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Added Mar 29 2012

If you have any thoughts pro or con it's your last chance to contact your alderman and let them know how you feel.

As info I've contacted Alderman Moreno and have yet to hear back.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    Heres my thought: The alderman will kiss Rahm's a$$. There is nothing thats going to stop this proposed revenue mechanism from becoming reality.

  • Inactive user

    I really don't understand the opposition to this. How can anyone get a ticket if the speed camera zones are clearly delineated with proper signage? If you see the sign just go the speed limit. Anyone who can't keep track of road signs and follow a simple speed limit probably shouldn't even have a drivers license. Getting dinged for a $100 should be a nice reminder to pay attention to the road. Of course this is a revenue mechanism. It's a tax that only careless drivers have to pay.

  • I don't disagree. But maybe with enough pressure we can get it toned down, earlier hours, higher speed limit penalty etc. They can't hide behind the children when the school day ends at 2:30pm but the cameras run until 8:30pm.

    As a side note I still haven't heard how they're going to take into account the 20mph "when children are present" speed limit. How is the camera going to make that determination? I'm worried we're essentially going to have 20mph speed limits through out the city and driving 26mph will nab you a $50 dollar ticket.

  • Mark,

    Driving 26mph means you're a careless driver? The city quite frankly can't be trusted. They shortened the yellow lights to nab more red light infractions and I'm sure they'll find a way send you a speeding ticket. Also how are you going to feel when drivers are going 35+ down side streets because driving down a main street nabs them multiple tickets everywhere they go.

    For the record I have NEVER gotten a red light ticket but I think they're a scam that cause more accidents then they prevent. And I feel the same about these cameras which are nothing more than a hidden tax on drivers. If Rahm and Gabe Klein really want to force people out of their cars than Mr 1% should stop hiding behind the "Children" and give us a mass transit system that wasn't designed in the 18th century.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Chris M you hit it on the head and Alex Trebeck won final Jeopardy

  • Inactive user


    Driving 26 mph in a zone clearly marked as 20 mph makes you a careless driver because you can't follow a simple speed limit. Let's say these zones are 2 city blocks long (1/4 mile). It takes ~35 seconds driving 26mph and 45 seconds going 20 mph, It's only 10 to 15 seconds out of your day having to slow down per zone. If you hit 4 on your trip it's an entire minute. Big deal. As for side streets, they're already driving 35 mph down side streets by me. I'd especially like to see speed cameras on side streets. Most schools and parks by me are surrounded by side streets.

    As for the yellow light shortening on red light intersections, I say prove it. Name one red light intersection that has had its yellow light shortened to less than non-red light intersections. We had this argument once in an entirely different forum and someone actually did some work and made a random sample survey and found that all the yellows on all the lights surveyed, red light camera or not, were the same -- three seconds. I'd be very interested to know of one that has been shortened.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    My big complaint is the automation. Its one more step to overwhelming the public with automated tickets. from everything to J-walking, shoveling snow off your sidewalk, cutting your grass, debris on your property, burnt out tail light. The public will let the city nickel and dime us to death with automation.......all in the name of putting out the latest fire.

    Second complaint is the fairness. A computer writes a ticket in a nanosecond. Too bad if its wrong or unfair. But it will cost a driver more to contest it than to just pay. Radar is far from perfect. Worse than errors: watch the city bend interpretations to maximize revenue.

  • Mark,

    Please read what I wrote. The speed limit on main streets is currently 30mph, which under the law tickets would be issued at 36mph. But school zones are 20mph on school days with children present, so tickets would be issued at 26mph. How are cameras going to determine that? And if they can't and ticket at 26mph then the effective speed limit of ALL main city streets will be lowered to 20mph during camera hours. That means the city is not only putting cameras up but they are lowering the speed limit at the same time. It's already hard enough to get around which is why drivers fly down side streets. Now it's going to be worse with what I'm sure will be increased frustration and even more drivers speeding down residential streets. The question that should be asked is are these current speeds to low to begin with. Many municipalities have speeds for equivalent streets and zones 5mph higher.

    In addition the cameras are going to be set up at intersections, since the law allows them within 660 feet of schools and parks. Most schools are not located at intersections though. That means the cameras won't be positioned where they would be most effective in protecting the "Children". Instead they'll be positioned where they're most effective at issuing tickets. And they'll be issuing tickets until 8:30pm, long after school kids have finished for the day.

    As far as short yellow lights here's a link, took a whole 20 seconds on google:

    There's even a bill in Springfield to add a second to yellow lights for safety reasons.:


  • I'm tired of the argument that because your against this bill your for speeding. I drive every day and I haven't had a speeding ticket in 20 years and I've never had a red light ticket. What I'm against is the city trying to create a situation where they have an excuse to issue a ticket and raise revenue. Mr 1% should be a man and stop hiding behind the "children" and call this what it is, just another tax increase on drivers.

  • Chris M -

    Your claim of shortening yellow times is extremely flawed, and the article you sight is misguided at best. The vast majority of City intersections are lower speed (30-35) than the majority of suburban intersections (40-45). The article you cite only states that they are lower (i.e. relative to one another), not that the City has lowered the yellow times after installing the cameras. That article is a perfect example of implying one thing when the data shows another thing, for the purpose of riling up the public (and you appear to have fallen for it).

