Uber just got passed a few weeks ago.

But, according to a report by RedEye, police officers ticketed and towed the cars of at least 16 people who drive for one of these upstart companies.

According to RedEye, these drivers were hit with a $2,000 fine, a $150 tow fee and a $20-per-day storage fee. Luckily for these drivers, the rideshare companies they drive for stepped up and paid all the fees and fines to get each car released from the auto pound.

A spokesperson for the city says the drivers were ticketed because technically they were “operating an unlicensed public passenger vehicle.”

Study: Drivers, Pedestrians Dislike Protected Bike Lanes

A biker crosses the bridge over the Ohio feeder ramp along Milwaukee Ave. as two confused pedestrians walk along the newly painted bike lanes.

A biker crosses the bridge over the Ohio feeder ramp along the Milwaukee Ave. protected bike lanes.

Cyclists love them.

But Chicago pedestrians and drivers are not fans of the city’s protected lanes according to a recent study out of Portland State University which was spotlighted by Chicago Magazine.

The survey’s findings are based on interviews with bike riders, pedestrians, drivers and others about their feelings toward protected bike lanes in Chicago and a few other cities including Austin, Portland,  San Francisco,  and Washington D.C.

One of the more eyebrow raising findings was that drivers and pedestrians  in Chicago dislike bike lanes much more than in other cities. According to the survey, a majority of Chicago pedestrians feel walking is more dangerous near bike lanes since they’ve been installed.

It’s Parking Over Planters In Portage Park

While so-called “people spots” have been popping up around the city over the past few years, residents and businesses in Portage Park are picking parking over planters.

According to DNA Info, the Northwest Side neighborhood had issues with a proposal to take parking spaces off the street and replace it with an on-street pedestrian friendly seating area surrounded by large planters where people could sit and relax at tables.

But while the concept has been popular in Lakeview, Andersonville and Kenwood, the idea got a chilly reception when it was unveiled in March as part of a larger $600,000 neighborhood improvement project.

Proponents claim the spots draw in more pedestrians and potential shoppers.

Huge Potholes On LSD Ramp Cause Blowouts, Vehicle Damage

Chicago’s pothole season is clearly not over.

We enter into evidence the large potholes on the southbound Lake Shore Drive Ramp to I-55.