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 »


Another State Rep Pushes Bill To Restrict Red Light Cameras


The anti-red light camera train is gaining speed in Springfield.

First, Illinois State Representative David McSweeney proposed a ban on all red light cams statewide.

But more recently, Rep. La Shawn Ford who’s from Chicago, has introduced a bill which would specifically halt Chicago’s RLC system until the city submits a report to the General Assembly addressing all the issues surrounding the system including short yellows, thousands of tickets issued under questionable circumstances and a general distrust of the how tickets are adjudicated.

Ford’s bill would force Chicago to explain how they would fix these problems before allowing the city to restart its program according to the Associated Press.

Hoosiers Contemplating Speed Camera Enforcement For Indiana

Speed camera enforcement may be coming to Indiana.

Legislators in Illinois’ next door neighbor are considering passing legislation to allow speed camera enforcement in construction zones, school zones or illegally passing a school bus according to WTHI TV.

Lakeview: Chicago’s Car Alarm Complaint Capital

The numbers are in and the Lakeview is the uh…winner.

DNA Info reports that the Northside neighborhood registered far and away more car alarm complaints than any other area of the city according to data obtained through a Freedom of Information request.

Lakeview’s Town Hall police district notched 1,662 complaints in 2013 and 2014 blowing away second place Rogers Park with 773 complaints and Logan Square which came in third place with 715 complaints.

Is Chicago’s ‘Dibs’ Tradition Turning Violent?

A driver's smashed windshield was probably due to 'dibs'  violence. Photo credit: Ashley Mater.

A driver’s smashed windshield was probably due to ‘dibs’ violence. Photo credit: Ashley Mater.

Is the quaint Chicago tradition of ‘dibs’ turning violent?

Several recent incidents being reported by DNA Info seem to indicate that some people who use household junk to save a parking spot they’ve dug out are becoming increasingly thuggish in enforcing their dibs domain.

Last week DNA Info reported on a Ukranian Village woman who believes her brake lines were cut because she parked in a spot being “reserved” using lawn chairs.

In the same report, a driver in Ravenswood had a threatening note left on her windshield for violating the unwritten rule of the road.

Then on Friday, a Logan Square motorist returned to her car to find it completely vandalized with her windows busted and interior destroyed. The damage is pegged at $5000 or more. In this case, the driver says there was nothing in the street to indicate the spot was being saved but a pair of chairs on top of the curbside snow bank.

Here are the full stories from DNA Info: “Dibs Gets Dangerous as Woman Claims Her Brake Lines Were Cut in Retaliation” and “Another Dibs Attack? The Owner of This Car Wonders Why She Was Targeted.”

Speed Camera Tickets Parked Car…Four Times

Jennefa Krupinski's parked car has been issued four speed camera tickets.

Jennefa Krupinski’s parked car has been issued four speed camera tickets. Photo credit: Darryl Holliday/DNA Info.

American Traffic Solutions boasts its speed camera technology is the best in the industry.

ATS won the lucrative City of Chicago speed camera contract based, at least in part, on its performance during pilot tests.

But according to DNA Info, a rash of incidents in the Humboldt Park neighborhood brings the performance of its equipment into question.

It seems a camera located in the 3100 block of Augusta Boulevard has issued the same parked car speed camera violations four times–three tickets and one warning. Oddly, according to the vehicle owner, she was issued tickets the first three times and a warning the fourth time. The normal protocol is for the warning to be issued first before tickets begin being issued.

Move It Or Lose It: City To Begin Removal Of ‘Dibs’ Friday

Move your junk or lose it- as Streets and Sanitation crews start removing 'dibs' items off streets on Friday.

Move your junk or lose it- as Streets and Sanitation crews start removing ‘dibs’ items off streets on Friday.

Get your junk off the street–or the city will move it for you.

That’s the warning message the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation issued Wednesday to tell car owners to remove any household items that have been used to save a parking space after the big snow storm two weekends ago.

According to Streets and Sanitation spokesperson Molly Poppe, crews will begin removing ‘dibs’ related debris off streets starting Friday, February 13th.

