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Cook County Owes City $41,000 In Parking, Red Light Tickets

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

$41,640.

That’s the total amount owed the City of Chicago for 773 parking and red light amassed by Cook County vehicles over the past 10 years according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Cook County Board is considering paying the entire amount to the city in one lump some, while also trying to collect the past due fines from the county employees who was driving the vehicle at the time of the violation.

However, since the tickets go back so far and county record keeping may not be that exact, it may be impossible to track down all the drivers. It is county employment policy to hold the employee driving the vehicle responsible for any infractions while operating the vehicle.

Protesters Tie Up Rush Hour Traffic On Dan Ryan, Lake Shore Dr.

http://video.wgntv.com/?ndn.trackingGroup=91046&ndn.siteSection=wgn&ndn.videoId=28221699&freewheel=91046&sitesection=wgn&vid=28221699

Protesters struck again during Thursday night’s evening commute, temporarily blocking traffic on both the Dan Ryan Expressway and Lake Shore Drive.

The protesters were part of an organized reaction to the news that the police officer involved in the death of a man in New York City who resisted arrest, was not indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday.

DNA Info reports
the protesters, starting in the Loop, marched down State Street towards Soldier Field, where traffic was already worse than normal due to a Thursday night Bears game.

The marchers then went west on Roosevelt Road to the Dan Ryan expressway where they slowed traffic in both directions with their protest.

According to DNA Info:

70 MPH Speed Limit Coming To Illinois Tollway As Illinois House Overrides Governor’s Veto

Illinois State Senator Jim Oberweis

Illinois State Senator Jim Oberweis

The vote wasn’t even close.

100 Illinois State Representatives voted to override Governor Pat Quinn’s veto of a bill to raise the speed limit to 70 mph on Illinois Tollways Wednesday in Springfield. Only 11 voted against the override, with one abstention.

The Illinois Senate had completed its part of the override on November 21st, with a similarly overwhelming vote of 44-5-1.

Senator Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove), the bill’s sponsor, along with advocates to raise the speed limit to 70, have contended the law will reduce crashes and improve safety as it brings the posted speed limit in line with the speed at which motorists are already driving on the tollways. They cite research and studies which show the differential in speeds between those drivers obeying the speed limit and others driving at higher speeds which leads to more serious crashes.

Traffic studies done by the Illinois Tollway Authority and outside groups have found speeds on most segments of that roadway are averaging around 70 mph.

Logan Square Neighborhood Group Pushes Pro Parking Agenda

Save Our Boulevards' flier warning Logan Square residents of parking challenges from a proposed 1,500 unit development.

Save Our Boulevards’ flier warning Logan Square residents of parking challenges from a proposed 1,500 unit development.

A group in Logan Square is trying to garner support from neighborhood motorists to fight a proposed 1,500 unit development on Milwaukee Avenue according to DNA Info.

Save Our Boulevards is circulating a flier attacking the proposed development by claiming the developer’s plan doesn’t include enough  parking and therefore will drastically reduce the number of street parking spaces in Logan Square with such a large influx of new residents.

The development, slated to be located close to the CTA’s Blue Line California Ave.  stop, is reportedly aimed at car less people who rely on public transit, biking or walking to get around.

Tow Trucks Snag 239 Cars On First Night Of Winter Overnight Parking Ban

A towed vehicle exits the Auto Pound at 701 N. Sacramento last year after the first night of Winter Overnight Parking Ban.

A towed vehicle exits the Auto Pound at 701 N. Sacramento last year after the first night of Winter Overnight Parking Ban.

A steady stream of upset drivers flowed into a city auto pound in Humboldt Park Monday morning to shell out $170 to get their cars back.

“I thought someone stole the car,” said Jose Yanqi at City Auto Pound #6, 701 N. Sacramento Ave. “I didn’t see the sign to move the car.”

Yanqi was in a long line of motorists who had their cars towed on the first night of the city’s annual Winter Overnight Parking Ban, which went into effect overnight Monday.

