Tag Archives: Rahm Emanuel

Emanuel Gets Behind Count Down Timers For Red Light Cams

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.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel likes the idea of count down timers at intersections with red light cameras–at least now he does according to the Sun-Times.

Emanuel just recently got behind a proposal by Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) and Ald. Anthony Beale (8th) to install pedestrian countdown timers at traffic lights where red light cameras are installed.

The city has 174 RLC intersections. 129 already have countdown timers with five more slated to be installed soon. Costs to install countdown timers at the remaining intersections are estimated to be close to $8 million.

The countdown timers give drivers the ability to see how many seconds are left before the green phase ends allowing them to either slow down or speed up to avoid running the red. The aldermen’s current proposal would also add time to the traffic light’s yellow phase–a change that has proven to decrease red light running, decrease crashes and improve safety.

Mayor’s Sunday Parking Meter Promise Still Remains Unkept

Corporation Counsel Stephen Patton and Mayor Rahm Emanuel listen to aldermen debate the renegotiated parking meter lease deal this past spring.

Corporation Counsel Stephen Patton and Mayor Rahm Emanuel listen to aldermen debate the renegotiated parking meter lease deal this past spring.

Six months after the City Council passed a renegotiated parking meter lease, business leaders and aldermen in some wards say free Sunday parking has led to low meter turnover — which means fewer customers are able to park and shop in the neighborhoods.

Kevin Vaughn, owner of a handful of restaurants and bars, including Lakeview’s Mystic Celt and Vaughn’s Pub, said he was trying to find parking outside one of his businesses early Sunday morning and most of the metered spots were filled — a problem that began after free Sunday parking began.

“Eighty percent of the spots were filled at 8 a.m.,” Vaughn said. “In Lakeview, Sunday is the second busiest commercial business day of the week. Ultimately [free metered parking] is bad for business.”

The revised agreement with Chicago Parking Meters LLC made changes that the Emanuel administration said give the city more control over the meter system than the original agreement, and free Sunday parking was one major change Emanuel wanted to see in the new deal.

But that didn’t sit well with a handful of City Council members.

Read more at DNA Info.

Speed Cams Issue 2,700 Violations In First Weeks Of Ticketing

A speed camera near Douglas Park watches for speeders on Roosevelt Road.

In the first few weeks of active ticketing, a handful of Chicago’s speed cameras have issued a total of 2,700 speeding violations according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

Nine cameras near four city parks (Gompers, McKinley, Garfield, and Marquette) began issuing speed camera tickets with monetary fines between $35 and $100 between October 16th and October 22nd.

According to CDOT, speeding events have dropped by nearly two-thirds between the first of warnings and the third week in ticketing.

After the cameras were first installed back in late August and early September, warnings were issued for a period of 30 days. CDOT says each camera issued an average 507 warnings per day in the first week of operation. But by the third week of issuing tickets, violations for exceeding the speed limit by 10 mph or more had dropped to just 175 per day.

Speed Camera Tickets Begin At 3 Locations Monday

7 More Speed Cam Locations Start Ticketing By End Of Month

A sign warns drivers of speed cameras on Roosevelt Road near Douglas Park.

Three new speed camera locations at Washington, Douglas and Legion Parks began issuing tickets with monetary fines beginning Monday according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

The three locations had issued warning notices for a 30 day period which was followed by a two-week period where no warnings were issued to insure all warnings were received in the mail by speeding drivers.

Although the law allows for $35 tickets to be issued for vehicles exceeding the speed limit between 6-10 miles per hour, and $100 fines for going 11 mph or more, the city will initially only issue tickets for drivers going 10 mph over the limit. The city says this speed threshold will gradually be lowered but gave no time frame for this.

CDOT also announced another four speed camera locations will start their ticketing phase by the end of November. This includes cameras at Abbott Park which will begin issuing violations next Monday, November 25th and at Humboldt, Major Taylor Park and another location in Douglas Park will start ticketing Saturday, November 30th.

Chicago Tonight Explains Chicago’s Speed Camera Program

Channel 11′s Chicago Tonight has a solid run down on the start of ticketing at the city’s first speed cameras.

Interestingly, they report Alderman Anthony Beale (9th) is questioning if one of the city’s first Southside locations is a legitimate location for a speed camera.

First Speed Cam Tickets Begin At 6 AM Wednesday

Construction works get ready to secure the base of the speed camera pole in the 5100 block of north Pulaski back in August.

