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 »

More Warnings, Few Tickets For Bicyclists Ignoring Traffic Laws

While the City of Chicago has seemingly stepped up its enforcement events on bike riders, as in recent past years, disproportionate numbers of warnings are being issued compared to actual traffic violations–at More »

 

Drivers ‘Irked’ At Restoring Paid Sunday Parking Meters

Changing the parking meter 2.jpg

Employees of LAZ Parking change the parking meter rates on a paybox in Lakeview in 2013.

With the announcement that some neighborhoods are going to see switch back to paid parking meters on Sundays, it seems some drivers are miffed at the idea according to DNA Info.

Right now, in most areas of the city–excluding downtown and the more general Central Business District–motorists can park for free on Sundays in metered parking spots.

But, some aldermen on the North Side have been trying for the past year to bring back paid parking on Sundays due to businesses in heavily congested retail areas complaining about the lack of parking turnover.

Active Trans Demands City Lower Speed Camera Threshold

Contractors bring in the electrical power for a new speed camera near Irving Park and Clark Street.

Technicians get ready to install a speed camera on Irving Park Road near Clark in late fall.

If there’s something nice one can say about Chicago’s new speed camera program is the city has been careful and systematic on how they are rolling it out.

The 50 speed camera locations are not being turned on all at once, but instead camera sites are being activated slowly, methodically and with a decent amount of publicity to get the word out to motorists.

In addition, the city made a wise decision to keep the speed threshold for ticketing higher than what’s legally allowed to give drivers a further chance to become aware of where the cameras are located and hopefully slow down to avoid a ticket.

Mayor Introduces Ordinance To Restore Some Paid Sunday Meters

But Alderman Michele Smith Changes Position To Keep Free Sundays Meters In Most Of Lincoln Park.

Business owners in Lincoln Park want paid metered parking reinstated on Sundays in their neighborhood.

Paid Sunday metered parking will likely be returning to some neighborhoods, but only portions of Lincoln Park.

Nearly a year after Mayor Rahm Emanuel promised some neighborhoods could keep paid Sunday parking meters, he introduced an ordinance at Wednesday’s City Council meeting that would do just that.

Portions of neighborhoods like Bucktown, Lakeview, Wrigleyville, and Jefferson Park will be seeing a switch back to paid Sunday metered parking perhaps as soon as May. The proposed ordinance needs to make it out of the Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety and into the full council for a vote.

There are a few minor changes to times of metered parking on Sundays which would have meters operating from 10 AM until 8 PM. In addition, metered areas which wraparound from a commercial street onto a residential street will still remain free.

But the ordinance seems a long time coming. This time last year, Emanuel was pressing City Council members to accept his renegotiated parking meter lease deal to give the city the ability to control costs from streets closures and other issues which allowed Chicago Parking Meters, LLC to bill the city millions of dollars for lost revenue.

Anti-Camera Groups Debut Protest Campaign Targeting Aldermen

Two anti-speed camera protestors from Cook County Campaign for Liberty and Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras participate at a protest several months ago near wave to supportive drivers Saturday on Foster Avenue adjacent to Gompers Park.

Two anti-speed camera protestors from Cook County Campaign for Liberty and Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras participate at a protest near Gompers Park this past fall.

Chicago City Council members who supports the city’s speed camera programs better watch out.

Because two local activist groups are planning on spending the next year protesting and working to unseat any alderman who voted for the newly minted camera enforcement system.

Cook County Campaign for Liberty and Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras are teaming up to conduct weekly protests at speed camera and red light camera sites in wards where aldermen support this type of enforcement.

“We intend to hit as many of these aldermen as possible this summer,” explained Cook County Coordinator for Campaign for Liberty. “We want to identify local leaders in every part of the city and take action on these candidates and flip 12 aldermen to no votes so we can get 26 no votes on the city council (to repeal the speed camera program).”

Chicagoans File Pothole Damage Claims In Record Numbers

Drivers are filing record number of claims for pothole damage with the city this year.

Drivers are filing record number of claims for pothole damage with the city this year.

The City of Chicago is on its way to post record pothole damage claims this year–at least based on Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times
the City Clerk’s Office filed over 1,100 pothole damage claims at Wednesday’s meeting.

That’s the most claims ever filed in a month and nearly four times the 300 plus claims filed in February.

City Clerk spokesperson Patrick Corcoran tells the Sun-Times that this is the most claims filed in a single month. Based on the 1,615 claims filed in 2011, 2014 is sure to be a record year.

IDOT Secretary Schneider “‘On The Move’ Recaps Winter Driving

Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider recaps one of the most driving challenged winters in Illinois history and thanks motorists for their patience with IDOT’s snow removal crews.

Study: 1 In 5 Chicago Drivers Ignore Handheld Cell Phone Ban

Using a hand-held cell phone will driving is now banned on all Illinois roads.

Using a hand-held cell phone will driving is now banned on all Illinois roads.

According to an Illinois Department of Transportation study, about one in five Chicago drivers flaunt the city’s nine-year old ban on using a handheld cell phone while driving.

The Chicago Tribune recently reported on the study, which observed over 33,000 drivers on streets, roads and highways all across the state.

While only a relatively small number of towns in Illinois (about 80) had handheld cell phone driving bans on the books, a statewide ban went into effect on January 1st. The study was done in November in advance of the new law in order to track the effectiveness of this traffic safety legislation.

Drivers can still use a mobile phone while driving a vehicle, however they must use some sort of hands free technology like a Bluetooth headset or the speakerphone functionality of the device.

Maybe not surprisingly, Chicago drivers were the worst offenders with 18% of all observed drivers using a mobile phone pressed against their ear or near their face while behind the wheel–despite living in a city with one of the first municipal bans in Illinois. Only 12% of motorists outside the state were seen using a handheld mobile phone while driving.

Ashland Avenue Reopened Ahead Of Schedule Saturday

Ashland Avenue sans bridge Saturday afternoon. Photo credit: The606.

Ashland Avenue sans bridge Saturday afternoon. Photo credit: The606.

Traffic on Ashland Avenue on the city’s North Side reopened much earlier than expected Saturday afternoon around 3 PM after a bridge was removed.

The Chicago Department of Transportation estimated it would take 48 hours to remove a bridge spanning Ashland Avenue between North Avenue (1600 N.) and Armitage Avenue (2000 N.) but was telling drivers and CTA bus riders the project would be finished no later than early Monday morning.

But less than 24 hours from when Ashland was closed at 8 PM Friday night, crews had removed the bridge and one of the city’s most heavily traveled thoroughfare was open to traffic according to the 606 Facebook page.

Chicago’s Street Cleaning Season Starts Tuesday

Chicago's street sweepers will hit the street Tuesday, the first day of Chicago's street cleaning season.

Chicago’s street sweepers will hit the street Tuesday, the first day of Chicago’s street cleaning season.

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.

Parked Blocking A Sidewalk, Driver Invites Geek’s Wrath

Jackass parked on a sidewalkEven the Parking Ticket Geek has limits.

Look, I have a lot of patience with drivers who park, let’s say…creatively.

I don’t think drivers should get dinged with a ticket for parking a foot or two too close to a hydrant or a stop sign. It doesn’t bug me when someone’s in an alley for a few minutes with their flasher on. And I’m not driven to distraction when a car is parked in a no parking zone for a moment to run into a store.

It’s no big deal.

But in the Wicker Park neighborhood Friday afternoon, I came across some jackass’ SUV underneath the Blue Line L tracks parked on a sidewalk blocking the path of pedestrians who wanted to walk down the street.

What the Hell?