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 »

 

Mayoral Candidate Calls For Moratorium On Red Light Cameras

Mayoral candidate Bob Fioretti. (Photo credit: DNA Info).

Mayoral candidate Bob Fioretti. (Photo credit: DNA Info).

Mayoral candidate Alderman Bob Fioretti (2nd), in light of the just released Inspector General report, is calling for a moratorium on all new red light camera installations.

The Office of the Inspector General released a report Friday highly critical of how the city has managed Chicago’s red light camera program.

“The lack of oversight from the administration is appalling, and hopefully
this IG report will point CDOT in the right direction,” said Fioretti in a statement. “We know from experience that privatization does not always mean that companies will do right by Chicagoans, and the administration failed us yet again in their obligation. I am calling for an immediate moratorium on any new red light cameras.”

IG Report Slams Red Light Camera Program For Poor Management

A sign on Irving Park Road warns drivers of the red light camera at at Kedzie.

A sign on Irving Park Road warns drivers of the red light camera at at Kedzie.

A newly released report from Chicago’s Inspector General’s Office slams the city’s management of its red light camera program and its oversight of the program’s former vendor, Redflex Traffic Systems.

The report, released Friday morning, is the result of an OIG investigation into a series of mysterious spikes in red light camera tickets at a handful of intersections uncovered by the Chicago Tribune this past summer. The story spotlighted 12 intersections where ticketing would jump dramatically for a short period of time, then subside just as suddenly, resulting in nearly 16,000 questionable violations.

After the Tribune story broke, members of the City Council’s Progressive Caucus wrote a letter to Inspector General Joseph Ferguson asking him to investigate these issues.

What the OIG investigation revealed was the Chicago Department of Transportation poorly managed the city’s red light camera program while Redflex was the vendor, allowing Redflex to avoid its contractual duties to report enforcement anomalies over the 11 years the company held the contract.

Redflex was banned from bidding on the new contract when an alleged bribery scandal came to light which implicated company management and a former CDOT manager who oversaw the program.

Read more at DNA Info Chicago.

Tribune Spotlights Short Yellow Issue With Red Light Tickets

red_light_cameraIn a recent report, the Chicago Tribune digs deeper into revelations many Chicago red light camera tickets have been issued despite being a tenth of a second under the three second federal standard.

The Tribune story expands upon the issue originally reported at the Expired Meter, when anti-camera activist Barnet Fagel was fighting a handful of RLC tickets and the Administrative Law Judge hearing the case dismissed two tickets based on short yellow light times.

The ALJ stated on the record that he was dismissing many tickets because of the sub-3 second yellow times.

“We’re having a big problem with these yellow lights,” Sussman said during the hearing in July. “Sixty to 70 percent are coming up under three seconds.”

CBS 2 Catches Valet Parking Cars In Handicapped Spots

You know you’re in trouble when you see CBS 2′s Pam Zekman is walking your way with a microphone in hand and a camera in tow.

Zekman recently exposed a valet parking company called Pinnacle, parking the cars of patrons of Cantina Laredo, a Mexican restaurant in the River North area.

The valet attendants, for whatever reason, were parking vehicles in their care in handicapped designated spots in the North Bridge Interpark garage.

Now the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection is getting involved and promises an enforcement crackdown.

GEEK TIP: Never, I repeat NEVER park in a parking spot designated for handicapped drivers–unless you have the proper disabled placard or license plate.

Here’s CBS 2′s full report, “2 Investigators: Valet Parking Attendants Using Handicapped Parking Spaces.”

Poll: Mayor Emanuel More Disliked Than Eisenhower Traffic

EmanuelPollingA new poll released by mayoral candidate Bob Fioretti seems to show that incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel is more disliked than the morning traffic headaches on the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) according to Illinois News Online.

That’s saying something as morning commuters who take the Ike to work know what a major pain in the butt the traffic can be.

While the poll from Fioretti, the seems a bit tongue in cheek, to give the Rahm vs. Eisenhower traffic comparison some context it also seems the mayor’s unfavorable ratings are even higher than Fox News and the Green Bay Packers.

Here’s Illinois News Online’s full story, “Poll: Emanuel’s Unfavorables Rival Green Bay, Traffic.”

Several Dozen Protest Controversial South Side Speed Camera

A few dozen people upset over a speed camera recently installed on Archer Avenue near Paulina came out for an evening protest on Thursday, October 2nd according to Progress Illinois.

Cars driving by honked in support at the protestors holding signs calling for the elimination of all speed and red light cameras within the city.

Tiny Percentage Of Suspicious Red Light Tickets Get Tossed

red_light_cameraJust 126 of the nearly 16,000 Chicago red light camera tickets that were issued during  mysterious spikes in RLC violations several years ago were found to be issued improperly according to a story in the Chicago Sun-Times.

After sifting through the data of millions of red light tickets the Chicago Tribune broke a story about unexplained spikes in violations which would start and then abruptly stop. The Chicago Department of Transportation had no idea of the existence of these tremendous explosions in ticketing until the newspaper brought it to their attention and no explanations for why they happened.

After the story exploded in the media Mayor Rahm Emanuel instructed the Department of Finance to send letters to the thousands of drivers ticketed during these flurries of violations, to allow them to request for a review of the video ticket.

The Geek Guests On WGN Radio 720 AM Thursday Night

Mike Stephen sits atop his nemesis--the fire hydrant.

Mike Stephen sits atop his parking ticket nemesis–the fire hydrant.

Big news.

Mike Stephen, the handsome and affable host of Outside the Loop Radio is moving the show to WGN Radio 720 AM starting Saturday October 4th. His show will run from 6 AM to 7 AM.

But on Thursday night, Stephen is filling in for Pete McMurray and he’s asked that goof the Parking Ticket Geek to stop by the studio to say hello and talk parking and driving in Chicago.

Tune in to WGN Radio 720 AM or stream it here.

Group Plans Thursday Protest Of Controversial Speed Camera

Scott Davis hands out anti-red light camera fliers to interested drivers at a recent protest.

Scott Davis hands out anti-red light camera fliers to interested drivers at a recent protest.

Southwest Side drivers say the speed camera on Archer Ave. near Ashland Ave. is about protecting children or pedestrians but just about making money.

The location has outraged residents in the area as well as Alderman George Cardenas (12th) because of the lack of both children and pedestrians near a small, little used playlot not within view of the speed cam. Cardenas wants the city to move the camera to a more effective location–one with more kids and pedestrians.

But now the uproar has got the attention of Citizens to Ban Red Light Cameras, a group dedicated to eliminating both red light and speed cameras from Chicago’s streets.

Parents Complain About Predatory Towing Outside Private School

A driver argues with a tow truck driver near the British School. Photo credit: DNA Info.

A driver argues with a tow truck driver near the British School. Photo credit: DNA Info.

Parents from an expensive Lincoln Park private school are livid after tow trucks hauled off 15 cars from a private parking lot near the school one recent morning.

According to DNA Info, parents who parked for just a few minutes in a nearby private lot to drop off their children at school, came back to find their car had disappeared.

The lot was being patrolled by tow trucks from Rendered Services who moved very swiftly to haul way the trespassing vehicles according to the report.