    Also, your claim that red light cameras have causes more crashes than they have reduced is true, but again misguided. Red light cameras have been shown time and time again to reduce dangerous crash types that have a high correlation with serious injury and death (i.e. right angle, t-bone). They have been universally shown to increase the least severe of all types of accidents (rear-end), which are most often low-speed accidents. The theory that almost all transportation agencies have now adopted is that the number of accidents (when discussing vehicle on vehicle accidents) is not of the same concern and the severity of accidents. It is preferable to change and intersection from 10 right angle & 2 rear end to one that has 0 (or 1) right angle & 25 rear end. The overall safety of the intersection is improved.

    I agree with you that it will be difficult for them to enforce the "when children are present" rule with automated cameras. (Illinois has generally chosen this verbiage as opposed to specified hours to be intentionally vague to allow school zone limits be applied more flexibly). However, I am having a hard time remembering seeing any of these signs within the city (although I admit they probably do). In fact, the City is notorious for not having posted speed limits almost anywhere.

  • While we are arguing whether or not citizen "A" is a bad driver or not, we are forgetting 2 things; first, where is the data that says that pedestrians(and school children in school zones at school times ) are in greater peril then they were a year ago or 10 years ago? Oh, yeah, that was the study Rahm wouldn't let us see.

    Second, what is the cost for these cameras, associated ticketing software/hardware/ and personnel needed to operate this equiptment? Not just the initial cost, but the ongoing costs in perpetuity to pay employees and update/repair the equiptment? Now that the city is cutting city employees (ie loyal party workers) they need to get some more people on the payroll to continue the stronghold on elections.

    I would rather spend all that money on teachers, police officers, etc. Of course, I'm waiting for Rahm to "find" the money as a fereral grant- because we are now smart enough to watch how our local taxes are being spent, but not smart enough to question how our federal tax dollars are spent (on local projects to make local pols look good). But this argument only appeals to people that actually pay federal income taxes.

    And as we saw, the company supplying the cameras to the city for tens of millions of dollars has a lobbyist getting a commission for this sale. He used to be Rahm's campaign fundraiser - what a
    small world........


  • Michael Mooningham A Resident on a Mission

    All I gotta say to any and all aldermen who may be reading this - vote for speed cams and you'll be sure to get voted out come next election. People are pissed off. Take heed aldermen!

  • This comment has been removed by EveryBlock staff.
  • I'm against this since I have had to fight a red light ticket in court (which I won). There was a nice video of my car sitting at the red light, yet I got the ticket in the mail because my car was similar to a car that did run the light.

    The city should cut cost before coming up with more taxes and fees. Keep in mind that the city population has declined by 200k in the last 10 years... Increasing fees and taxes won't help that trend.

  • Taras---You got it! that's exactly what I am doing. I am TIRED of all politicians ignoring public views and 'passing' laws behind our backs whether we want them or not just for the sake of a buck. Tax Payers didn't destroy our economy, GREEDY politicians and bankers did!

  • Alex in Old Irving Park Green Building Guy

    Speeding alone doesn't kill and cause accidents. Poor driving and lack of situational awareness does. I think this country allows its States to hand out driver license's like candy to a society of children who think it's a Constitutional right and sets speed limits in nice, round numbers based on very little (if any) empirical data. Then, local government can cash in on misbehaving children who violate them. Speeding cameras are simply a lazy lawmaker's way to justify and extend a measure of revenue-generating, perceived control over its citizens. How about some preventative measures BEFORE a person is allowed to get behind the wheel of a 3,000 pound moving vehicle? Look across the pond. Drivers in much of the EU are often shocked when they visit the US and see how simply a DL can be obtained along with the moronic scurge on our motorways. Like most adults, I believe in more preventative measures, not the 'child who must be taught while on the road' mentality. BTW, I haven't had a speeding ticket, nor been in an accident in over 16 years.

  • Michael Mooningham A Resident on a Mission

    Totally agree with you Alex. There are no licensing standards in this country. If the driver's test actually did what it was supposed to not nearly as many people would pass but our roads would be much safer.

  • I agree with Chris M in that installing these camera's at intersections sometimes blocks from a school or park is just a ploy for increased tax revenue and not to protect Children.

    Also a speed camera at an intersection does very little to protect kids. Pedestrians should not be crossing into traffic regardless of the speed of the drivers, you should not cross the street when the light is green and the pedestrian light is displaying the red hand. I can't count the amount of times kids are crossing the street when the light is turning green, this happens everyday I see it on Augusta near Wells HS and the Elementary school closer to Milwaukee. How about a public awareness campaign directed at Children to respect pedestrian lights for their own safety.

    You can also protect Children by adding a pedestrian countdown clock at all intersections, especially those with red light/speed cameras. As a driver 1.5 seconds its just not enough time to make a decision if your going to make a green light (yellows are 3 seconds, but you need to decide in that first 1-1.5 seconds if your going to make it or not). I feel that rear end collisions will increase dramatically at these intersections, as now you can't even briefly speed up a few mph to make a light, you'll have to slam on the brakes.

    I live near North Ave and Western, and it puzzles me why there is no countdown clock in this heavy pedestrian traffic intersection while there is a countdown clock one block away on Lemoyne & Western, where there is minimal foot traffic, As far as public safety, that does not make any sense.

