Tag Archives: speed cameras
Here’s Part 2 of a recent conversation The Expired Meter’s nitwit publisher The Parking Ticket Geek had with Frank Avila, the host of CAN-TV‘s Issue Forum.
The two discussed the city’s notorious parking meter lease deal, the new speed camera program, ways to possibly avoid speed camera tickets as well as tips for fighting improper parking tickets.
Here’s Part 1 of the interview with the Geek if you, like many, many others with much better things to do, happened to have missed it.
Lead-footed drivers that drive through or by Humboldt Park (3100 W. Augusta Blvd.), Douglas Park (2900 W. Ogden Ave.) and Major Taylor Trail Park (445 W. 127th St.) need to slow down or pay up.
The Chicago Department of Transportation announced Friday that speed cameras at those three parks will stop issuing warnings and begin issuing $35 and $100 tickets beginning on Saturday, November 30th.
But, despite the city’s legal authority to issue tickets for drivers going as low as 6 mph over the speed limit, CDOT says it will only issue tickets for vehicles traveling 10 mph or more over the posted limit. That threshold will be lowered over time according to CDOT, but no firm time frame for this was given.
By Moe Torrist
On November 1, 2013, you announced your resignation as Chicago’s Transportation Commissioner. In the wake of that announcement, you have received the heartfelt thanks from those who seek to eliminate cars from the streets of Chicago.
But please don’t think that Chicago’s motorists are ungrateful for all that you (along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel) have done, in your brief two and a half year stint as Transportation Commissioner. To that end, we, the motorists of Chicago, would like to offer our sincere thanks for all of your good works. In particular, we would like to sing your praises for all of the following accomplishments…
Gabe Klein will ride his bicycle into the sunset as the city’s Commissioner of Transportation at the end of November.
Klein, announced his resignation Friday, leaving a position he held for two and a half years to rejoin the public sector according to the Chicago Tribune.
Klein was hired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to push a heavy, pro-bike, pro-pedestrian, alternative transportation agenda which included the Divvy bike sharing program, restarting the Bloomingdale Trail project and overseeing Emanuel’s promise to build 100 miles of protected bike lanes by the end of his first term.
But Klein had raised the ire of many Chicago drivers by spearheading the city’s new speed camera enforcement system–a program that looks to generate tens of millions of dollars a year. Despite the lack of corroborating crash data to substantiate the need for speed cameras, supporters bought into Klein’s claim it would reduce pedestrian crashes–in particular juvenile pedestrian crashes.
Highland Park Puts Redflex On Month To Month Contract
Redflex is still facing fallout from their recent controversy with the City of Chicago. The company lost it’s largest contract when revelations of an alleged bribery scandal were revealed by the Chicago Tribune several months ago.
But other cities are now taking a careful look at Redflex and its practices.
North suburban Highland Park had a contract with Redflex which expired. Now Redflex is on a month to month extension of the contract while the town weighs all it’s options according to Pioneer Press.
Here’s the full story, “Highland Park extends red-light camera contract month to month.”
River Forest Working On Installing 2nd Red Light Camera
Chicago’s embattled red light camera vendor, Redflex Traffic Systems, released a report Monday detailing improper and potentially criminal behavior by the company, a hired consultant and a former city official.
The report has prompted one alderman, Alderman Scott Waguespack (32nd), to call for a halt to an effort by the city to seek a new five-year contract for the city’s red light camera program.
The filing with the Australian Securities Exchange by Redflex Holdings, the parent company of Arizona-based Redflex Traffic Systems, summarizes a report by Sidley Austin, the company hired to investigate potential ethical issues brought to light by the Chicago Tribune in October, 2012.
Headed by former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman, the report contends the company’s relationship with former Chicago Department of Transportation Deputy Commissioner John Bills, who oversaw the city’s red light camera program, was not only improper but “will likely be considered bribery by the authorities.”
According to the report, Redflex paid for vacation-related expenses for at least 17 separate trips taken by Bills between 2003 and 2010. This included hotel rooms, airline flights, car rentals, meals and golf games. Bills also received a computer and played golf and ate meals locally on the company’s dime here in Chicago.
Read more at DNA Info Chicago
Over the years, like the hundreds of thousands of other drivers who are issued RLC tickets every year, the 49-year old Chatham resident has received his share of those $100 tickets being photographed entering an intersection when the traffic light had turned red.
But Hinton says it was the third, and most recent RLC ticket he received at 95th and Stony Island about a month ago that was at least part of the inspiration for starting an online petition to rid Chicago of the cameras.
“I see the glaring disservice the red light cameras do to the citizens of Chicago,” said Hinton when asked why he started the petition. “It’s unfairly taking advantage of the citizens of Chicago.”
Because drivers can only fight their tickets in-person Monday through Friday, Hinton says it’s difficult for the typical working Chicagoan to take time away from work to try to contest these violations. According to Hinton, the difficulty in contesting these tickets forces drivers to pay the fines before they double to $200.
The Windy City is the red light camera capital of the U.S., with 384 cameras shooting video and still photographs at 191 separate intersections around the city while generating revenues exceeding $60 million in a typical year.
“It’s a just an added tax–this is another way to generate revenue,” says Hinton. What was it? $61 million in 2010? It’ s unreal for them to present it as a safety measure and reap the benefits of that revenue.”
But Hinton is not the only one working to rid the city of automated traffic camera enforcement.
Read more at DNA Info Chicago.
Retired Attorney Makes Big Bucks From Adjudicating RLC Tickets
If you’ve ever contested a red light camera ticket in Lake or McHenry counties, you’ve probably met Henry Tonigan III.
He’s a retired judge, formerly Lake Chief Judge of Lake County Circuit Court. But now he spends at least part of his time presiding over cases where drivers fight their red light camera tickets and other municipal violations.
The Daily Herald reports on Tonigan in a recent piece that sheds a sliver of light on the adjudication process for RLC tickets.
But perhaps the most interesting tidbit is how much Tonigan got paid for his work–over $130,000 over two years according to the Herald.
CBS 2 covers the start of Chicago’s speed camera pilot testing this past Monday on Division near Ashland and Milwaukee.
Redflex Traffic Systems had been the city’s red light camera vendor since it’s inception in 2003 and its equipment and technology had helped grow the program to become the nation’s largest with 384 cameras.
The company also had political connections to City Hall, as a friend and major fundraiser for Mayor Rahm Emanuel also worked closely with Redflex as a consultant.
Many believed the fix was in. But that’s not the case now.
A Tribune investigation into possible ethics violations has forced Redflex from the original pool of nine vendors that submitted bids for the lucrative, multi-million dollar speed cam contract.
The Tribune reports today, the city’s Department of Procurement Services issued a letter to Redflex Monday, the day after the Tribune’s story with the allegations of wrong doing was published, informing them of the decision to disallow its bid.