According to the Department of Streets and Sanitation, 239 vehicles were towed overnight — the exact number of cars towed last year.

“It’s a big headache,” said Juan Comacho, who lives in Portage Park. “My kids got to school late. Where are people supposed to park on a busy street? I have to drive around for an hour to find parking. This is just going to make it worse.”

Read more at DNA Info.

Credit Card Data At Risk From Parking Garage Security Breach

PrintSP+, one of the nation’s largest operators of parking lots and garages, announced a cyber security breach occurred at 13 Chicago area locations that may have compromised the credit card payment data of customers.

SP+, formerly Standard Parking, says the parking payment systems at 10 parking garages in Chicago, three in Evanston and four other out of state locations were compromised. The company says a hacker used a remote access tool to install malware to capture the credit card data of customers who paid for parking between late September and early November depending on the location.

Local Shop Sells Custom Made Dibs Christmas Tree Ornament

Replica Chicago's dibs Christmas tree ornament. Photo credit: DNA Info.

Replica Chicago’s dibs Christmas tree ornament. Photo credit: DNA Info.

In a tribute to Black Friday we bring you the perfect Christmas gift for the hardcore Chicago driver in your life–the dibs Christmas tree ornament.

This iconic folding chair ornament design will look great saving space on any Christmas tree and successfully keeping other ornaments from finding parking space on that particular branch.

And don’t even think about moving it out of the way and replacing it with another decoration!

The ornament is available for $12 from Replica Chicago located at 4425 N. Milwaukee Ave. in the Jefferson Park neighborhood.

H/T to DNA Info’s Chicago’s Ultimate Neighborhood Gift Guide.

City’s Winter Overnight Parking Ban Starts At 3 AM Monday

Chicago Winter Overnight Parking Ban SignIt’s that time of year again.

Every December 1st, hundreds of drivers will be surprised to find their car has mysteriously disappeared overnight.

No, their vehicle hasn’t been stolen or repossessed but towed away by city tow trucks for violating the city’s annual Winter Overnight Parking Ban which starts at 3 AM on Monday, December 1st.

The ban effects 107 miles of what the city considers “critical arterial streets” from December 1st and April 1st each year and is in effect between the hours of 3 AM and 7 AM each early morning–regardless of snow on the ground.

Car owners will have to pay a minimum $150 towing fee, $20 storage fee per day to get their car released from the city auto pound and still have to pay a $60 parking ticket. Towed vehicles will be brought to either Auto Pound 2 located at 10301 S. Doty or Auto Pound 2 located at 701 N. Sacramento.

UIC Awarded $5.5 Contract To Continue Traffic Research

John Dillenburg, senior research scientist in computer science, with systems specialists Sri Poodipeddi and Anjum Malik. Photo credit: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services

John Dillenburg, senior research scientist in computer science, with systems specialists Sri Poodipeddi and Anjum Malik. Photo credit: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services

How can Chicago reduce traffic congestion?

The University of Illinois’ Artificial Intelligence Lab is trying to find the answers.

That’s the reason the Illinois Department of Transportation awarded the lab $5.5 million to continue developing the Gateway Traveler Information System and the TravelMidwest.com website.

These sites gives motorists real time information on expressway congestion for the greater Chicago area to allow drivers to find the most efficient way to their destination.

The interactive maps allow users to zoom in get data on travel times, congestion, construction, accidents, and other events which effect traffic.

Google Maps Says Avoid Driving Wednesday Before Thanksgiving

Worst Day to Travel graphicIf you don’t want to be stuck in traffic this holiday weekend, Google Maps says avoid driving Wednesday.

Wednesday is the worst day for motorists to travel during the Thanksgiving Day holiday exodus from the city according to the internet’s most popular search site.

Of course, this is no surprise to hardened Chicago drivers used to the painful traffic congestion on some of the nation’s most traveled expressways even when its not on the day before a major holiday.

Google Map, using its access to vast amounts of data from 21 major cities over the past two years has given drivers insight into turkey day holiday travel in a recent report.