  • Michael Mooningham A Resident on a Mission

    If it were actually about improving traffic safety then there are a ton of things way more effective in terms of safety than speed cams. The issue is that all those other things, like countdown clocks for example, cost the city $$$ instead of making it!

    That's just the ultimate rebuttal to the "speed cams are for safety" BS.

  • Hopefully these speed cameras will get people to stop driving completely and move out of the City so that the streets can be safe once again for other road users. I support them, and I hope every single person who is 5 mph or over the speed limit gets countless numbers of tickets until they decide it is cheaper to slow down. I also love that it is a revenue maker and hopefully will help get the city out of debt.

  • Michael Mooningham A Resident on a Mission

    CarsBeGone: Why don't you just do all the rest of us a favor and leave yourself?

    North Korea possibly? Very few cars in that country! Perhaps you'd like it!

  • Taras, maybe you should think to be a bit more respectful to people and more on topic. I only expressed my opinion on the speed cameras and did not personally attack anyone. I am sorry my opinions and viewpoints are not shared by you, but there is no reason to comment to me personally the way you did.

  • Michael Mooningham A Resident on a Mission

    I don't get people like you. Hope speed cams will get people to "stop driving completely"???? What in the world gives you the right to tell all the people who drive cars to get out of the city while you get to stay in it? Why don't you leave and let us stay?

    Yes, I also hope that we cure AIDS and obtain world peace while we're at it.

  • Sorry,Taras, I don't get people like you who create drama where there is none. There are too many cars in the city as it is, and our infrastructure can't really handle the amount of vehicles we already have. That was the point of the comment- sorry again, if it riled your feathers. The speed cameras, whether or not they are for safety, are definitely going to bring in revenue which the City needs to pay off debt. I am still on topic about speed cameras. I do not see why people insist on having to speed everywhere in a congested city.

  • Michael Mooningham A Resident on a Mission

    Actually if you called for reducing cars by increasing public transport options and increasing bike usage I would be all in support of that. I agree there are too many cars in the city, however in many cases the use of a car is unavoidable or it is a severe inconvenience not to use one. So there's a big difference between "reducing car use and dependency" and eliminating cars completely, as you originally advocated.

    Speeds cams are just gonna cause more traffic because people will drive slower and extra stupid due to a few of getting tickets. They are just gonna make traffic worse. Doesn't take a degree in rocket science to figure that out.

  • Ryan,

    Please read the article again because that's NOT what it said. The Federal guidelines are 3-6 seconds. Chicago has chosen the minimum amount of time, 3 seconds. The article states that yellow lights are longer in the suburbs even on streets that have comparable speed limits. If you clicked on the other link you'd also see that there is a bill in Springfield that would add another second to yellow for safety reasons. That would make Chicago's yellow lights 4 seconds. Here's a link to the video that shows some Chicago intersections are even less than 3 seconds,

    Studies have shown that intersections with red light cameras have MORE overall crashes than they did before the cameras. True it's because rear end collisions have gone up and t bone crashes have gone down. But that doesn't change the fact that overall the crashes are up, which make intersections MORE dangerous not less. And don't be fooled by a camera, it only issues a ticket. If a reckless driver is going to blow a red light, the camera is not going to stop him.

    Finally the school signs are there, they can't enforce without them being posted.

  • Inactive user

    I made a specific request to have you tell me a specific intersection that has had its yellow light *shortened* as if the contractor did something nefarious to trap drivers. We proved that nothing nefarious is going on with the yellow lights -- they simply kept them the same length. Whether they should be lengthened or not is a different argument. When you whine about yellow light timing you imply some kind of tom foolery where in fact, none exists.

    Alex Trebek, how can you complain about automation when you're posting on a forum build upon automation? Automation replaced the pinsetter and switchboard operator and with advances in digital photography and image processing -- it can now replace a human in catching drivers who choose not to follow a simple speed limit. As it is now, you have to be doing something really really stupid in front of a cop where he or she simply has to pull you over to save face.

    The lack of traffic enforcement is the reason why so many people simply ignore traffic laws. Through my observed anecdotal evidence (and I may take metrics one day), I estimate that maybe 1 in 3 drivers actually stop at stop signs (less later in the evening). Later in the evening some can be barely bothered to even slow down. Why? Because CPD has a lot more important things to do than writing stop sign tickets. And since everyone knows this, people simply treat a stop sign as a yield looking for cross traffic. Pity the poor pedestrian who happens to walk through the cross walk at the same time.

    With the speed cameras the city wants to put in slow zones which will catch people not paying attention. If these people can cruise through a slow zone so cavalierly, guess how much they'll respect the stop signs in your neighborhood.

    Again, IMHO, the only people enraged by this are those who like the status quo -- lawlessness and chaos.

  • Chris -

    I agree with Mark and clearly you did not read my comment (I did read your entire article). You made a claim that they have *shortened* the yellow times in order to generate revenue. Those sorts of claims don't provided for a very productive conversation (neither does any of the pointless bickering going on by others).

  • I made the point that the city has shortened yellow lights to issue more tickets. The city uses 3 seconds when other municipalities use 4 or more on comparable streets. In addition there's anecdotal evidence some intersections are less than three. Now the state is trying to pass a bill so municipalities have to add another second to yellow for safety reasons. Which means Chicago will finally have to have 4 second yellows. Please tell me how any of this is not true. The fact is Chicago has shorter yellows than other cities that have red light cameras. You may pretend it has nothing to do with revenue, I do not.

  • Mark, hiding behind lawlessness and chaos is as cowardly as hiding behind the children.

    Rahm introduced this bill during a veto session. It was passed without any public input, just like the parking meters The bill only applies to Chicago and was originally 7 days a week, 6 to 10pm. The senate took it up and passed it in three days. The house took 10 days and changed it to five days and 8:30pm. Rahm's political "benefactor" is a lobbyist for the company that stands to make millions in contracts from this. The study they used to browbeat dissent was wildly incorrect and initially secret. We have no empirical data that this will make any difference or even necessary. But the city expects massive dollars in fines. The end result might drive more taxpayers and tourists out of the city which means less taxes collected which in turn means more "creative" ways to stick it to Chicago residents. These are some the reasons I'm opposed. Not because I drive around like an extra in Mad Max.

    Maybe you should ask yourself why there aren't enough police officers to enforce traffic laws in the first place.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    As per the yelllow light argument Chicago has lowered them as a form of entrapment . The Yellow lights in Chicago have traditionally been 4.5 seconds and now they reduced the interval to 3 seconds to get that Gotcha moment . For generations Chicago drivers have gotten used to the longer yellow and now when approaching a light they anticapte it to be that long , right up to the point they are going through an intersection and then... Gotcha . Glen Brettner I agree with you . No one is talking about the revenue it's going to take to maintain man and administer these camera's , the sweetheart NO BID contract that went to a Rahm political donor to administer this debacle ( what happened to open bidding that he promised , well Obama promised the same thing , birds of a feather ) , and the NEW Unionized and Pensioned Army of City Workers that Rahm can award Jobs to that WE will end up paying . Yes that is about continuing the DEM Stranglehold on the election process as well as rewarding Family and Friends of the DEM Ruling elite . All we get to do is pay for all thier fun . That is what this is about . I also agree I would rather see more Police and Fire to keep us safe . That is where the money should be spent , not on rewarding Rahms Political donors and giving jobs to family and Cronies ...Meet the New Boss ...Same as the Old Boss ...This practice of pay for play put Blago in Jail and he never saw a dime ...These guys operate with carte blanche and launder our money back and forth and they don't go to Jail .These practices of rewarding friends and Political donors should be stopped . The hiring process should go to an ethical outside contractor that is audited and one that isn't beholden to any Dem Pol here . Then at least every citizen might enjoy an equal shot at one of those cush city Union jobs .The rewarding of donors should be outlawed period and any pol found to be circumventing that rule should be removed from office immediately pending his trial

  • Inactive user

    Bike Jedi,
    That is simply false. Yellow light timing has always been 3 seconds in Chicago.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Cars be gone . I am an avid Bicyclist , but what you advocate is silly . Who would they tax if everyone that owned a car left ? A lot of people who own cars happen to be the types of people who actually have jobs and are Tax Payers . These people are already leaving in droves and that means less people to collect Taxes from . How would you propose the Dems fund all their cronies when they chase all the Tax payers out of the State ? This is a trend that is already happening . So far the Dems response has been to just keep raising Taxes and instituting new revenue strreams to make up the difference . That is the genesis of these speed cameras . It is also why people who have common sense on this post as well as the rest of the city are rebelling against this stuff . One other thing . when people are continually revenued by this type of nonsense they can't afford to fuel legitimate commerce like Bars , Restaurants , and Stores . We will all suffer as these businesses close and more people lose their jobs . As I said before you rail against all cars , I am an avid Biker and I see more Bikes breaking the law then cars everyday . I have an Idea lets license and tax the bikes too . Lets have them contribute to the upkeep of roads they use in taxes . Lets give them tickets too ....Would you enjoy that ? I'll bet not , me niether . I'm sorry i mentioned it because I probaly gave some Dem reading this the idea for a NEW reveue stream ...None of this is the solution . the solution is to lower taxes and make the business climate more hospitable . That will attract more Businesses and visitors ,and more revenue for those businesses and the Party . By the way with these types of cameras everywhere do you think more or fewer people will come to Chicgo for a night out ?....See Wisconsin and Indiana as two States that understand reality .

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Mark A I don't know where you get that from . My info is from the old CDOT stats and was quoted in one of the print media / bird cage lining excuses for a newspaper . I'll see if I can find it .

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    I find it appalling that even the most liberal thinkers and excusers for the Party suddenly believe that safety around the schools has become an issue and that this is necessary . Even they have to be astute enough to see that it is a revenuing issue and not a safety issue . Think about this for a second ..People have been speeding forever on our Highways . Some get ticketed for it but it doesn't stop the behavior . The same will hold true here . Meanwhile the rest of the people will drive 20 mph throughout the city to avoid the tickets . This will slow traffic flow and cause cars to burn more gas ( hello Green People ) It will also mean people will sit in traffic longer and commerce will suffer . Visitors will get frustrated because they can't even get to their favorite restaurant and stay in the suburbs . If you truley believe we have a Safety issue at Schools where there are crossing guards and one or two Police cars at School opening and closings ( more cars and cops by the High Schools ) ..Why not just use speed humps . That would change the behavior without a lot of overhead .

  • Speed bumps don't generate revenue.

  • Bike Jedi,

    Speed cameras have been highly effective at preventing speeding in other cities--they are quite different from occasional police enforcement. Having studied traffic engineering, I can also tell you that despite what you may believe, if cars are going around 30mph, the street is moving the same amount of vehicles as if they are going 60mph. At 60mph, the vehicles are simply spread out more. You get to your destination a little more slowly, but you move the same volume sans congestion. Even if that wasn't the case, inability to speed is about the last thing causing congestion in this city (have you seen our cab drivers??). Uniformity of speeds also increases traffic flow, and in theory, the speed cameras would help with that. Even intuitively, you realize it is hard to speed if you're on a road carrying lots of cars.

    Please also note that traffic crashes kill around 300 Chicagoans every year, including many innocent victims. I agree this has nothing to do with schools in particular, but it's a basic fact that once a car is going more than 15 or 20 mph it becomes extremely deadly if it hits a person who is on the street or riding a bike. The faster it is going the higher the likelihood of death if a crash occurs. I for one don't have a problem with the cameras, as long as they let me know when there is one nearby.

    Speed bumps however, are horrible. They slow down emergency vehicles, produce excess road noise (the car bouncing and the acceleration after passing them), and can even damage vehicles. I would like to see better pedestrian crosswalks, turning restrictions, narrower lanes, which encourage slower traffic (it's simple psychology), and other changes to make our streets safer, and actually operate better. Unfortunately, those take time to install, and I guess speed cameras are pretty easy. I hope they do something constructive with the money.

  • Michael Mooningham A Resident on a Mission

    Thomas Gonzales - just about every last report from traffic engineers that I've read regarding slowing down traffic strongly recommended those "your speed is" signs to slow down traffic, NOT speed cameras. The your speed is signs provide an immediate feedback loop that makes people realize they are speeding and hence makes them slow down, whereas with a cam you don't get the alert you were speeding until weeks later in the mail.

    Oh but wait! The your speed is signs don't make money for the city... so forget that idea!

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    THOMAS and TARAS: you both make rational arguments. I would like to read these "traffic engineer reports" myself. Could you both cite your sources please?

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    The Traffic Safety Institute I think had a study that showed speed cameras and Red light cameras to be effective . These studies were done by the CAMERA COMPANY . No bias there right ? Rahm didn't want the public to see the city's findings so where are we ? Thomas if you slow down traffic to 20 mph you will increase congestion period . I understand the logic behind 60 mph and intervals . There are no Stop signs and lights on the freeways . However when you slow up to 20 in already congested streets it just means everyone gets to thjeir destination later . It won't be a matter of a minute or two because you don't take into account the duration of each trip . You also don't take into account the increased missed traffic lights per trip and the duration of these lights . I'm envisioning Bumper to bumper traffic on the streets with people bumping up to stop signs and lights during peak hrs at 5 mph . Have you gone down Diversey lately ? with all the lights and the increase in stop signs on major streets tyou already can't get around town .

  • Michael Mooningham A Resident on a Mission

    Alex - you asked about the reports I talked about showing that speed feedback signs are more effective than cam enforcement. After some digging around I found it -

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Call your alderman and email them . Tell them if they vote for this they are OUT .

  • Michael Mooningham A Resident on a Mission

    Oh now look at this gem I just found:

    Granted, this is in FL not IL, but this is an excellent illustration of the problem with the whole driving system in this country in general. And if this did happen in IL, it really wouldn't surprise me a bit.

    The headline goes:

    Local 10 investigation: Instructors sell driving tests outside DMV offices


    That's not what's most shocking. The sub-headline goes:

    State says selling tests not cheating


    Earlier we were talking about how to really improve traffic safety we should increase licensing standards. Yet here is a state body saying this type of behavior is ok?

    The attitude amongst the govt isn't for safety - it's about money. This is just yet another example that clearly shows that! How much more evidence do you need?

  • Inactive user

    The city places a heavy tax on cigarettes and booze so why not place a tax on careless driving? It's about time we leverage automation to bring back civility to the roads in Chicago. Unfortunately the only way to get people to pay attention to road safety is to ding them in the pocket book. Every dollar earned through speed cameras, a tax you choose to pay, lessons the burdens on taxes we have little choice but paying.

  • Michael Mooningham A Resident on a Mission

    People buy booze because the enjoy drinking it. People buy cigs because they enjoy smoking them. In both cases the city levies a tax and in both cases the users of the product receive a perceived benefit (whether you see it as a benefit or not, the point here is that the user of the product perceives it as a benefit).

    Now you say let's tax careless driving? First off doing 36 in a 30, which would earn you a ticket with the cams is NOT careless at all on a big street like Western or Cicero. There's a difference between careless driving and fast driving, the speed cams don't punish careless driving they punish fast driving, and sure doing 70 down Western would definitely be dangerous but 40 is not.

    Secondly, where's my perceived benefit with this tax? The whole reason to speed is to get there faster because hey Chicago traffic really sucks! So if the city guarantees me that traffic will flow and I won't get stuck in gridlock, no need for speed cams, I'd GLADLY pay a tax if I'd be guaranteed to avoid gridlock or stop and go traffic on the Kennedy.

    So please, oh great Rahmfather, if you want more $$$ for your coffers please fix Chicago's traffic problem and I'll glady pay an extra tax not to have to sit in traffic every day!

