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 »

 

Local Entrepreneur Turns Potholes Into Profit

"Wabash Hash" is just one of several varieties of pot themed baggies of city asphalt being sold by The Pothole Store. Photo credit: The Pothole Store.

“Wabash Hash” is just one of several varieties of pot themed baggies of city asphalt being sold by The Pothole Store. Photo credit: The Pothole Store.

Dave Stern is turning lemons into lemonade, or perhaps more accurately, potholes into profits.

According to DNA Info, the historic outbreak of potholes has inspired this Old Irving Park man to start an online boutique called The Pothole Store to sell all manner of pothole related products including earrings and necklaces made from pieces of asphalt, pothole snow globes, pothole scented air fresheners and baggies of asphalt from different parts of the city with marijuana themed names like Evanstoned, Skokie Tokie and Wabash Hash. You can even buy something called potholepourri which is a small pile of asphalt with roadway related scents.

The Pothole Store even has a pothole registry. Much like those star registries where people can pay to name a star after a loved one, the International Pothole Registry allows you to name a pothole after a loved one or maybe just someone you’re just fond of, for $6.99. Each named pothole comes with a certificate of authenticity.

Of course the entire concept is all firmly tongue in cheek according to Stern.

A Motorist’s Primer To The ParkChicago Mobile Payment App

Here’s a rundown of some of the questions and answers on this new fangled parking meter mobile payment app called ParkChicago.

Q: How does ParkChicago work?

A: Check out the video above for the general lowdown on this new payment method.

But generally, it’s like IPASS for metered parking. You resister an account, give them credit card info, add $20 to your account and you’re ready to go.

When you want to park you logon, type in the meter box number on the sign and your license plate number and you’re paid up and ready to park.

Q: Where can I download the ParkChicago app?

Neighborhood Group Votes Against Ashland BRT By Narrow Margin

A sign in the median on Ashland Avenue pushes the anti-BRT messsage near Cortland.

A sign in the median on Ashland Avenue pushes the anti-BRT messsage near Cortland.

While the CTA and the Chicago Department of Transportation have been nearly silent in regards to the Ashland Bus Rapid Transit project, groups representing neighborhoods near Ashland Avenue have been making some noise, a bit of news on the proposal.

According to DNA Info at recent meeting the East Village Association narrowly voted 11-9 against the BRT plan.

The project calls for center running express buses along Ashland Avenue between 95th Street and Irving Park Road, with an initial phase running from 31st to Cortland.

Parking Meter Company Debuts Pay-By-Phone Pilot Program in West Loop

An LAZ Parking employee installs a new ParkChicago mobile payment sign on Madison Avenue.

An LAZ Parking employee installs a new ParkChicago mobile payment sign on Madison Avenue.

In a few select blocks of the West Loop, Chicago Parking Meters LLC, will debut its new ParkChicago mobile payment system in a pilot test starting Tuesday.

In a small area with just 279 metered parking spaces between Halsted Street and Racine Avenue, and bordered by Madison and Monroe streets, drivers will be able to test drive the ParkChicago app to pay for their metered parking remotely using any iOS or Android smartphone.

“We’re conducting a pilot to gauge feedback from motorists before rolling it out across the city,” says CPM spokesman Scott Burnham. ”

The technology makes paying for parking much more convenient for motorists by eliminating the need to pay for parking at the pay box or have to place a meter receipt on their dashboard. Drivers can pay for parking or extend parking time from anywhere using a smart phone, iPad or similar tablet computer.

The app even has a built-in timer to remind drivers 10 minutes before their time expires to allow them to add more time or get back to their car before the meter expires.

Read more at DNA Info.

CDOT Announces More Speed Camera Ticketing, Warnings

A speed camera in Uptown catches speeding cars in the 4400 block of North Broadway Ave.

A speed camera in Uptown catches speeding cars in the 4400 block of North Broadway Ave.

The Chicago Department of Transportation announced Friday that speed cameras near two schools will begin issuing tickets, and two new speed camera sites near two parks will begin start mailing warnings to speeding drivers next week.

CDOT says the speed cams near Pickard School (2300 block of W. Cermak) and near Burr Elementary (1600 block of N. Ashland) have both finished their warning phase and will start issuing speeding tickets on Wednesday, April 16th.

While the 30-day warning period will start Monday, April 14th outside of Columbus Park (500 block of S. Central Avenue) and near Ogden Plaza Park (300 block of E. Illinois Street).

Mayor Promises Millions More To Repave Pothole Pocked Streets

CDOT crews fill potholes on the North Side in 2013.

CDOT crews fill potholes on the North Side in 2013.

The politics of potholes seems to be pushing Mayor Rahm Emanuel to commit more and more millions of dollars for the repaving of streets with intensive pothole problems.

Working hard not to become the pothole version of former Chicago Mayor Michael Bilandic, this past week Emanuel pledged another $15 million towards repaving another 13 miles of pothole ravaged roadways according to DNA Info.

This announcement comes after last months commitment to spend $22 million on 15 miles of streets on top of the 364 miles of roadways Emanuel already promised to resurface earlier in the year.

Chicago streets are suffering through perhaps the worst outbreak of potholes in modern times due to one of the worst winters in memory.

Handicapped Parking Spot? Stop Sign? Or Both?

Handicapped stop sign

What the Hell is going on here?

How is it possible that a handicapped parking spot is where a stop sign is posted?

We came across this confusing mish mash of traffic signs at Drexel Blvd. and 39th.

It’s illegal for drivers to park within 30′ of a stop sign (on the approaching side). But this reserved handicapped parking spot shares a sign post with the stop sign.

Theoretically, it would seem the person parking in their reserved handicapped spot could also be ticketed for parking too close to a stop sign.

Huh?

Cubs, Neighbors At Odds Over Remote Parking Lot

Cubs fans can use the remote parking lot at Basic Wire & Cable at Irving Park & Rockwell then take a free shuttle bus to the game.

Cubs fans can use the remote parking lot at Basic Wire & Cable at Irving Park & Rockwell then take a free shuttle bus to the game.

The city told the Chicago Cubs in exchange for the ability to host more night games, they needed to setup a free remote parking that could handle at least 1000 vehicles.

And the Cubs did.

The Cubs organization made an agreement with Basic Wire & Cable, located at Irving Park and Rockwell west of Wrigley Field, to lease the company’s 1000+ spot parking lot to allow Cubs fans to park and take a free shuttle bus to the game.

But someone in the Cubs organization forgot to alert the neighborhood and area residents loudly expressed their displeasure at a community meeting late last week according to DNA Info.

Ask The Parking Ticket Geek: The Parking Lot ‘Parking Ticket’

Ben shows off a "parking ticket" he received at an LAZ Parking lot in Lincoln Park.

Ben shows off a “parking ticket” he received at an LAZ Parking lot in Lincoln Park.

Dear Parking Ticket Geek,

Last Friday I paid for parking in an uncovered lot managed by LAZ Parking at the corner of Weed Street and North Fremont Street from 7:55 p.m. until 4 a.m. The machine asked me to type the last three characters of my license plate.

When the receipt printed, it did not have any written explanation of where to place it. In fact, it didn’t even say to display it, and neither did the machine that printed the ticket. I assumed this must be why I had to key in my last three characters of my plate.

So I simply put the receipt in my wallet and headed off.

How wrong I was!

When I returned to the lot before 4 a.m., I found a ticket for $50. I contested this ticket with an email that included a photo of both my ticket and the receipt. They responded to my email in legalese saying I still have to pay the parking ticket, but they’ll reduce it to $30.

Am I really liable?

Ben

Read more at DNA Info.

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.