Tag Archives: CDOT

City Caves To Pressure, Will Review 9000 Red Light Camera Tickets

Scheinfeld at press conference

CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld speaks at a crosswalk enforcement press conference in early July.

Since Sunday’s Chicago Tribune story reporting mysterious spikes in red light camera violations several years ago, there’s been pressure from aldermen and the media for a response from City Hall.

Late Wednesday,  Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld responded to the controversy with testimony in front of the city council’s Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety.

“The Mayor and CDOT take very seriously the validity of and public confidence in all of our safety programs, including the red light camera program,” Scheinfeld said to begin her explanatory testimony. “Red light camera enforcement is designed to increase safety on Chicago’s streets. Cities across the country, and throughout the world, have been using such technology for many years.”

State Street Bridge Closed All Week For Riverwalk Construction

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.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Better late than never.

The State Street Bridge over the Chicago River downtown will be closed all this week for construction work to be completed on a walkway for the Chicago Riverwalk according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

The bridge closed to traffic Monday, July 14th at 6 AM and will reopen on Monday, July 21st at 6 !M.

Both the Clark Street and Dearborn Street bridges have been closed in past weeks for the same project to allow for support to be installed for the new walkway.

The city is extending the current Riverwalk pedestrian path which will, when finished, stretch from Lake Shore Drive to Lake Street. The Riverwalk currently terminates at Franklin Street.

Photo credit: Jeremy Atherton.

Public Weighs In On Rehabbing Lake Shore Drive At Meeting

Cars back up at rush hour at the Belmont Avenue exit on northbound Lake Shore Drive. Photo credit: NorthLakeShoreDrive.org

Cars back up at rush hour at the Belmont Avenue exit on northbound Lake Shore Drive. Photo credit: NorthLakeShoreDrive.org

Tuesday July 8th, the Drake Hotel played host for a meeting to “Redefine The Drive” to elicit the public’s input on what changes should be made on a planned $1 billion facelift of North Lake Shore Drive.

The Illinois Department of Transportation in conjunction with the Chicago Department of Transportation plan a dramatic rehab and perhaps reinvention of the seven mile stretch of LSD between Grand and Hollywood. The agencies say due to the age of the roadway it will need to be rebuilt.

The project wouldn’t even break ground until 2019 or even 2020, with costs estimated to be around $1 billion–a hefty sum for a city and state which are both close to insolvency.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, all sorts of ideas were suggested including: a double-decker configuration with an upper and lower LSD; a light rail line down the middle of LSD; or dedicated express bus lanes.

New Speed Cameras Coming to 13 Locations Across the City

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

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

Slow down drivers: More speed cameras are scheduled to go in across the city soon, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

The city announced late last week the locations of 12 new camera locations around schools and parks in six area of the city over the next few months.

A 13th location near Calumet Park, in the 3500 block of East 95th Street, was announced last month. The camera was installed in late June and began its 30-day warning period on June 30.

Residents Angered By Bike Lane Proposal For Milwaukee Avenue

Milwaukee Avenue bike lanes graphic

A graphic shows one proposal which would dramatically reduce the number of parking spaces along Milwaukee Avenue. Photo credit: Heather Cherone/DNA Info.

Residents of Jefferson Park and Gladstone Park do not want protected bike lanes in their neighborhood.

Several hundred angry residents showed up at a meeting on Wednesday to hear a presentation that includes two plans which would reduce traffic on a two-mile stretch of Milwaukee Avenue between Elston and Lawrence from four lanes to just two and add protected bike lanes according to DNA Info.

“Nobody wants this,” said one vocal resident. “It is being rammed down our throats.”

“We hate it,” said another.

Division Street Bridge Closure, Demolition Starts Monday

A sign on Elston Avenue detours drivers around the closed portion of Ashland Avenue this weekend.The Division Street bridge over the North Branch Canal of the Chicago River will begin being demolished starting Monday morning, June 30th.

The Chicago Department of Transportation says the 111-year old double-leaf bascule movable bridge is over 100 years old and needs to be replaced.

CDOT crews will replace the demolished bridge with an interim bridge until a new, permanent bascule bridge is constructed.

“This historic bridge has been in service for more than a century as a key transportation link across Goose Island for cars, trains, bikes and pedestrians,” said CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld. “But it is at the end of its useful life, and is in need of a complete reconstruction.”

Traffic will be detoured via Ashland Avenue.

CDOT says the detour will be in place until mid-October.

Redflex Bribery Battle Spills Into Federal Court

Redflex logoBy The Newspaper.com

A federal judge last week sided with the former executive vice president of red light camera manufacturer Redflex Traffic Systems who is suing his former employer for wrongful termination. District Judge George H. Wu issued a tentative ruling last Thursday in favor of Aaron M. Rosenberg.

The Australian firm fired Rosenberg after he was caught bribing a top city official in Chicago, Illinois. The company then sued Rosenberg and his wife in an Arizona court. Rosenberg, who lives in Los Angeles, countersued in California Superior Court in February, arguing he was just following orders from the company.

For his suit, Rosenberg served court papers on the Arizona and the California offices of Redflex. Redflex rejected this service, calling the Arizona corporation Redflex Traffic Systems Inc a “sham defendant, which does not exist.” The company insisted on removing the lawsuit to federal court because Rosenberg never worked for a California-based company.

CBS 2 Busts CDOT Workers Parking Illegally

What happens when city workers park a city owned vehicle illegally?

In general they won’t get a parking ticket, but they could be subjected to unwanted attention from CBS 2′s Mike Parker.

Reconstruction Of Van Buren Bridge Begins Thursday

Building a new ChicagoThe 57-year old Van Buren Bridge will begin undergoing reconstruction Thursday, May 1st according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

The movable bascule bridge which spans the Chicago River will be closed to all traffic for over seven months between May 1st until January 7, 2015.

The Van Buren bridge was built in 1956 will have bridge girders, floor beams and lateral bracing repaired and will get a new roadway deck. The project will cost $2.5 million and is part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Building a New Chicago initiative.

Ousted Red-Light Camera Vendor Rakes in Windfall In Contract’s Final Months

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

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

Even as Redflex Traffic Systems’ scandal-plagued 11-year tenure operating the nation’s largest red-light camera system was ending, it was a particularly lucrative year for the company.

The last Redlfex cameras — at the intersection of Grand, Kostner and North — were turned off in February, but in the year before that, the company raked in $24 million, city records show, the second most profitable year in the company’s Chicago history.

The money flowed in even after February 2013, the date the company was banned from bidding on new work with the city. Xerox Local Solutions now runs the city’s red-light camera system.

“Redflex is out of the picture and [everything is] under the control of Xerox,” Chicago Department of Transportation spokesman Pete Scales said Friday. “Their contract is over and we have no financial relationship with Redflex now.”

Redflex was unceremoniously banned from bidding to maintain control of the cameras after the Tribune revealed an alleged bribery scandal that found the CDOT Deputy Commissioner overseeing the program accepted tickets to sporting events, luxury hotel accommodations, meals and other gifts from company executives. Federal authorities are now investigating the allegations.

Read more at DNA Info.