Chicago’s first two speed cameras will begin issuing $35 and $100 fines starting Wednesday at 6 AM according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office.

The two cameras, at 4100 W. Foster Ave. and 5100 N. Pulaski Road,  both adjacent to Gompers Park,  were installed back in August and after a 30 day warning period and subsequent grace period, the two cameras are finally ready to start mailing out tickets with monetary fines.

The city says all drivers are entitled to one more speed camera warning before a ticket with a fine attached is mailed.

200,000 Speed Camera Warnings Issued In First 40 Days, $100 Tickets Start Wednesday

A new sign warns drivers they are nearing automated speed camera enforcement zone by McKinley Park. Photo credit Casey Cora/DNA Info.

The city got a taste of how prolific its new speed cameras could be, revealing Friday that 200,000 speeders were nabbed in a 40-day warning period, five times more than the speed camera vendor had ever seen from a set of cameras.

The warning period comes to end Wednesday near Gompers Park on the North Side. Live tickets will begin to be issued Wednesday to drivers caught going more than 11 mph over the limit. Those tickets will cost lead-footed drivers $100.

But despite have the legal ability to do so, the city will indefinitely delay issuing $35 fines to drivers who are caught going 6-9 mph over the limit. Drivers going 10 mph over will still face the $35 fine. The threshold for the $35 fine will be incrementally lowered over time according to CDOT’s Scott Kubly. But he couldn’t give a firm date when this will start.

“Basically, we wanted to focus on the outset on the most egregious speeders,” explained Kubly.

The law requires warnings to be issued to drivers for 30 days after a speed camera is installed. Fines could technically start on the 31st day, but last week the city announced it will delay all fines for two to three weeks to ensure everyone issued a warning has ample time to receive it.

The cameras adjacent to Gompers Park, at 4100 W. Foster Ave. and 5100 N. Pulaski Road, were the city’s first two speed-enforcement cameras when they were installed back in August.

Read more at DNA Info Chicago.

City Gives Drivers Brief Reprieve From Speed Camera Fines

Workers use a crane to install a speed camera in the 5200 block of N. Pulaski back in August.

Chicago’s first speed cameras were supposed to begin issuing $35 and $100 tickets last week.

But the city has decided to give drivers a short, several-weeks reprieve before the first violations with fines start going out in the mail.

The city’s first two speed-enforcement cameras installed near Gompers Park (4100 W. Foster Ave. and 5100 N. Pulaski Rd.) on the Northwest Side, began their requisite 30-day period on Aug. 26. During that month, warning notices were mailed to drivers exceeding the speed limit by 6 mph or more.

According to city officials, that warning period ended Sept. 25, and ticketing could have begun the next day. But even though warning notices have stopped being mailed, tickets have not been issued yet.

Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office, said the city decided to delay issuing violations with fines to make sure drivers who were issued warning notices had received them.

Read more at DNA Info Chicago.

Chicago Announces 50 Speed Camera Locations

A truck mounted crane lifts one of the city's first speed cameras off a flatbed truck to be installed on Pulaski at Foster Monday morning.

The Chicago Department of Transportation released a list today of 50 speed camera enforcement locations which are slated to be installed by the end of this year.

The city’s Children’s Safety Zone Program allows for speed cameras to be installed within 1/8 of a mile of a school or park. 28 of these initial 50 locations are being installed around parks with 22 locations going in around grammar or high schools. The program, if full implemented could have speed cameras at approximately 350 locations across the city.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein believe the speed cameras will convince drivers to slow down, obey the speed limit and ultimately reduce crashes and improve traffic safety, while critics believe the cameras are primarily to generate revenue.

“The Children’s Safety Zone Program protects children and other pedestrians by reminding motorists to slow down and obey speed laws – particularly in school and park zones,” said Gabe Klein Friday via press release.

Speed Camera Testing Begins At Four Park Locations

Construction works get ready to secure the base of the speed camera pole in the 5100 block of north Pulaski.

Testing of the Chicago’s first automated speed enforcement cameras, installed near four parks, began Saturday according to city officials.

Technicians for the city’s new speed camera vendor, American Traffic Solutions, will be testing the newly installed units including the high intensity flash units, for approximately the next two weeks says the Chicago Department of Transportation.

No fines or even warnings will be issued during the testing phase. Once testing is completed, speeding motorists caught by the speed cameras, will be sent warnings in the mail for the first month the unit is operational. CDOT says speed violation warnings will begin being issued by the end of August.