Speeding cameras are coming to Chicago, despite powerful fuzzbuster lobby

November 8, 2011

The Illinois legislature is moving fast to pass the speeding camera bill that will put cameras in school and park zones across Chicago, which could pave the way for increased ticketing if you speed in these areas. The dustbuster lobby is furious. This will be passed and on Quinn's desk as soon as today. He's expected to sign. Wow, state government at work. Who knew they could move so fast! Remember that next time they stall something for months.

A colleague of mine pointed out a great story in WIRED magazine from a few years back about how one community put up electronic radar signs in school zones to let drivers know how fast they were going (you may have seen these read-outs in some Chicago communities too, like Oak Park).  No consequence, just redundant information. But they were betting on human decency. Because every driver wants to slow down around kids, the signs were super effective and dropped speeding by 14 percent.

But yeah, there's no money there. You would actually have to shell out to make these new signs. So this isn't really about safety. This is about cash. Emanuel responds in the Sun-Times today, saying cameras are just 'part of the strategy to protect kids.'

B story: Aldermen are pretty much resigned to pass the city budget, including big tax hikes for downtown parking. Somebody should tell the downtown parking lobby they lost. Wait, lobbyists lose?

C story: Eight Forty-Eight had both Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart in the studio today to talk budget and safety. Robin Amer snapped this photo, which I guarantee will be used a million times on our site, you know, when Dart and Preckwinkle run against each other for something. Anything, really.

D story: I missed this last week, but Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. took to the House floor to try and sell a third aiport in the Chicago area. Remember that story? Along the way, he touched a little on the economics of airports, where the old model of major airlines buying terminals is over and now it's all about renting. Wow, there was even a housing crash for airport terminals. Jackson Jr. says all he needs is a signature from Governor Pat Quinn and boom, a gazillion jobs. 

E story: Stephanie Izard is opening a new restaurant in the Red Light space on Randolph. And it doesn't end there, rumors are abound about what restaurants and celeb chefs are coming to that area. Randolph Street is like the Miami Heat of food.

Weather: It's raining men! Hallelujah! It's raining...oh. Wait. No men, it's just raining. My bad.

Sports: See here.

Kicker: Karl Pinkington doing Jump by Van Halen, Glee style. Karl is the star of HBO's The Ricky Gervais Show and he shows us why he is so damn entertaining: