Today’s Headlines for Tuesday, February 23

  • Sun-Times: Judge Declares All Traffic Cam Tickets “Void,” Paving the Way for Class Action Lawsuit
  • CTA Spending $2.5M in FTA Funds to Add Art to 11 Stations (Tribune)
  • Metra Testing Wi-Fi on One Car on Each Line (Sun-Times)
  • Petition Asking FOP to Drop Lawsuit: Lucas Museum a Better Use of Land Than a Parking Lot (Curbed)
  • Hit-and-Run Driver Fatally Struck 34-Year-Old Man in Avondale (Fox)
  • SUV Driver Fatally Strikes 84-Year-Old Man in Oak Lawn (Sun-Times)
  • 71-Year-Old Woman Dies Two Weeks After Being Struck by a Driver in Wilmette (Sun-Times)
  • Northbrook-Based Allstate: Driverless Cars May Lead to Fewer Crashes, Less Business (Tribune)
  • Rauner Backs Bill That Could Lead to Cuts in Bus Service, Drivers Ed, Phys Ed (INN)
  • Longmeadow Parkway Is a Key Issue in Kane County Board Races (Herald)
  • New Library Closer to Train Is One Reason Why Chicago’s Chinatown Is Flourishing (Next City)
  • Cedar Street Is Building High-End Apartments Near Libertyville Metra Stop (Herald)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • ohsweetnothing

    Re: Avondale hit and run
    1. Milwaukee west of Kimball is a nightmare. I’ve had a few scary calls myself around there as a pedestrian. One in particular where someone was going so fast off of Milwaukee that they JUMPED THE CURB that I was walking along and cut the corner of a vacant lot to go flying down the alley. It was 8pm.

    2. It made my blood boil to hear the reporter refer to this as an “accident”.

  • “Sun-Times: Judge Declares All Traffic Cam Tickets “Void,” Paving the Way for Class Action Lawsuit”

    This could be a problem.

    First, the city might have to refund millions of dollars in tickets because it didn’t follow its own rules (some of which are partially set by state law; I’m not completely familiar with this). The city could issue more debt to pay for these refunds.

    Second, this further buoys the opposition to traffic enforcement cameras on the grounds that they are a revenue-making scheme despite the fact that they change behaviors and reduce the incidence of injury-causing crashes.

  • Three Green Kashira

    i’m pretty terrified at how quickly drivers (now trained to stop when they see yellow, and to speed less) will revert back to old habits, knowing we’re back to the old non-enforcement days.

  • BlueFairlane

    I’m afraid the Rahm administration’s tendency to forget about dotting i’s and crossing t’s on initiatives like the cameras or the Loop Link is going to doom not only these initiatives, but most anything else a Streetsblog commenter might like to see for the next generation or so. It’s far worse politically to try a good thing and fail (even if the failure is because you half-assed it) than it is to not try that thing.

  • Pat

    From the article, I’m not sure exactly which two arguments were upheld, but:

    The City should allow all tickets to be freshly contested, unless the driver admitted fault and paid their ticket (admitted liability) or having lost an appeal.

    All late fees should be returned, as the drivers didn’t have the required notice and as a result were found liable.

    As for the make of the vehicle, since all tickets are now reopened and allowed to be contested, reissue them with the make of the vehicle from the license plate records.

    Whether or not any of the above is legal or would be approved by the court is another matter.

  • ohsweetnothing

    The ordinance was drafted and passed under the Daley administration…

  • It’s true, a lot of forward-thinking transportation projects in this city are half-assed, forgetting certain elements or considerations, and I almost think it would have been better off if they never happened at all.
    Another issue: They don’t appear to learn from mistakes either (See: Clinton protected bike lane).

  • ohsweetnothing

    The way the articles I’ve read today are describing this is confusing. I’m not sure how a judge can declare all traffic cam tickets void when all she did was deny a motion to dismiss.

    Doesn’t a trial need to take place now?

  • rohmen

    Not that the Sun Times has a great rep to begin with, but this is some pretty sloppy reporting. Judge Kennedy actually held: “Because the second notice requirement at issue is mandatory under the
    [municipal code of Chicago], the determinations of liability are void
    and subject to collateral attack.”

    Suggesting that the determinations of liability are void is not the same as saying the tickets themselves are void. This could still all end in the plaintiffs being given the right to contest liability under a process that comports with the law, rather than a straight out voiding of all of the tickets. Since very few tickets get thrown out when liability is challenged, this may be more of an administrative cost nightmare than anything else.

    That said, the late fees would likely have to be refunded for sure if the liability findings are thrown out, which will consist of millions alone. Pretty big screw up by the City no matter what.

  • Pat

    Definitely a big screw up. I appreciate the clarification.

  • BlueFairlane

    And implemented the last five years by the Rahm administration. Blaming the last guy when you’re finishing the first year of your second term doesn’t carry much weight.

  • rohmen

    Yeah, it’s sloppy reporting for sure. Her phrasing in denying the motion to dismiss doesn’t leave much hope for the City winning it’s case, but we’re not at a final judgment stage yet. Moreover, as I note below, the Judge said the liability findings would be thrown out, which leaves open the question for now whether the tickets themselves simply get readjudicated in a process that conforms with what is required under the law.

  • ohsweetnothing

    What?? The ordinance was passed in 2003 and implemented for over ten years before the lawsuit was filed. My understanding is that there was a drafting error that went unnoticed until this suit was filed, then was corrected during Rahm’s first term.

    For the record I agree with you re: other projects like Loop Link, but this lawsuit doesn’t fit said narrative.

  • planetshwoop

    What’s wrong with the Clinton bike lane?

  • Protected bike lanes should be one-way only, especially on one-way streets.

  • planetshwoop

    It’s significantly better than nothing, as the previous route down Clinton/Canal was pretty awful. Dearborn works too.

  • This is exactly the attitude I’m talking about. “Better than nothing” is not what we should strive for, but it’s the city’s MO.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    You’re sounding like a cult follower of Mikael Colville-Andersen.

  • I’m not saying they can’t work in other parts of the city. In a busy downtown, they shouldn’t exist.