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 »

 

Anti-Cam Group Plans Southside Protest Saturday

Red light  camera protest signWith all the red light camera news this week, Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras thought it would be a good idea to hold a protest this weekend.

On Saturday August 22nd, the group plans a demonstration at the intersection of 87th & Lafayette from 11 AM to 2 PM.

“This intersection was mentioned in several media reports this week as one of the top revenue generating cameras in the City of Chicago pulling in $5.8 million in infractions since May 2011,” states the group’s press release. “Red Light Cameras were also in the news this week as embattled RedFlex CEO Karen Finley changed her plea to guilty in the $2 million dollar bribery scheme she allegedly engineered with a Chicago transportation official.”

“The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective

Breaking News!Compiled by Otto Mobile

Your transportation related headlines for Thursday August 20th, 2015

CEO Guilty Plea In Redflex Bribery Case (Chicago Tribune); Hey Kids! – Wanna Give Uncle Rahm The Finger Next Time You Get A Camera Ticket (Beat Your Rahm Cam Ticket)

CTA Adds Trains To Ease Traffic Mess Around Byrne Circle Interchange (Chicago Sun Times)

Rahm Want To Make Chicago Permanent Home Of NFL Draft (Chicago Tribune), Along With Weeks Of Downtown Traffic Mess

Chicago Homeowners Likely To Pay For Garbage Pickup Soon (Chicago Sun Times); Rahm Says Budget Cuts Before Any New Garbage Fees (Chicago Sun Times); Letter: People Will Dump Garbage In Neighbors Can (Chicago Sun Times)

Extra Work On Addams Project Will Cost Another $19.5M, Tollway Says (Chicago Tribune)

IDOT Signs Up Participants At State Fair For Program That Helps First Responders (Illinois Government News Network)

Secretary Of State Jesse White Will Not Seek Re-Election (Chicago Sun Times)

Seventh Circuit US Court Of Appeals Overturns Illinois Conviction Based On A Traffic Stop Over A License Plate Frame (Thenewspaper.Com)

Ex-Redflex CEO Pleads Guilty In Red Light Camera Bribery

Redflex logoIt was truth and consequences for Karen Finley on Thursday when the ex-Redflex CEO pleaded guilty in federal court to her role in a bribery scheme to secure, and grow Chicago’s red light camera program according to the Sun-Times.

In admitting her guilt, she faces up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Finley will be sentenced in February

Finley helped devise a scheme whe.re she funneled cash and gifts to a high-level Department of Transportation manager via a friend of the city employee.

Over a period of years, federal authorities allege Martin O’Malley passed on hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to CDOT manager John Bills. In return, Bills was able to rig the bid for red light cameras to Redflex and help grow the program into the nation’s largest and most lucrative and generate millions of dollars for the red light camera company.

“The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective

HeadlinesCompiled by Otto Mobile

Your transportation related headlines for Wednesday August 19th, 2015

Traffic Armageddon Is Here: Expressway Lanes To Be Closed For Construction (DNA Chicago)

State Police Announce Surge Of Troopers To Curb Expressway Shootings (Chicago Sun Times)

As It Pushes For One-Hour Delivery, Amazon Opens Another Chicago Warehouse - Crains Chicago Business

Why Chicago Gas Prices Are So High Right Now (Chicago Tribune)

BP Whiting Woes An Opportunity For Rivals - Crains Chicago Business

Michigan Attorney General Wants BP To Explain Gas Price Spike (ABC 7 Chicago)

Chicago Based Parking App Spothero Lands $20 Million Cash Infusion - Crains Chicago Business

Bicyclists Have Blind Spot On Alcohol Usage (Beezodogsplace.Com)

Why Are Chicago’s Gas Prices So High? Taxes Says Policy Group

Graphic courtesy of Reboot Illinois/Illinois Policy Institute.

Graphic courtesy of Reboot Illinois/Illinois Policy Institute.

Sure, the price of gas has spiked all over the Midwest due to unexpected shutdown of BP’s Whiting, IN refinery last week.

But why is the cost of a gallon of gas in Chicago so much higher than neighboring metropolitan areas?

Taxes.

The http://www.rebootillinois.com/2015/08/19/editors-picks/hilarygowinsyelvington/illinois-gas-tax-adds-more-pain-at-the-pump-for-chicagoans/44135/ at the federal, state, county and city taxes that Chicago drivers pay and it’s pretty brutal.

