Today’s Headlines

  • Editorial: Transit Delays Are Going to Get Worse Unless We Boost Funding (Sun-Times)
  • Several Major Bike Trail Projects Are Breaking Ground This Summer (Sun-Times)
  • Speed Camera Ticketing Starts in August (Sun-Times)
  • Despite Community Opposition, Moore Approves “The Mistake by the Lake” (DNA)
  • Metra Chairman: $432K Severance to CEO “Small Price to Pay” for Overhaul (Tribune)
  • Metra BNSF Trains Canceled Due to Manpower Issues, Late Equipment (Tribune)
  • 7 Injured in LSD Pileup (Tribune)
  • 2-Vehicle Crash in Woodlawn Injures 4 People (Tribune)
  • Groupon Honoring Cann Raises $43,600 for Protected Lane Advocacy (Active Trans)
  • Waguespack Whines About Swapping Parking Spaces for Divvy Stations (DNA)
  • Pawar Hopes Swapping Carwash for Eateries Will Make Western More Walkable (DNA)
  • God Bless IDOT, a Friend to All True Warriors of Automobile Transportation (LSD)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • CL

    Oh man, the cameras will be working by September — that’s not far away at all. I’m dreading the speed cameras because I’m going to live in fear of accidentally getting a ticket, but a little part of me is perversely excited because I think this is going to wake a lot of people up and turn them against Rahm. 10+ over is easy to avoid, but 6+ over is not — especially when it’s often unclear if the limit is 25 or 30 when you first turn onto a road. Uninformed people are going to start getting unexpected tickets and suddenly people who ignored everything else Rahm has done will be like, “Injustice in Chicago!!!” A little part of me can’t wait even though this is going to be a nightmare for drivers (like, for example, me) who have to drive all over the city… so I can’t just memorize the speed limits and the locations of the cameras like I would if I always had the same commute.

    The article about transit funding is depressing. I don’t expect public transit to improve substantially in the next couple of decades at least.

    Finally, I think I’m going to start a blog called Rogers Park Driver only it will be serious.

  • mhls
  • Joseph Musco

    Also, Trib reports on changes to the Circle Interchange project. More sound abatement walls, still has flyover. http://goo.gl/TnUoJ

  • What has IDOT ever done for Chicago, that was progressive, moved us away from automobile and dependency?

  • It’s always 30 mph unless otherwise posted. There are a handful places where it is 25 mph and a second handful places where it is 20 mph.

    These are always signed. There’ll also be signs indicating that you are entering a zone where there is a speed camera. Lastly, this speed camera will not turn on until at least 30 days after installation to give public notice

  • CL

    There isn’t a “25” sign at every single intersection on a 25 road, so you could easily turn onto one of these roads without immediately knowing the limit.

    The signs about the speed camera zones will help though — I know the red light camera signs help me. (Not because I typically run red lights — I don’t think I’ve officially run one in years — but the yellows are so short that it’s nice to have the warning so that I can be extra careful.)

  • Joseph Musco

    Is that a rhetorical question? I’m with you man! Maybe something good will happen with Peoria Street as a result of this project. That’s kind of like buying a mangy dog because you want to start a flea circus but I always try to look on the bright side…for fleas.

  • CL, from your other comments on this site, you strike me as a poster child for responsible driving, i.e. operating your car in such a way as to avoid injuring or killing others. So I’m surprised that you feel that it’s going to be a “living nightmare” to be forced to comply with speed limits designed to reduce the chances of pedestrian fatalities.

    Studies have shown that a person struck at 40 mph will almost certainly die, a person struck at 30 mph has about a 50/50 chance, and a person struck at 20 mph will almost certainly live. Therefore, it’s not a big imposition to require motorists to drive 35 mph or slower.

  • Anonymous

    You’re misunderstanding Waguespack. He’s not complaining about Divvy stations, he’s complaining about the parking meter deal requiring new spots to replace the ones that Divvy stations take up.

