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Category Archives: Chicago driving

State Stops Sending Emissions Testing Reminders To Drivers

Illinois EPA emissions notice

First the Secretary of States stopped sending out renewal notices to Illinois drivers.

That’s because, due to the budget impasse in Springfield, the department couldn’t afford to pay the postage to mail out the reminders.

Unfortunately, this led many Chicago drivers to get ticketed for expired license stickers on their vehicles.

Now, the budget standoff between Governor Bruce Rauner, House Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton has victimized drivers once again.

According to DNA Info, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has halted mailing emission test notices for motorists with vehicles which must pass an emissions test.

This temporary suspension of notices began in December, thus effecting vehicles with plate stickers that expire in March.

New Illinois Driving Laws Ring In The New Year

Gavel LawbookThere are many new Illinois laws which took effect on January 1st–but just a handful that impact drivers.

One new law (Public Act #99-0300) will allow the Secretary of State to issue a driver’s license to someone who’s license has been revoked in another state, but who’s been an Illinois resident for at least 10 consecutive years and follows the requirements for reinstatement of driving privilege under state law.

Speaking of the Secretary of State, that office will soon be issuing special license plates for rental cars that will replace renewal stickers for vehicle registration (Public Act #99-0080).

Pulled Over By Cops, But No Ticket For Google Self-Driving Car

Who’s driving that car so slow–someone’s grandmother?

No, it’s one of Google’s self-driving cars that was driving too slow and got pulled over by the cops in Mountainview, CA recently.

It seems the driverless car was holding up traffic by going 24 mph in a 35 mph zone so the police pulled it over.

But luckily for Google, no ticket was issued because there was no driver to ticket.

Alderman Proposes Camera Tickets For Drivers Blocking Intersections

Ald. Brandon Reilly cited the intersection of Randolph and La Salle as a problematic one. Photo credit: Ted Cox/DNA Info.

Ald. Brandon Reilly cited the intersection of Randolph and La Salle as a problematic one. Photo credit: Ted Cox/DNA Info.

First there was red light cameras.

Then there were speed cameras.

Now, if Alderman Brandon Reilly (42nd) has his way, there may be intersection cameras according to DNA Info.

During city council budget hearings focusing on the Department of Transportation, the downtown alderman discussed the problem of motorists who get stuck in the intersection after their traffic light turns red, thus blocking any cross traffic from moving through the intersection while the light is green. He specifically cited the intersection of Randolph and LaSalle just outside City Hall.

Ramp From Lower To Upper Wacker Drive Closed For Two Weeks

CDOT logoA ramp connecting Lower Wacker Drive with Upper Wacker Drive was closed on Wednesday for about two weeks for a rehabilitation project according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

The ramp, which allows vehicles traveling westbound on Lower Wacker to transfer to Upper Wacker, is located at the eastern portion of Wacker Drive near Columbus Drive.

CDOT recommends drivers take alternate routes to avoid inevitable delays. A detour will divert traffic from Lower Wacker via southbound Columbus Drive to westbound East South Water Street which feeds into East Wacker Place, and then north on Wabash Avenue to ultimately connect with Upper Wacker Drive.

The ramp is scheduled to reopen the second week in October.

Art Exhibit Features People Behind Local Street Names

A painting of Archibald Clybourn, whom that diagonal thoroughfare is named, by artist Brian Morgan hangs in the Jackson Junge Gallery in Wicker Park.

A painting of Archibald Clybourn, whom that diagonal thoroughfare is named, by artist Brian Morgan hangs in the Jackson Junge Gallery in Wicker Park.

Ever wonder who’s the person named for the street you’re driving on?

That’s the concept local painter Brian Morgan challenged head on in his latest art show Power, Politics and Pavement- The Men Behind the Street at Jackson Junge Gallery in Wicker Park.

“Gallery Director Chris Jackson approached me with an idea to highlight Chicago’s history in portraits,” says Morgan in a press release on the gallery’s website. “I accepted the challenge by choosing to uncover and reveal some of the more well-traveled and popular streets whose namesakes may or may not be remembered. While working on this project, my wife, Marianne Mather Morgan, was also working on her own bit of Chicago history. As a photo editor at the Chicago Tribune, she uncovers and researches historical Chicago photographs. A collaboration was born.”

2015 Fall Season Chicago River Bridge Lift Starts Saturday

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.

As the summer wanes, and the cool weather approaches, Chicago’s boats start leaving Lake Michigan for the winter this Saturday.

Saturday morning, the City of Chicago kicks off its annual fall bridge lift to allow boaters to transport their masted watercraft down the Chicago River and into dry dock storage yards.

Chicago Department of Transportation crews will lift the 27 bridges along the South Branch of the Chicago River from Lake Shore Drive to Ashland in sequence starting at 9 AM.

“As summer comes to a close, CDOT is preparing to facilitate the annual rite of passage that allows sailors to move their boats from the Lake to their winter storage yards,” said CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld, who also serves as Chicago’s Harbor Master and has jurisdiction over the city’s waterways. “CDOT has worked with local boat storage yards to create a schedule that accommodates boats while minimizing the impact on downtown street traffic.”

Festival Get A+ In Warning Drivers Of Parking Restrictions

WP parking flier

Wicker Park Fest organizers distributed fliers on Milwaukee Avenue warning drivers of parking restrictions this weekend.

Organizers for the Wicker Park Festival this weekend get top marks for warning drivers of upcoming parking restrictions.

Parking restrictions for the festival, held Saturday and Sunday July 25th & 26th, went into effect late Friday night at midnight–technically early Saturday morning along Milwaukee Avenue between North Avenue and Wolcott/Wood.

The problem with that is there’s a vibrant club and bar scene and often weekend revelers are still partying when the restrictions go into effect and the tow trucks start hauling cars away.

But event organizers were very proactive on getting the word out.

Of course, the city had the temporary white paper tow zone signs up and down Milwaukee.

Ouch! Tailgater Feels The Backhanded Slap Of Karma

I hate overaggressive drivers.

As someone who drives every day, I understand the frustration of motorists going too slow, or not yielding to faster drivers in the left lane or just plain driving like a dumbass.

I get it.

But, what’s the point in going into fits of anger over it?

Opinion: Color Us Skeptical On Argyle Street’s Shared Street Project

Shared street.

That’s what, according to the city, is a street where cars, pedestrians and bikes all share the right of way.

The city is getting ready to break ground on it’s first shared street project for the Argyle Streetscape project on the city’s far northside.

At best the concept sounds anti-automobile and at worst, unsafe.