    Otherwise, you're gonna tax the populace more, AND you're gonna slow down and worsen traffic, which is something that will affect everyone whether you typically speed or not.

    No benefit to speed cams except money in Rahmbo's coffers.

  • Michael Mooningham A Resident on a Mission

    Hang on, I got one more idea here! Since Rahmbo wants to tax us if we go too fast, how about we get a deduction if traffic is too congested to be going at least the speed limit! It's the government's responsibility to provide infrastructure, apparently they want us to follow their rules and if we don't we get penalized yet government gets to be negligent in their responsibility to provide sufficient infrastructure for us and yet there is no penalty for government?

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Taras Hryniw . You are SO SO right . Love that . Also Mark A the taxes you mentioned are so called sin taxes . In Chicago the poor and minorities are the hardest hit by those as they tend to be the abusers of those products . I thought Rahms party were the great defenders of the poor and minorities ...NOT ..There is no correlation between the two types of taxes other then the fact that they shouildn't be necessary .I also can't believe that SUDDNELY and OVERNIGHT safety in our streets has become this overiding concern that Speed cameras arre necessary . This is nonsense and anyone defending Rahm and the Party must have a vested interest .

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    I have contacted every Alderman to voice my displeasure . Both on the p[hone and via email

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    One other thing no one is forcing people to go buy cigarrettes or booze . Some of us however need to uise cars to do our jobs or get to our jobs . Im sure Moarks solution is to tell those people to take public trans or ride a bike . Not everyone can take a bus to drop off kids and then take an eL and a bus and make it to work . Im sure someone like that will say get up earlier . I get up at 3 AM . I work for a living and I pay taxes . Way more taxes in chicago then anywhere else . These Dems need to get out of our pockets .

  • Doug vanderHoof Neighbor in GGNA, video producer

    Bike Jedi (The Force is strong in you!),
    Just to add a nudge (not aimed at you) toward biking and public transport, no one actually forces anyone to drive, either. Sometimes it's by the far the most convenient and/or cheapest and/or common sensical. But there's no compulsion beyond those motivations. Your situation is in the convenient/cheap/smart category, it sounds like.
    See you in the bike lanes,

  • Y_2_K I aspire to be who I am.

    What Doug said RE: Bike Jedi. Nobody is forcing anyone to drive, just as no one forces people to drink or smoke. We all make choices.

    Chicago (and IL in general) has horrible taxes on goods and property because our income tax system is among the most poorly designed in the nation. Because it's flat, and its flatness is Constitutionally protected, IL can't raise adequate revenue via the two methods most every other state uses to raise revenue: the personal and corporate income tax. Because of this artificial constraint, IL must use other methods to raise enough revenue, which amount to high sales, property, use, and excise taxes.

    This is just another example of a the effects of a poorly designed tax and revenue system.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    When you get up at 3 am already to get to work there is no other way . Not unless you want to get up at 2 am . For a lot of peopel that's not an option . I already don't sleep as it is . The poin t is a lot of people , myself included have no other viable option

  • I think the issue of sin taxes and how people get to work is sort of besides the point. The rationale that "well, just don't do X and you won't have to worry about having the govenrment do Y to you" can be used to justify any intrusion into people's lives. It's not really a valid argument.

    The main issue is figuring out what is the most effective way to get people to slow down in school and park zones. It has been reported, in the link provided by someone above, that photo radar is not the most effective way to accomplish this. Speed display signs that show people their speed is a better method.

    I think this makes sense - showing people that they are going to fast approaching a school zone is going to make most people slow down. On the other hand, just giving drivers a ticket in the mail later is not going to get them to slow down at the moment. The later method, is just taking advantage of the honest mistake of driving a little too fast. Really, you should only be punishing willful speeders; everyone else just needs a nudge to remind them.

    If you put a radar sign about 100ft in front of the park or school and showed people their speed and then periodically set up speed traps at the school or park, you'd only be catching people who are willfully ignoring the law and reduce the impact on people who just lost track of their speed for a little bit.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    D in LP ..I don't think there has been an outbreak of lawless speeders around schools . In fact I bet that the next story you hear of a traffic tragedy near a school will be the 1st . This is a revenue grab pure and simple .I do like the idea of putting those signs up that show your speed . Once again they won't do the obvious to increase safety because this is all about getting in your pocket not about improving safety

  • Inactive user

    Think of Rahm's slow zones as a toll booth where you have a choice to give Rahm $100, $50, or nothing. As a frugal person, I choose to pay Rahm nothing. The difference between 30mph and 20mph in a 1/4 mile zone is 45s and 30s respectively or 15 seconds. If an impatient driver chooses to save 15 seconds by blowing through a clearly marked slow zone then Rahm should thank them for their contribution to the City of Chicago. It's an innovative way for the city to raise revenue without dipping into my pocket again.

    Chicagoans have become too accustomed to getting away with doing anything they want on the road due to lax enforcement of traffic laws. .The city should leverage technology to encourage civilized driving in our neighborhood.

  • Michael Mooningham A Resident on a Mission

    Civilized Driving? We already got that here. What you're proposing is gridlock and increased traffic. If you want to see what uncivilized driving is, take a look at India. In fact, look up IRT Deadliest Roads on Netflix and watch an episode or two. It'll really wake you up so that you can see what uncivilized driving really looks like.

