Tag Archives: CDOT

Low Turnout At Meeting To Remove Bucktown Area Red Light Cam

A Xerox contractor installs a new red light camera at the corner of Clark Street and Irving Park Road.

A Xerox contractor installs a red light camera at the corner of Clark Street and Irving Park Road in 2014.

Just a handful of Bucktown area residents dropped by Holstein Park on Wednesday night to voice their thoughts on two area red light cameras slated to be permanently decommissioned.

Two red light cameras as Ashland and Diversey and another pair at the intersection of Western, Armitage and Milwaukee have been turned off since March, after a pre-election announcement by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to turn off 50 cameras at 25 intersections across the city.

The intersections, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation, have had crashes fall below a certain metric that made in unnecessary to keep the cameras there. Crashes at Ashland and Diversey have fallen to just 1.31 crashes per million vehicles with zero right angle crashes. At Western-Armitage-Milwaukee, crashes were at 1.99 per million vehicles with zero right angle crashes.

The one hour open house had poster boards extolling the benefits of red light cameras as well as crash data at every RLC intersection in the city.

But perhaps just four or five residents showed up to check out the open house, ask questions and voice their opinion Wednesday evening. Two of the attendees were from the anti-camera group Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras.

Ramp From Lower To Upper Wacker Drive Closed For Two Weeks

CDOT logoA ramp connecting Lower Wacker Drive with Upper Wacker Drive was closed on Wednesday for about two weeks for a rehabilitation project according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

The ramp, which allows vehicles traveling westbound on Lower Wacker to transfer to Upper Wacker, is located at the eastern portion of Wacker Drive near Columbus Drive.

CDOT recommends drivers take alternate routes to avoid inevitable delays. A detour will divert traffic from Lower Wacker via southbound Columbus Drive to westbound East South Water Street which feeds into East Wacker Place, and then north on Wabash Avenue to ultimately connect with Upper Wacker Drive.

The ramp is scheduled to reopen the second week in October.

2015 Fall Season Chicago River Bridge Lift Starts Saturday

A small flotilla of boats passes through the open State Street Bridge on the Chicago River, Chicago, Illinois. Photo credit: Jeremy Atherton, © 2006.

A small flotilla of boats passes through the open State Street Bridge on the Chicago River, Chicago, Illinois. Photo credit: Jeremy Atherton, © 2006.

As the summer wanes, and the cool weather approaches, Chicago’s boats start leaving Lake Michigan for the winter this Saturday.

Saturday morning, the City of Chicago kicks off its annual fall bridge lift to allow boaters to transport their masted watercraft down the Chicago River and into dry dock storage yards.

Chicago Department of Transportation crews will lift the 27 bridges along the South Branch of the Chicago River from Lake Shore Drive to Ashland in sequence starting at 9 AM.

“As summer comes to a close, CDOT is preparing to facilitate the annual rite of passage that allows sailors to move their boats from the Lake to their winter storage yards,” said CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld, who also serves as Chicago’s Harbor Master and has jurisdiction over the city’s waterways. “CDOT has worked with local boat storage yards to create a schedule that accommodates boats while minimizing the impact on downtown street traffic.”

Chicago River Bridge Lift Re-Scheduled For Saturday

CDOT logoThe bridge lift was scheduled for Wednesday night.

The lift was planned to start at 6:30 PM after rush hour in order to bring a heavy crane by barge down the South Branch of the Chicago River and into the river’s main branch for a large construction project.

But just about an hour before the lift was to begin, the Chicago Department of Transportation canceled tonight’s lift and re-scheduled it for this coming Saturday morning.

Opinion: Color Us Skeptical On Argyle Street’s Shared Street Project

Shared street.

That’s what, according to the city, is a street where cars, pedestrians and bikes all share the right of way.

The city is getting ready to break ground on it’s first shared street project for the Argyle Streetscape project on the city’s far northside.

At best the concept sounds anti-automobile and at worst, unsafe.

IG Rips CDOT On Mismanagement Of City’s Loading Zones

Valet loading signChicago’s management loading zones and disable parking is a mess according to the city’s Office of the Inspector General.

The OIG published an audit Thursday, of the process for obtaining loading zones and disabled parking signs and found not only does it take a long time to get one of these parking spots, but poor management of the programs is costing the city millions in lost revenue.

In order to obtain a loading zone in the city, it takes an average of 337 days. Disabled parking spaces took just 207 days.

Both requests need to go through a multitude of channels before they are granted including site surveys, billing and installation by the Department of Transportation for loading zones and Department of Finance for surveys and billing of disabled parking spots, although CDOT handles sign installation.

The OIG also reports that CDOT’s records for loading zones is woefully incomplete with insufficient data on nearly 85% of the city’s loading zones.

Official Accused In Redflex Scandal Wants Trial Moved To Vegas

A red light cameras stands watch at Damen & Division in Wicker ParkJohn Bills believes he can’t get a fair trial in Chicago.

So he wants to move it to Las Vegas.

That’s what lawyers for the former Chicago Department of Transportation official who initiated and oversaw the city’s red light camera program according to the Chicago Tribune.

Bills is accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and gifts for allegedly making sure Redflex Traffic Systems won and retained the lucrative contract for the Chicago red light camera program.

In a court filing, Bills’ attorney Nishay Sanan wrote:

Sun-Times Profiles Chicago’s Resident Street Sign Expert

Steven J. Bahnsen hates bad street signs signs.

And while Bahnsen is arguably, the most knowledgeable expert on traffic signs in the entire state, he curiously doesn’t work for CDOT or IDOT.

Mayoral Candidates Call For End To City’s Red Light Cameras

Mayoral candidate Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) and Mark Wallace, director of Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras speak at a press conference at City Hall Monday. Photo credit: Ted Cox/DNA Info.

Mayoral candidate Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) and Mark Wallace, director of Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras speak at a press conference at City Hall Monday. Photo credit: Ted Cox/DNA Info.

In the wake of recent Chicago Tribune’s reporting on research showing a failure of Chicago’s red light cameras to improve traffic safety, two candidates for mayor have called for an end to the program.

The Tribune commissioned an academic study of crash data at Chicago red light camera locations which found that the city exaggerated the safety improvements from the cameras and while dangerous T-bone crashes did go down by 15%, rear-end crashes went up 22%–numbers which have caused the researchers to question if there is any traffic safety benefits from the program.

At City Hall Monday morning, Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras held a press conference to again call for an end to the program based on the Tribune report.

Mayoral candidate Ald. Bob Fioretti joined the group’s director Mark Wallace in condemning the camera program and said he would end the program by April 15th if he was elected mayor. He plans to introduce an ordinance to stop the program next month.

Tribune Study: Red Light Cameras Have Zero Impact On Safety

red_light_cameraNo effect.


That’s the main finding from an extensive research study of Chicago’s red light camera system commissioned by the Chicago Tribune.

The Tribune teamed up with researchers from the Texas A&M University’s Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, who analyzed crash data at RLC intersections before and after the cameras were installed.

The city claims the cameras have reduced dangerous right angle crashes by 47%.

But the Tribune study refutes the city’s numbers saying their analysis shows only a 15% decrease in injury causing T-bone crashes, but a 22% increase in rear-end crashes that caused injuries. At best, the researchers numbers indicate red light cameras have provided no improvement in overall traffic safety or at worst a 5% increase in the number of crashes that cause injuries.