Category Archives: Street Cleaning
MetroMile to Pay 100 Street Sweeping Tickets Wednesday
Chicago’s street cleaning season has just barely begun but drivers have already racked up over 12,000 parking tickets in the first two weeks according to data from the city’s Department of Finance.
In a response to a Freedom of Information request by the Expired Meter, the city says 12,224 parking tickets for street cleaning were issued between the April 1st start of the street sweeping and Friday, April 11th.
City data says over 250,000 street cleaning tickets totaling over $15 million in fines were issued in 2013 during the course of the eight month street cleaning season.
But there’s good news for a handful of those several thousand motorists who got stung with one of these $60 tickets.
Auto insurance company MetroMile is going to help 100 of these drivers pay their parking ticket by giving them $60 cash if they show up with their bright orange street cleaning violation in hand Wednesday at noon outside of 435 N. Michigan Avenue.
A company called MetroMile has an app it says can help you avoid getting tickets in the future by using GPS to alert you when your car is parked on a street scheduled for street sweeping the next day.
What’s more, the company, which is now offering its miles-based auto insurance in the area, says it will pay the street cleaning tickets of 100 drivers.
On April 23, MetroMile will be outside at 435 N. Michigan Ave. from 8 a.m. until early afternoon handing out a free device called a Metronome. At noon, the first 100 drivers who show up with a 2014 Chicago street cleaning ticket and who have downloaded the MetroMile app will get $60 toward paying their tickets, officials said.
MetroMile offers auto insurance coverage based on the miles a motorist actually drives as opposed to the typical insurance plan that charges based on an estimate of miles driven. The device plugs into a diagnostic port on cars to track miles driven and also pinpoints your car location via GPS.
Every year in Chicago, April 1st marks the first day of the city’s street cleaning season.
But the start of this year’s street sweeping may be a bit more challenging than in recent years due to higher volume of debris leftover from the historically harsh winter.
In fact, street cleaning crews from the city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation began sweeping the city’s arterial streets last week to try to get a jump on these dirt filled streets.
The department is also using crews to pick up litter, refuse and other objects too large for sweepers to clean up.
“With this harsh winter finally coming to an end, Streets and Sanitation has been aggressively cleaning along arterial routes to ensure streets and curb lanes are clear of litter and garbage for the spring,” said Commissioner Charles L. Williams.
Varun Goel and Gaurav Goyal don’t drive or own cars, but the two young programmers know how easy it is for drivers to get slapped with parking tickets — especially for parking on the wrong side of the street on street-cleaning days.
So, they decided to build an iPhone app that would let users know when street-cleaning is scheduled on their block.
Car Pal also will let drivers know if their car is parked on a street with a winter overnight parking ban or when it’s time to feed the parking meter.
“It’s definitely a pain to find parking in the city, especially in dense neighborhoods,” Goel said. “This app helps drivers determine whether they’re parking legally or not.”
Both Goel and Goyal were born in India, went to school in the U.S. and ended up meeting after getting jobs as programmers at Morningstar.
Don’t be surprised if you see bright orange signs and street sweepers on your street during December.
That’s because Chicago’s Department of Streets and Sanitation decided to officially extend street cleaning through mid-December.
In past years Chicago’s street cleaning season runs from April 1st through November 30th.
But due to the prolonged and mild fall which delayed many trees from shedding their leaves until late in the season, Streets and Sanitation felt it would be important to winter snow removal efforts to make sure leaves were cleared from residential streets where possible.
A listener to WBEZ 91.5 FM posed a question to the stations excellent Curious City producers asking, “What’s the deal with street cleaning? Does it actually do anything?”
The listener contended that after street cleaning, the street doesn’t look much different than on the day the bright orange Street Cleaning signs went up, implying it was some sort of scam for the city to collect more revenue through parking tickets.
Curious City, in its usual thorough way, gives listeners a near dissertation on the subject of street sweeping in a recent radio story and on their website.
CBS 2 News breaks an interesting story about a near west side neighborhood where signs for street cleaning are supposed to light up to warn residents–but don’t work.
To make things worse, despite confusing and inoperable signs, the city is still ticketing there.
Read more about this great scoop at CBS 2 Chicago, “‘No Parking’ Signs Have West Side Drivers Confused.”
Residents in the Tri-Taylor neighborhood are frustrated and confused their cars continue to be ticketed for street cleaning violations despite street signs that are working improperly.
According to residents in this small section of the 25th ward along 13th Street near Western and Ogden Avenues, the city installed metal street signs restricting parking on days when street cleaning was scheduled several years ago.
Department of Finance spokesperson Kelley Quinn explains the lights installed on the top of the sign would flash red on days street cleaning would was scheduled and green all other times. When street cleaning was completed on the street it could be switched from red to green, therefore allowing residents to re-park sooner than the normal 3 PM time listed on the standard orange colored temporary paper signs used to warn drivers the street sweeper was coming.
“This was part of a pilot program from five years ago,” said Quinn. “Red meant sweeping was going on, green meant sweeping was finished.”
On Monday street cleaning was scheduled in the area and a handful of residents were outside scrambling to move their vehicles around 9 AM before the street sweepers start cleaning the streets.
Read more at DNA Info Chicago.
While spring technically began March 20, many Chicagoans will mark the official passing of winter into spring on Monday when the city’s Winter Overnight Parking ban ends and street-cleaning season begins.
The Department of Street and Sanitation’s full fleet of 50 sweepers will hit the streets at 9 a.m. Monday to begin attacking the leaves, litter, dirt and other junk that has been accumulating curbside since November.
“The first cleaning and last cleaning of the season are always the most challenging,” Streets & Sanitation spokeswoman Anne Sheahan said. “The first because of all the debris that has accumulated during the winter. The last [in November] because there are so many leaves on the street.”
Street cleaning restrictions on side streets run from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and take place about every four to six weeks depending on the area of the city. On most main streets, street sweeping occurs weekly from 7-9 a.m.
Read more at DNA Info Chicago.
Your identity is unknown to us and we’ve never had to actually park on the 4100 block of North Ashland Avenue on a Wednesday or any day for that matter.
But the fact that you took the time to hand draw and post a pair of bright orange paper signs on trees to warn motorists not to park there due to street cleaning every Wednesday is laudable.
We’re confident your signs have saved many an unwary driver from an expensive street cleaning parking ticket. We’re equally confident and happy that your signs have robbed the city of hundreds of dollars of precious revenue from parking tickets that never happened.
On behalf of Chicago drivers everywhere we want to thank you for your generosity of spirit and kindness toward your fellow Chicago driver.
We need more people like you in Chicago.