    The point I'm trying to make here is we don't have a safety epidemic on our roads. Our roads are very safe, and as with anything there is a law of diminishing returns. If anything, our roads are too congested. Instead of fear mongering about safety we should instead be talking about how to get traffic flowing.

    For all of you out there who are afraid to leave your house, watch the movie "Surrogates". Perhaps you should get one of those "surrogates" to go out into the world in your stead...

  • Karen Brooklyn transplant with midwest roots


    The cameras are a pure "revenue enhancement scheme." Just like the lottery, its all "for the children." Please.

    Enforcement will lead to 20 mph gridlock given all the contiguous 20mph zones ... schools, playgrounds, parks & the "wherever children congregate" trap.


    All it takes is a few committed and careful drivers going 20-30mph at key times and locations to bring the city to a standstill. One driver for each lane of traffic.

    We can plan some "trips" to:
    ... the mayors block,
    ... McCormick Convention Center for the NATO party,
    ... the loop at rush hour, etc,


    Otherwise people rightfully assume we are, hmm, let's say jerks, for making them late to work or miss important appointments or just for trapping them in their cars in Chicago traffic.

    Let me know what you think.

  • d3 NOH

    it's not just a matter of in school zones, as mark implies... this is going to apply to half the city in terms of geographic area, not just within school speed zones.

    Rahm is already slowing traffic to a crawl in key intersections where he has changed the timing of the "walk" signs to go 'walk' before the lights turn green to people who would be trying to turn right or left into the crosswalk. The problem this causes is at some intersections, say Belmont and Broadway, there's always a constant stream of pedestrians so that period where you used to be able to turn right or left off of Belmont, before pedestrians were attempting to cross, has now disappeared. So as a driver you either have to sit through more light cycles, or do a more calculated risk crossing the crosswalk than you used to have to do.

    Conveniently, the city has installed shiny new signs stating to not turn when pedestrians are present. Of course this is already the law, but why the signs? IMO Rahm is prepping this intersection--which already has red light cameras--for the speed cameras, and to do so he needs to give the illusion that there's some mass pedestrians-being-ran-over problem. Last I checked I've read of muggings/robberies near this intersection on almost an every-other-day basis in warm weather, but I can't remember ever reading a news piece stating a pedestrian was ran over here.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Mark A ...think of Rahms speed cameras as theft of the productive tax Payers to help defray the cost of the Unions which he and his party derive their support and that would be more accurate then what you stated . And it will result in gridlock as people confused on where these zones are where they stop and begin etc will drive 20 mph through the city .

  • Inactive user

    Bike Jedi, a victim of theft has no choice in the matter. Sit out and watch sometime how many people respect a stop sign when they don't have to. Practically no one will stop because Chicagoans have become a city of scofflaws. The slow zones are a good start in getting people to respect traffic laws. People have a choice in a speed camera zone whether or not they want to make a generous donation to the City of Chicago Department of Revenue. Their choice is either defy the technology and speed or just go 20mph. Labeling scofflaws as "victims" truly devalues true victims of real crimes -- including theft.

  • Michael Mooningham A Resident on a Mission

    Heh, nobody comes to a full stop at stop signs because it's not needed for safety. Great example of the letter of the law vs intent.

    Go to River Forest. Most of the side street intersections there don't have any stop signs! Yet you don't hear of crazy collisions over there all the time...

    Stop whining about things like people not coming to full stops at stop signs. Same goes with doing 36 in a 30 on a busy street. It's not a safety matter. Cops don't give you speeding tickets in Chicago because speeding isn't a problem, and never was until Rahm all of a sudden declared it to be (for monetary reasons of course!) And if you so strongly believe that it is a matter of life and death then don't even bother leaving your house lest a freak meteor fall from the sky and kill you.

    Just getting real sick of all the people who can't "cope" with life's "dangers".

  • "Practically no one will stop because Chicagoans have become a city of scofflaws."

    "Their choice is either defy the technology and speed or just go 20mph".

    It's completely unrealistic to think you're going to have to drive 20mph thru 46%+ of main city streets. If that's the case you can watch tax dollars drive right out of here at 20mph. Think of all the commercial traffic, you think those businesses are going to be happy with traffic gridlock and their new "drive" fines for 26mph? I assume you're also talking about bicyclists. Because the last I looked there were plenty of cyclists who felt NO obligation to stop at stop signs and red lights or yield to pedestrians. I wonder how many people who find these cameras ok would change their tune if they started ticketing them. Bike Jedi joked about the city registering bicycles, well guess what it was actually discussed this year. The city dismissed it but it's only a matter of time before they decide bike riders have hit critical mass (no pun intended) to start generating revenue. Do you think it's altruism that the city is investing millions in bike lanes? Current cameras can't pick up bikes because the sensors are calibrated for an automobiles weight. How much you wanna bet those 200+s new speed cameras are going to have some sensor that can target bikes?..........................

  • ............I drive because like many of my neighbors my job is in the suburbs. It's not 1950 anymore. The jobs left and our 18th century mass transit was designed to ferry people downtown and back. So unlike Mr 1% and his $200K+ downtown city job, I endure the never ending pain of commuting. Since I want to keep my nice paying job I don't have a choice. My gas taxes, city stickers, parking stickers, parking meters, parking fines and sales taxes on my car and anything I buy for it all go into city halls coffers. The gas stations, auto stores, car washes and repair shops all pay taxes from the business my car generates. And the employees from those same places pay taxes on everything they buy. It's irrelevant whether or not that completely pays for road maintenance. It dwarfs anything a pedestrian or bicyclist is going to contribute in taxes. Heck even those road repairs keep workers earning and spending.