  • Nope, Scott made his views loud and clear in an earlier DNA article: http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130524/wicker-park/whirlyball-vienna-beef-leaving-bike-sharing-coming-soon-aldermen-say

    “With the city’s bike-share program, Divvy, expected to be coming to the neighborhood soon, Waguespack said the biggest issue that needs to be addressed is parking because the stations will ‘take up parking spaces.’

    “‘Bike shares, people spots, free Sunday parking … what will that do to businesses?'” Waguespack asked.”

    What will bike-share and People Spots do to businesses? Help them flourish. It’s disappointing that Waguespack, who has been a voice of reason on many Chicago issues, still hasn’t wrapped his head around the concept that bringing people to business strips is much more important than bring cars there.

  • Anonymous

    aha, hadn’t seen that.

  • CL

    I keep it below 35, but I’m going to be anxious about accidentally getting tickets in 25 mph zones. This is more about my anxiety about unexpected bills than my driving habits — when the red light cameras first came out, I would slam the breaks on yellow at every intersection, so those really stressed me out even though I never actually got a ticket.

    I do speed by a few sometimes — I think most drivers find themselves driving a bit above or below depending on the situation. Like I might go faster when I’m passing something wide, and I want to do it fast so that I’m not just hanging out slightly left of center. And then there are those moments when you’re moving with traffic, and you look down and realize you’re speeding. I’m slower than most drivers in Chicago, and I’m pretty defensive / anxious / careful, but I’m still going to be worried about accidentally getting a ticket, especially for 31 mph.

  • I’m hoping the speed cameras will lead to a culture change where all drivers will realize they need to slow down or get tickets. Unfortunately, I fear that the response from motorists will not be, “Oh, I guess we’d better drive slower in order to save lives and avoid tickets,” but “We have to beat back this assault on our constitutional right to drive dangerously!”

  • BlueFairlane

    I thought when the speeding cameras were first proposed and approved that they’d be the death of Rahm, as while the Chicago electorate will blissfully ignore many things, they won’t ignore a ticket. Since then, I think a lot of other things have jumped into position to be the death of Rahm. I think the cameras will just seal the coffin.

  • I have a feeling they’ll just be ignored by the electorate, like most of the bike lanes, and Divvy, and even Ashland BRT.

  • BlueFairlane

    There’s a significant difference between the bike lanes, Divvy, and the BRT. I’m not sure exactly how big the difference is, but it’s probably around $100.

  • $35 if you’re over the speed limit between 6 and 10 MPH.

  • BlueFairlane

    I would assume with the likely addition of court costs or processing fees or something. These things always attach court costs, even if you don’t go to court.

  • Oh yeah, I wouldn’t know that! I never got a ticket for the one month that I owned a car while living in Chicago.

  • CL

    That’s what I think too. Rahm has already alienated unions, the African American community, and other interests — but his base of middle-class white voters probably still vaguely supports him. When they start getting tickets for going 6 mph over, look out.

  • CL

    Yes, it’s one thing to grumble about how the cyclists are out of control because there’s a Divvy station in your neighborhood, but getting speed camera ticket is going to enrage a lot of people — nothing ruins a person’s day like coming home and getting something like that in the mail.

  • BlueFairlane

    Exactly. The big thing about the Divvy stations, the protected lanes, and all the rest is that grumble though they may, the drivers’ lives aren’t affected by them, so they just grumble and go. A ticket, on the other hand, is another matter entirely. It’s something else completely once people have to write a check.

  • BlueFairlane

    Heh. I got my last ticket in 2008 in the middle of nowehere, South Dakota. I’ve never gotten a ticket here, though I did get a warning once while on my bike from Metra police for crossing a railroad after a train passed but before the gates went up.

    FWIW, I don’t think the cameras are a bad idea, at least not from a standpoint that excludes politics. I haven’t decided if I think there will be any real benefit from them besides the financial. I think that’s a wait-and-see thing. You could say I’m a tepid supporter. And I don’t expect them to affect me personally at all, as the only city driving I ever do is between where I live and the expressway to get out of town.