Based on the recent $3.63 per gallon price, 77 cents of the per gallon price is tax–or 20% of the total gallon cost.

A shocking 40 cents per gallon can be attributed to city and county taxes.

Then, to add insult to injury, Reboot Illinois reports that, unlike most states where gas taxes go into a fund that finances road construction and maintenance, in Illinois gas taxes go directly into the state’s general fund.

Here’s Reboot Illinois’s full story, “ILLINOIS GAS TAX ADDS MORE PAIN AT THE PUMP FOR CHICAGOANS.”

“The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective

HeadlinesCompiled by Otto Mobile

Your transportation related headlines for Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

CTA Announces New Express Bus Lines Along Ashland, Western – Denies Any Retreat From Ashland BRT Plans (Chicago Sun Times); But It Sounds LikeThe Same Express Bus Plan Proposed By BRT Opponents; Is Rahm Throwing The Ashland BRT Under The Bus

Petition To Rethink/Redesign The Polka Dotted Traffic Barricade At Lincoln/Wellington/Southport Reaches 600 Signatures (Change.org); Petition Supporters Meet With Alderman Waguespack

Opinion: No More Privatization Fiascos - Crains Chicago Business

Ramp Closures Begin Wednesday For Jane Byrne Circle Interchange Project (Chicago Sun Times)

Chicago Gas Price Spike Biggest Since 2005 (Chicago Tribune); Prices Rise Higher Than Other Midwest Cities Due To Taxes (Illinois Policy Institute)

Census Data: 80% Of Chicago Area Commuters Travel By Private Car (Cenus.Gov)

Ramp From Kennedy To Congress Closing Wednesday Night For Next Phase Of Jane Byrne Interchange Project

Jane Byrne InterchangeHeads up motorists.

The Jane Byrne Interchange project moves forward with the closing of the inbound Kennedy Expressway (EB I-90/94) ramp Wednesday night.

The Illinois Department of Transportation says the ramp will close Wednesday night at 11:59 PM and be closed until the morning of Monday, August 31st as part of the major reconstruction of what used to be called the Circle Interchange until it was changed to honor former Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne last year.

“The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective

Daily-News-headline-newspapersCompiled by Otto Mobile

Your transportation related headlines for Monday, August 17th, 2015

Sun Times: Nearly $300 Million In Red Light Camera Tickets Issued Since Rahm Became Mayor; Alderman Beale Admits They Are Mostly A Revenue Grab, And That Yellow Light Issue Still Needs To Be Fixed (Chicago Sun Times)

City Council Treasure Hunt Includes Loop Congestion Fee On Cars, Uber Surcharges, Bike Fees, Gas Tax Increase, Plus Hikes In Property/Sales Tax, Garbage Fees, A City Income Tax, And Anything Else They Can Think Of (Besides Cutting Mismanagement, Waste And Fraud) (Chicago Sun Times); Bike Fees May Become A Hot Issue (beezodogsplace.com)

26th Expressway Shooting This Year Closes Outbound Kennedy Monday Morning (CBS 2 Chicago)

Four Weekends You Will Want To Avoid Driving On Expressways (Daily Herald)

CDOT Says Google Maps Has Helped It Save Nearly $25M (Curbed Chicago)

Sun-Times: Red Light Camera Cash Too Lucrative To Kill Program

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.

Chicago is dependent on the hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue generated through the controversial and disliked red light camera program according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The newspaper reports the nation’s largest red light camera program generated $285 million in ticket revenue since Mayor Rahm Emanuel first took office in 2011. And with Chicago’s ongoing financial crisis, the city simply just can’t afford to drop such a lucrative program–despite the corruption, lack of evidence of safety benefits, and the controversial shortened yellow lights.

“The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective

newsflashCompiled by Otto Mobile

Your transportation related headlines for Friday, August 14th, 2015

Gas Prices Are Still Soaring - Crains Chicago Business

Frustrated Rahm Reboots His Infrastructure Slush Fund (Chicago Tribune)

Will Mitsubishi Have To Repay Illinois Taxpayers Once Factory Closes (Pantagraph)

Top Taxi Official Admits Laundering Vehicle Title On Chicago Cabs (WLS AM 89)

Letter: Restoration Of Happy Hour Is An Embarrassment (Daily Herald)

Food Delivery Drivers Robbed By Gunpoint In Grand Crossing, Police Say (DNA Chicago)

Two Wounded After Gunfire Over Car Cutting Line At Wendys, Police Say (DNA Chicago)