    I'm not advocating speeding and I'm not looking to speed. I simply don't want to be nickle and dimed with lobbyist fueled scams to do the thing that enables me to to live and invest in the city I love.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Mark A ...people will have no choice as they will purosely set these zones up to confuse and entrap people . No one will uinderstand the complexities with which these things will run and where . Or , do you expect your Dems to act ethically ( this is me laughing ) . No they won't act ethically , we have Historical and imperical data and evidence to show that . This will also slow traffic to gridlock and chase commerce and visitors from our city . They won't be able to calculate it or won't try , but come on... tell me if you lived in the burbs are you going to be more or less inclined to come here ?

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Taras you hit it on the head . There has been no increase in Traffic related safety issues , if anything Chicago has become a hell of a lot safer then in my Youth . Chris is also right . They will try to license and revenue Bicyclists not out of safety but for revenue so they can continue to finance their Union support on the backs of Tax Payers who are taxed enough . Did anyone catch Rahm and Quinn talking about our Pension crisis ? Rahm said if it isn't addressed they will have to raise property taxes 150% . I really hope they do it just to freak out all the loyal bleeding heart Sheeple . Do you think they are going to redo the pensions to reflect what is customary in the private sector or do you think your Dems are just going to find a way of paying lip service to the tax payer while they increase every fee and tax they can ? Do you think this will help attract business , commerce , and tax payers or chase them out of here ?Keep your head in the sand keep paying and voting for it if you want , or you can start voting for ethical people, term limits ,and a Public Union sytem that reflects what is customary in the private sector .

  • @ Bike Jedi, You make a lot of good points, I'm not happy with Rahm's & Quinn's job thus far. Although, I dislike all the partisan bickering and labeling, I just want honest, moral and ethical leaders, regardless of party (I'll keep dreaming).

    Anyway, I was stunned by the 150% property tax increase that I had to look up that article, Here is the full quote & article:

    From the Tribune article: The mayor described the dishonesty of a pension system fomented by pols who committed taxpayers to dole out more than they can afford to pensioners. If Chicago does nothing, he said, property taxes will have to rise by 150 percent — a prospect he rejected as unthinkable: "You won't recruit a business, you won't recruit a family to live here.",0,5301679.story

  • Inactive user

    Your excuses for people who speed through camera zones remind me of a quote from one of the great thinkers and philosophers of our time, Curly Howard, on the application of free will:

    "I am a victim of circumstance!"

  • Michael Mooningham A Resident on a Mission

    This is for the "OMG speeding is such a problem we need speed cams!" crowd:

    Headline: Man tweets cops to nab speeders - gets caught

    Sure, this was from Sweeden but get the moral of the story - I said it before, lots of people complain about speeders but you speed yourselves. And you will get caught by the speed cams. Hope you're happy when you get a ticket in the mail... because you will!

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Matias S ...yes that is right . As you point out Rahm said that, and then he also mentioned " you won't be able to recruit business and you won't recuit a family to live here " Guess what ? That is already happening and it isn't stopping Illinois Dems from increasing fee's and taxes .The 150 % won't be fazed in all at once . It will happen incrementily to keep the sheeple from a stampede . You will also notice that while Rahm made that analogy he also didn't dismiss the fact that he and Illinois dems aren't going to keep increasing taxes and fees across the spectrum and they will take it out of our rectums ( I made a funny ) . We have already lost 61,000 jobs since Quinns Tax hike ( you can get a lot of good info on that on the Illinois Policy Institutes website ). We have lost over 180k in pop in Chicago and most of those were productive Tax paying types. This speed camera thing will be a never ending saga here as long as we compensate and benefit City , County , and State Employees in a manner that is far beyond what is customary for the Tax Payers who pay these people . How many of you get a Pension ? How many of you are making 70 k to change light bulbs ? Quite frankly if Chicagoans paid attention even Sheeple would be appalled . I don't think it will happen when you have papers here who's front pages and headlines are about Kanye and Kim K rather then how they are being ripped off .By the way in the same time Illinois has vented 61,000 jobs Wisc has created 29 to 42,000 new jobs depending on who's arithmetic you believe . They went from a 3.6 bil deficit to having a 300 mil surplus WITHOUT raising taxes . They also are hiring more teachers and reducing class sizes in their schools . The Unions and the Dems are trying to end that as they know they have been exposed .This shouldn't have to be partisan but rather whats fair to the tax payers and citizens . One way works and is fair the other way is only fair to the PARTY and it's family and cronies

  • Michael Mooningham A Resident on a Mission

    Idiocy in motion...

    Illinois Senator Muñoz pushes speed cameras in Chicago suburbsñoz-pushes-speed-cameras-chicago-suburbs-97103

    So for all you folks in the 'burbs who thought "meh I never drive in the city" GUESS WHAT? You're next! Take action now before it's too late!

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    There should be a State law that stipulates any revenuing scheme or tax shouldhave to be voted on by the citizens ..Yes I know this would hamper all the fun revenuing schemes but just think how our so called leaders would have to scramble to become fiscally conservative .

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