Streets and San workers will start by removing items from streets reported in complaints to 311.

“As is the case with every winter season, once snow starts to melt, Streets and Sanitation crews begin to remove material from the public way,” said Commissioner Charles Williams. “I want to ask residents to be good neighbors and remove material from the public way to ensure it is not moved by our crews.”

NBC 5 Helps Driver Fight ‘Unfair’ Parking Ticket Rulings

Sam Navin is new to Chicago.

And the city has made him feel more than welcome almost immediately issuing his truck a pair of bright orange parking tickets.

The only problem was that both tickets were issued improperly according to Navin.

The first was for having an expired truck permit, which made no sense to Navin who got his sticker just after he came to town. So he took a photo of his permit sticker, assembled all his evidence including proof of when and where he got his permit and mailed it off with a letter explaining why the ticket was issued improperly.

Unfortunately for Navin, the Administrative Law Judge ruled against him saying in his decision there was no date/time stamp on the photos he submitted as evidence. Puzzlingly, the photo of the truck permit sticker the city provided was unreadable.

Right after that, Navin was issued a ticket for not having a front plate on his vehicle–even though he says it was there. So he dutifully took photos–this time with a date and time stamp and a letter with his defense.

End Of ‘Dibs’ On NW Side? Alderman, City At Odds Over Practice

snow-street-junkAlderman Deb Mell  announced on her Facebook page Monday that “dibs” was over in the 33rd ward.

“The City is coming through today (Monday, 2/9) to pick up items used for ‘dibs’ or reservation of street parking spaces,” said the Facebook post. “Dibs is NOT a sanctioned practice in Chicago; parking on the street is free for all residents and guests, unless City signage indicates restrictions.”

But chairs, two by fours, plastic buckets and other household junk remained on streets in Mell’s Northwest Side ward late Monday evening.

Parking Ticket 101: Parking Too Far From The Curb

A tape measure is your friend when fighting a parking ticket for parking too far from the curb.

A tape measure is your friend when fighting a parking ticket for parking too far from the curb.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Parking Ticket 101 is a semi-regular feature explaining to drivers the most effective ways to fight Chicago parking tickets.

We’ll work through the city’s municipal code violation by violation and give readers the best strategies for each and every one.

9-64-020 Parallel parking – Obstruction of traffic
(a) It shall be unlawful to stand or park any vehicle, except for a motorcycle or motor scooter, in a roadway other than parallel with the edge of the roadway headed in the direction of lawful traffic movement and with the curbside wheels of the vehicle within 12 inches of the curb or edge of the roadway; provided, however, this prohibition shall not apply to the parking of any vehicle in a designated diagonal parking zone or space.

Anyone with a driver’s license should know when you parallel park a vehicle as close to the curb as reasonably possible–legally, the car’s tires must be no more than 12″ from the curb.

Sometimes drivers will get sloppy and park a little farther away from the curb than they should or, perhaps a buildup or snow or ice prevents or obstructs a vehicle from parking closer.

And that’s when the tickets get written.

In the case of a “12″ from curb” ticket, the tape measure is your friend.

Mayor Jumps On Alternate Side Parking To Aid Snow Removal

Proposed alternate side parking may eliminate side street snow removal problems according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel & Ald. Roderick Sawyer. Photo credit: John O'Brien/DNA Info.

Many snow covered side streets remain unplowed according to residents and some aldermen. Photo credit: John O’Brien/DNA Info.

While the idea behind alternate side parking has been bandied about for years in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel thinks its a concept who’s time may have come.

Emanuel picked up on the idea just recently proposed by Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) which is, when big snow storms are on the horizon, residents would be restricted from parking on one side of the street to allow for snowplows to clear side streets more effectively according NBC 5.

Once one side of the street was cleared to the curb, drivers could move vehicles to the other side of the street to allow the opposite side to be cleared. The idea, much like how the city handles street cleaning, would improve snow removal on side streets and perhaps eliminate the need for some people to use trash and other household objects to save parking spaces.