Today’s Headlines

  • Tribune: City to Refund 126 Tickets From Red Light Spike, Upholding Thousand of Others
  • Cardenas’ Solution For Safety Zone He Doesn’t Like: Get Rid of the Park (DNA)
  • Protest of Archer Speed Cam Planned for This Evening at 5:30 (Expired Meter)
  • Emanuel Says He Has No Plans to Raise Taxi Fares (Sun-Times)
  • Platforms at Downers Grove Metra Station Have Reopened, More Work Needed (Tribune)
  • Potholed Lincoln Avenue to Get New Asphalt, Short Stretch of Buffered Lanes (BWLP)
  • It’s Not Always Easy to Cancel Your Ventra Card When You Move (RedEye)
  • Greenline Coffee Has Activated a Former “Retail Desert” in West Woodlawn (City Notes)
  • Video: The Second City Pokes Fun at Bike Cops (Tribune)

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  • skyrefuge

    An alternate headline for the Tribune red light story: “City review confirms that hundreds of thousands of red-light violators are being given a free pass”.

    The Trib has still not produced a single example of someone getting a ticket who did not commit a violation. They even went so far as to post video showing that people who got refunds after this review STILL VIOLATED THE LAW, and thus, should not have gotten refunds!

    The evidence continues to mount showing that drivers are being severely UNDER-ticketed, and thus, this story strongly shifts the problem from “undeserved tickets” to be one of “fairness”. But the Trib, having already decided their narrative, just can’t quite bring themselves to state the obvious: “the way to make things fair is to hand out a lot more tickets”.

    The first video included in the story is pretty amazing. It shows a driver clearly making a right-on-red violation. Normally I think it’s kind of dumb to cite those, and the focus should really be more on straight-through violations. But in this case, as he’s sliding past the white line, he nearly hits a pedestrian! (or maybe a cyclist, it’s hard to tell in the video.) The pedestrian was coming from the right on the sidewalk, crossing the intersection on the green, the exact situation when it’s critically important for drivers to stop behind the white line and look both left and right. And, he got his ticket overturned due to this review! Even he seemed kind of surprised by that. So if anyone still thinks the red-light program is too harsh and draconian: um, no.

  • ohsweetnothing

    The people later in the article who are openly admitting to performing rolling right turns on red and simultaneously complaining about how unfair the program is are cracking me up. In that “if you didn’t laugh you’d cry” sort of way.

  • FG

    Have there been any news articles about increases in Amtrak ridership with the air traffic meltdown? It seems that the long distance Amtrak trains into and out of Chicago, especially to the NE and NW, have been on meltdown this summer as well, which is a shame since this would be the perfect time for Amtrak to get more passengers.

  • Deni

    It is mind boggling to me that people drivers a as if their human rights are being violated because technology is being used to catch them breaking the law. You don’t get a ticket form the speed camera until you are going more than 10 mph OVER the speed limit. If you ask me they are getting off too easy, they should calibrate the camera to give a ticket at about 3 or 4 miles over the limit.

  • BlueFairlane

    I can’t imagine there’d be any increase in Amtrak ridership at all. One, this is still a very short-term event. It hasn’t lasted long enough to prompt any change in behavior. Two, Amtrak and air aren’t really equivalent, as Amtrak over any distance already takes as long as it would take to wait out the air delays, and is comparable in time to driving. I think most people who decided not to fly would just drive.

  • FG

    If you are in Chicago, with no car, your flight is cancelled and need to get home what are the options? Train or bus. And even with Amtrak delays it’s still faster than waiting a day and getting a hotel (assuming you could book a sleeper on short notice) overnight. For Detroit and St. Louis it’s certainly doable. Indy, less so.

  • Fred

    Or rent a car and drive.

  • BlueFairlane

    While the cause of this situation is unique, it’s not like flight cancellations are unusual. It’s also not like no flights have been getting out over the last week. People have been flying. It’s just taken longer to do it. Anybody who flies with any frequency at all knows that this sort of cock up is just part of the system, and there’s a process you go through. So I think if you are in Chicago with no car and you need to get home, your preferred option will be the same as it’d be any other time your flight is cancelled, which is to go through that process. You’ll spend a day fighting with the airline trying to shoehorn your way onto the next possible flight, or, if you don’t think that plan will work out and you know this whole affair isn’t permanent, you might decide to put the trip off a few weeks until the mess straightens itself out. But shifting suddenly to another mode of transportation would be complicated and costly, so that would be an absolute last resort, and the number of people it would benefit would be small.

    I happened to know five people affected by this whole affair. One decided not to make their trip. The other four got out within 36 hours. If they’d given up at the earliest moment somebody would give up and shifted to Amtrak, and if they’d been going someplace within, say 300 miles (only one was), they would have arrived at roughly the same time as if they’d just kept fighting with the airlines.

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