City Yellow Lights Too Short, Judge Says Before Tossing Red Light Tickets

Some of Chicago’s yellow lights are too short, according to an administrative law judge who said he’s thrown out “60 to 70 percent” of red light camera tickets he’s come across recently More »

Trib Says Mayor Got $10,000 In Donations Linked To Red Light Camera Bidder

The Chicago Tribune is alleging the wives of two executives for a company vying for the city’s red light camera program donated $5000 each to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s political campaign. According to More »

Writer Predicts No Other Cities Will Ever Privatize Their Parking Meters

NBC Chicago writer Edward McClelland last week boldly predicted that due to Chicago’s horrible experience with it’s infamous and hated parking meter lease deal, no city will ever privatize their parking meters More »

 

Sun-Times Profiles Chicago’s Resident Street Sign Expert

Steven J. Bahnsen hates bad street signs signs.

And while Bahnsen is arguably, the most knowledgeable expert on traffic signs in the entire state, he curiously doesn’t work for CDOT or IDOT.

The Big Dibs Debate: Cities Take Different Approaches

A poster discourages the practice of using space savers to save a parking spot in the winter in a Boston neighborhood.

A poster discourages the practice of using space savers to save a parking spot in the winter in a Boston neighborhood.

To dib or not to dib?

That’s a question being debated on the streets of Chicago and other northern cities as the U.S. plunges into the depth of winter and it’s inevitable snowstorms.

The urban tradition of drivers using personal junk to save a parking space they just spent an hour digging out of a snowbank is deeply rooted in some cities like Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Chicago and Boston.

But while in Chicago DNA Info’s Mark Konkol defends the practice as perfectly aligned with the clout-laced tradition of the city, a neighborhood in Boston is pushing back against the practice.

Konkol recently wrote that reserving a parking spot is the reward for the hard work of freeing a vehicle from the icy clutches of a gigantic snow bank.

He also laid out some dibs guidelines for Chicago drivers including these gems:

63rd Street Bridge Closes Monday For 10 Months Of Repair Work

Detour signScheduled repair work on the 63rd St. Bridge will close the span over the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-94) to all traffic starting Monday, January 12th according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The bridge is undergoing major repair work which will take about 10 months to finish.

IDOT says there will be daily lane closures on nearby Wentworth Ave. and Yale St. and expressway motorists should expect nightly lane closures until the end of October 2015.

The 63rd St. Bridge serves as a major conduit for the South Side neighborhoods surrounding the area. Area drivers should follow the detour signs and take the suggested detour routes.

Curbed Chicago Creates Dibs Bingo Card For Winter Parking Fun

Curbed Chicago published this fun dibs bingo card for drivers to play all winter long. Image copyright and courtesy Curbed Chicago.

Curbed Chicago published this fun dibs bingo card for drivers to play all winter long. Image copyright and courtesy Curbed Chicago.

Local real estate news website, Curbed Chicago wants to add some levity to the often serious business of winter parking in Chicago with their publication of a dibs parking bingo card.

With winter snowfall all but inevitable in Chicago, the lawn chairs, lumber, children’s toys and other junk will be soon be coming out to reserve neighborhood street parking spots. Hence Curbed Chicago’s entertaining dibs bingo card.

Dibs is the quaint tradition some Chicago residents engage in by using junk to save a parking spot on their street after they spent some time and energy digging out.

Lawsuit Claims Thousands Of Speed Cam Tickets Issued Improperly

http://chicago.suntimes.com/chicago-politics/7/71/278276/lawsuit-demands-millions-refunds-speed-cam-tickets-illegally-issued-non-school-days

Speed cameras outside schools are supposed to issue tickets only when school is in session, right?

Well, a lawsuit says the City of Chicago issued speed camera tickets on days when school was not in session–including over summer break according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The plaintiff driver received a $100 ticket during the summer near Lane Tech High School going 41 mph in a 30 mph zone. His lawyers say that at least 34,000 tickets were issued improperly which could translates into millions of dollars in fines.

List Of Anti-Camera Candidates Swells, As Dozens Sign Pledge

Red Light Camera PledgeSix weeks ahead of Chicago’s 2015 municipal elections, nearly 50 candidates for alderman or mayor have signed a pledge to vote to eliminating the city’s red light and speed camera enforcement programs  if elected.

Anti-camera group, Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras, sent a letter to every candidate running for alderman or mayor in the upcoming election asking them to sign their pledge to “Abolish Unfair Photo Enforcement in Chicago”.

A total of 46 candidates from 30 Wards have signed the group’s pledge which includes six sitting alderman: Bob Fioretti (2nd), Pat Dowell (3rd), Leslie Hairston (5th), Roderick Sawyer (6th), Anthony Beale (9th, Chairman of Transportation Committee) and Toni Foulkes (15th running in 16th).

More Tips For Starting Your Car In Sub-Zero Temps

Jumper cablesIt’s brutally cold in Chicago tonight–an appropriate evening for passing on advice to insure you won’t need your jumper cables to start your car tomorrow morning–no matter how cold it gets.

Keep The Gas Tank Full

A little internet research tells us that empty gas tanks are more prone to having water in the gas lines. That’s because when left empty, condensation will form on the inner walls of the metal tank. The condensation will drip into the gas lines and possibly freeze in freezing temperatures and keep the gas from flowing to the engine.

Adding a bottle of gas line anti-freeze/gas treatments like Heet, during painfully cold weather may also be a good idea to keep your fuel lines from freezing.

So, like your dad told you–keep your tank full.

Use Thinner Motor Oil During The Winter

Good News At The Gas Station: Chicago Gas Prices Still Falling

Chicago drivers are find they're paying the highest prices in the nation when they fill up their gas tanks.

Chicago drivers are continuing to find low prices at the gas pump.

Drivers are continuing to get good news in an unlikely place–the gas pump.

After years of experiencing relatively high prices in excess of $3 and sometimes even $4 a gallon, the price of gas nationally and locally has fallen for over 100 straight days according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report. Prices haven’t been this low since 2009.

AAA Chicago’s Beth Mosher says they’ve haven’t seen anything like this ongoing price decline since AAA began tracking gas prices back in 2000.

“(Nationally) it’s the longest continual drop ever,” said Mosher.

Warnings Start Wednesday For Gage Park Speed Cameras

A speed camera in Uptown catches speeding cars in the 4400 block of North Broadway Ave.

A speed camera in Uptown catches speeding cars in the 4400 block of North Broadway Ave.

Speed cameras in the Gage Park neighborhood will begin issuing warnings for the next 30-days starting Wednesday,  January 7th according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

The three cameras are located near St. Gall Elementary School in the 5500 block of  S. Kedzie and 3200 block of W. 55th street.

During the 30-day period notices will be mailed to vehicle owners traveling more than five mph over the 20 mph school speed limit on school days (Monday through Friday) between the hours of 7 AM to 4 PM–but only when children are present.

Tips For Drivers To Survive Chicago’s Cold Winter Weather

Add some Heet or other products which keep your fuel lines from freezing up in this cold weather.

Add some Heet or other products which keep your fuel lines from freezing up in this cold weather.

I was reminded last night while standing in sub-zero weather pouring a bottle of Heet into my wife’s car, we haven’t posted our annual “get your car ready for winter” story. It’s belated–for which we sincerely apologize.

Here’s some tips and reminders to make sure your car starts on the coldest mornings and you get from here to there and back safely.

Keep Your Gas Tank Full

The first thing I did was top off each vehicle’s gas tank. Keeping your tank at least half full or more will make starting your car on mornings easier on your battery.

Use Fuel Line Anti-Freeze Treatment