//

Category Archives: Chicago driving

Local Entrepreneur Turns Potholes Into Profit

"Wabash Hash" is just one of several varieties of pot themed baggies of city asphalt being sold by The Pothole Store. Photo credit: The Pothole Store.

“Wabash Hash” is just one of several varieties of pot themed baggies of city asphalt being sold by The Pothole Store. Photo credit: The Pothole Store.

Dave Stern is turning lemons into lemonade, or perhaps more accurately, potholes into profits.

According to DNA Info, the historic outbreak of potholes has inspired this Old Irving Park man to start an online boutique called The Pothole Store to sell all manner of pothole related products including earrings and necklaces made from pieces of asphalt, pothole snow globes, pothole scented air fresheners and baggies of asphalt from different parts of the city with marijuana themed names like Evanstoned, Skokie Tokie and Wabash Hash. You can even buy something called potholepourri which is a small pile of asphalt with roadway related scents.

The Pothole Store even has a pothole registry. Much like those star registries where people can pay to name a star after a loved one, the International Pothole Registry allows you to name a pothole after a loved one or maybe just someone you’re just fond of, for $6.99. Each named pothole comes with a certificate of authenticity.

Of course the entire concept is all firmly tongue in cheek according to Stern.

Neighborhood Group Votes Against Ashland BRT By Narrow Margin

A sign in the median on Ashland Avenue pushes the anti-BRT messsage near Cortland.

A sign in the median on Ashland Avenue pushes the anti-BRT messsage near Cortland.

While the CTA and the Chicago Department of Transportation have been nearly silent in regards to the Ashland Bus Rapid Transit project, groups representing neighborhoods near Ashland Avenue have been making some noise, a bit of news on the proposal.

According to DNA Info at recent meeting the East Village Association narrowly voted 11-9 against the BRT plan.

The project calls for center running express buses along Ashland Avenue between 95th Street and Irving Park Road, with an initial phase running from 31st to Cortland.

Mayor Promises Millions More To Repave Pothole Pocked Streets

CDOT crews fill potholes on the North Side in 2013.

CDOT crews fill potholes on the North Side in 2013.

The politics of potholes seems to be pushing Mayor Rahm Emanuel to commit more and more millions of dollars for the repaving of streets with intensive pothole problems.

Working hard not to become the pothole version of former Chicago Mayor Michael Bilandic, this past week Emanuel pledged another $15 million towards repaving another 13 miles of pothole ravaged roadways according to DNA Info.

This announcement comes after last months commitment to spend $22 million on 15 miles of streets on top of the 364 miles of roadways Emanuel already promised to resurface earlier in the year.

Chicago streets are suffering through perhaps the worst outbreak of potholes in modern times due to one of the worst winters in memory.

Cubs, Neighbors At Odds Over Remote Parking Lot

Cubs fans can use the remote parking lot at Basic Wire & Cable at Irving Park & Rockwell then take a free shuttle bus to the game.

Cubs fans can use the remote parking lot at Basic Wire & Cable at Irving Park & Rockwell then take a free shuttle bus to the game.

The city told the Chicago Cubs in exchange for the ability to host more night games, they needed to setup a free remote parking that could handle at least 1000 vehicles.

And the Cubs did.

The Cubs organization made an agreement with Basic Wire & Cable, located at Irving Park and Rockwell west of Wrigley Field, to lease the company’s 1000+ spot parking lot to allow Cubs fans to park and take a free shuttle bus to the game.

But someone in the Cubs organization forgot to alert the neighborhood and area residents loudly expressed their displeasure at a community meeting late last week according to DNA Info.

IDOT Secretary Schneider “‘On The Move’ Recaps Winter Driving

Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider recaps one of the most driving challenged winters in Illinois history and thanks motorists for their patience with IDOT’s snow removal crews.

Ashland Avenue Reopened Ahead Of Schedule Saturday

Ashland Avenue sans bridge Saturday afternoon. Photo credit: The606.

Ashland Avenue sans bridge Saturday afternoon. Photo credit: The606.

Traffic on Ashland Avenue on the city’s North Side reopened much earlier than expected Saturday afternoon around 3 PM after a bridge was removed.

The Chicago Department of Transportation estimated it would take 48 hours to remove a bridge spanning Ashland Avenue between North Avenue (1600 N.) and Armitage Avenue (2000 N.) but was telling drivers and CTA bus riders the project would be finished no later than early Monday morning.

But less than 24 hours from when Ashland was closed at 8 PM Friday night, crews had removed the bridge and one of the city’s most heavily traveled thoroughfare was open to traffic according to the 606 Facebook page.

Quinn Puts Brakes 70 MPH Limit Push In Chicago Senator Says

Signs along Chicagoland expressways will  not go up to 65 or 70 mph despite Sen. Oberweis' efforts to clarify a new law he sponsored.

Signs along Chicagoland expressways will not go up to 65 or 70 mph despite Sen. Oberweis’ efforts to clarify a new law he sponsored.

The speed limit on Chicago area expressways won’t be going up to 70 or even 65 mph anytime soon–at least not until we get a Republican governor says Illinois State Senator Jim Oberweis (R).

That’s because, according to the Sun-Times, Oberweis’ move to have the recent law he spearheaded to raise the speed limit on all state expressways also apply to Chicago and other urban expressways, got voted down 2-1 in a Senate panel.

The vote was along party lines with Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park and Sen. Antonio Munoz, D-Chicago voted against it citing “safety concerns.”

“I believe they were under strong encouragement from someone in the Governor’s office,” Oberweis told the Expired Meter via e-mail.

Metra Considers Cameras At Railroad Crossings

Railroad crossingToo many cars are driving around railroad crossing gates.

The cameras would operate much like red light or speed cameras do and would issue a ticket to the license plate of any vehicle which drives around a railroad crossing gate that’s down and warning of an approaching train. No fine amounts were discussed.

Last year there were 48 accidents and eight fatalities at Metra crossings due to a vehicles ignoring the flashing crossing gates. There were 46 incidents and 11 fatalities in 2012.

Here’s the Sun-Times full story, “Metra considering installing cameras at crossings.”

New LED Traffic Signals Obscured By Snow Buildup Across City

Drivers all over Chicagoland were experiencing snow covered traffic signals after the early morning snowstorm Wednesday according to CBS 2 News.

It turns out 2,200 of the city’s 3,100 traffic signals have been changed to energy efficient LED lights. The downside to this energy savings is that the when a blowing snowstorm hits the city, the snow can build up and obscure the traffic signals. The LED signals are so energy efficient they don’t emit enough heat to melt the snow and ice like traditional incandescent traffic lights do.

When this happens, obviously it’s a major traffic safety issue.

Mayor Announces “Strike Teams” To Handle Pothole Epidemic

Mayor Emanuel announces the addition of more crews to fight ongoing pothole problems. Photo credit: Ted Cox/DNA Info.

Mayor Emanuel announces the addition of more crews to fight ongoing pothole problems. Photo credit: Ted Cox/DNA Info.

Sounding like something out of a superhero comic, Mayor Emanuel announced Monday the creation of “strike teams” to handle the city’s blossoming pothole outbreak according to DNA Info.

The harsher than normal winter has caused a pothole epidemic on the city’s more than 1000 miles of streets and it’s apparent, a year ahead of the next mayoral election Emanuel understands potholes may be a political liability if not handled well.

Chicago Department of Transportation crews began pothole patching much earlier than in past years, and the Emanuel administration continues to add more and more crews to try to stay ahead of the rapidly growing number of both small and crater sized potholes on city streets.