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Category Archives: featured

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IDOT Opposing Bill To Enhance Traffic Safety?

Senator: Agency Against Longer Yellow Light Times At RLC Locations Despite Proof Of Safety Gains

The evidence is overwhelming.

At least according to Illinois State Senator Dan Duffy (R-Barrington).

That’s the reason Duffy says he introduced Senate Bill 3504–to try to improve the safety of Illinois intersections by adding one second or more of yellow light timing to traffic signals at red light camera locations.

Introduced February 8th, SB 3504, or the One Second For Safety bill, simply mandates municipalities or counties utilizing red light camera enforcement, use nationally recognized standards to determine yellow light timing for an RLC intersection and then tack on an additional second.

But, for some reason, according to Senator Duffy, the Illinois Department of Transportation, a state agency that has overseen impressive reductions in traffic accidents and deaths over the past decade through aggressive legislation, programs and initiatives promoting driving safety, is opposed to Duffy’s bill–despite a dearth of evidence to support such a measure.

“IDOT has come out and opposed the bill for ‘safety concerns’,” says Duffy. “I say that is an outrageous claim considering all studies show increasing yellow light times by one second drastically reduces red light running. I haven’t seen one study that refutes this. It’s mind boggling IDOT would oppose something that improves safety.”

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More Outrage In Parking Ticket Tax, Refund Move

Chicago parking tickets from as long as 20 years ago are still coming back to anger and frustrated Illinois taxpayers.

More notices from the Illinois State Comptroller’s office go out informing taxpayers their state tax refund will dry up due to alleged outstanding parking tickets and red light camera tickets, and more people are getting angry.

Chicago fast tracked their program to catch taxpayers before this year’s April 17th tax deadline to grab as much revenue as possible after passing the ordinance recently.

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Crackdown On Disabled Parking Scofflaws Nets 10

Are people stupid?

Yes, this is a painfully obvious rhetorical question.

But after all sorts of TV, radio and newspaper news stories about the City of Chicago and the Secretary of State cracking down on drivers abusing handicapped parking privileges and parking for free at metered parking spots, some drivers still haven’t gotten the message.

Law enforcement was out in full force last Wednesday when 21 officers inspected 54 cars using disabled placards or handicapped plates and ticketed 10 with potential fines of $500 or $1000, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the Sun-Times story is the reporter poses the question about the viability of allowing handicapped drivers to continue to park for free at parking meters. How expensive will it become to enforce these laws if you need an army of cops enforcing the law? Perhaps it is smarter to just get rid of free metered parking for the disabled altogether.

Illinois State Representative Karen May (D-Highland Park) is proposing that this freebie for the handicapped goes away for all but the most truly disabled.

Chicago’s Meter Lease Deal In The News Again

Chicago’s parking meters seem to be a hot topic in a most unlikely of places–sunny Los Angeles, California.

No, it’s not in stunned awe on how wonderful the meter lease deal has been for Chicago and it’s constituents.

Unsurprisingly, the debacle that is Chicago’s parking meter lease deal has seemingly become the legendary cautionary tale on how NOT to do a privatization deal and especially not how to sell off a specialty public asset like a parking meter system.

Parking Meter Rates Change Starting January 2nd

Chicago Retains Title For America’s Highest Meter Rates

While officially, Chicago’s increased parking meter rates kicked in at midnight New Year’s Day, meter rates will begin changing on Tuesday, January 2nd, according to the website for Chicago Parking Meters, LLC.
“The transition to the new rates will begin on January 2nd, starting with the Loop and moving outward into the neighborhoods,” explains the press release posted to the CPM website. “Weather conditions permitting, the goal is to complete the transition in January.”

Major Crackdown On Disabled Parking Abuse Thursday

View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.

A joint enforcement effort between Secretary of State Police and Chicago Police put many police officers on the ground at five separate locations around downtown Chicago Thursday looking for abuse of disabled parking laws according to the NBC Chicago website.

Parking Meter Firm Bills City Another $2.1 Million

Documents Show Hidden Cost Of Lease Deal To Taxpayers

An LAZ employee documents a closure along Irving Park Road at California Ave. for Chicago Parking Meters, LLC


While Chicago’s infamous parking meter lease deal quietly celebrated its third anniversary the first week of December, the city was releasing documents chronicling more evidence the privatization of the city’s more than 36,000 parking meters turned out to be more costly for taxpayers than originally imagined.

Financial statements, released by the Chicago Inspector General’s office via their Open Chicago government transparency initiative, reveals what many critics of the lease deal had feared–the city would end up owing or paying Chicago Parking Meters, LLC millions of dollars in compensation when any sort of change or activity by the city impacts parking meter revenue for the company.

Financial statements for the company show that CPM has billed the city an additional $2,191,326 in “True-up Revenue” through the end of 2010.

As the notes from the independent auditor’s report by accounting firm KPMG LLP to the financial statements explains:

New Website Goes On Speed Camera Attack

“While we are not against traffic safety, we believe the speed camera proposal is about revenue and not safety,” says the FightTheLight.com creator who wishes to remain anonymous.

The website was born the day after the mayor announced the legislation in Springfield according to the website’s founder. He and his partner wanted to try to educate people on the subject and motivate readers to call their state legislators.

“Powerful forces are behind this legislation,” he says. “But can have our voices heard too. Call or email your state legislators today.”

Check out their website, FightTheLight.com.

50% Off Parking Tickets?

Ald. Cochran Proposes Half-Priced Discount On Parking Tickets Paid Within 7 Days

20th Ward Alderman Willie Cochran has a great idea.

He proposed an amendment to the municipal code Wednesday which would allow drivers who pay their parking tickets within 7 days from when it was slapped on their car’s windshield to receive a 50% discount.

It seemed to be good to true, even when it appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times.

But the proposed legislation already has 20 other aldermen as sponsors, according to the City Clerk’s Legislative Information Center website.

City Sticker Fees To Increase For All Vehicles

Most Cars Will See Stickers Increasing From $75 to $85

Ten bucks

That’s how much more a city sticker will cost for the vast majority of Chicago drivers according to a compromise reached by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and city council members.

Originally, Mayor Emmanuel had proposed raising the price of city stickers just for cars categorized as larger vehicles. But the Mayor was proposing lowering the weight threshold from the current 4500 pounds to just 4000 pounds–a move that would have added over 184,000 vehicles to this category as originally reported here.