Last Week at City Council...
December 17, 2012
The Chicago City Council held their last meeting of 2012 last Wednesday, December 12, 2012, and approved the following measures:
Municipal Marketing Ordinance
The municipal marketing ordinance authorizes the creation of a Digital Billboard Network for 34 sites on the city's expressways as well as advertising on the city's nearly 400 BigBelly trash cans throughout downtown.
Last year, the City formed the Municipal Marketing Advisory Council, which includes eight professionals with significant experience in marketing, architecture, and the arts. The Advisory Council advised the city throughout the process, developing a series of guiding principles and providing an independent voice to the decision making process. The City conducted a rolling Request for Qualification process - which remains open - that started in November 2011 and produced dozens of ideas from the marketing and advertising communities across the country and even internationally.
Currently, the City of Chicago has about 1,300 billboards that only provide $1 million in revenue to the City in fees and fines. The digital billboard network, which will lead to 34 sites along the city's expressways, will bring in a guaranteed $15 million in 2013 in addition to more than $155 million over the life of the 20-year contract. The signs will be built through a new joint venture between Interstate media and JCDecaux, known as Interstate JCDecaux, LLC.
Please click here to download the ordinance.
Municipal Electricity Aggregation Program
Municipal aggregation for electricity was also approved along with the selection of Integrys Energy Services as Chicago's electricity supplier. After undergoing a thorough review of its financial strength, customer service ratings, and ability to deliver cleaner energy, Integrys Energy Services was selected following an open and competitive two-stage bidding process because it offered the lowest price margin.
Based on the submitted price margins and current market conditions, the City projects that Chicagoans will save 20 to 25 percent a month on their first electricity bills from February to June, representing about $25 in monthly savings for the average household. Over the life of an agreement that ends in May 2015, Chicagoans will save 8 to 12 percent on their bills, resulting in a total savings of $130 to $150 for the average household for the entire agreement. In addition to delivering meaningful savings to Chicago residents and small businesses, the City's agreement with Integrys Energy Services will set new standards nationally by eliminating coal from its fuel mix.
Chicago's municipal aggregation supply agreement is the largest in the nation. The City is working on an expedited timeframe to ensure Chicago residents and small businesses can transition to the program as soon as possible. Chicago customers will begin seeing savings on their electricity bills in March 2013.
The transition to Integrys Energy Services will be seamless. ComEd will still be responsible for delivering electricity, reading meters, and responding to outages. ComEd will also continue sending monthly bills and receiving payments, and customers will be able to keep the same budget billing and automatic payment options they have now.
The City used its bulk buying power to secure a cleaner power mix and create incentives for additional efforts at incorporating state and local renewable energy sources in the City's portfolio.
In addition to providing Chicago residents and small businesses with cheaper and cleaner energy, the City's agreement will include a number of key customer service features, including:
- A 24/7 call center with specialists who can speak multiple languages.
- Customers will be able to exit the program at any time at no cost.
- All Chicagoans will be eligible for the same low rate, regardless of credit history.
- Integrys Energy Services will be required to always beat or match the ComEd price.
The program will be operated on an opt-out basis, meaning that Chicago residential and small commercial customers will be automatically transitioned into the program unless they opt-out. Residents and small businesses will have three ways to opt-out of the agreement, via phone, mail, and the web. The City will send an opt-out letter to each eligible customer, and recipients will have 14 days to opt out of the program. Additionally, residents can opt-out of the program at any time without charge, fee or penalty.
The City selected Integrys Energy Services to be its electricity supplier after an open and competitive, two-stage process. During the first phase, Integrys Energy Services was one of eight companies to respond to a Request for Qualifications, which required companies to establish that they could meet a number of customer service, account management, clean energy, and corporate health requirements. During the second stage, which ended on the afternoon of Friday, December 7th, the City selected Integrys Energy Services on the basis of lowest price margin.
Please click here to download the ordinance. For more informaion, visit the Integrys Energy Electric Aggregaion Program website, www.integrysenergy.com/il-chicago, call the Customer Service Hotline, 1-888-802-2885, or click here for a brochure on FAQs.
To view a summary of other measures approved and introduced at the December 2012 City Council meeting, please click here. A full video can be viewed on the City Clerk's Legislative Information Center.
2013 Shared Cost Sidewalk Program to Open on January 1st!
December 17, 2012
After reaching capacity in 2012, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT)'s Shared Cost Sidewalk Program will re-open to participants on January 1, 2013. This program allows residents to share the cost of sidewalk repair with the City. The program has been a successful service for many years, offering an outstanding value to property owners. All property owners pay the same square-foot cost for new sidewalk: $3 per square foot -- well below what a private contractor would charge. Senior citizens and those with disabilities will receive a 50% discount.
The scope of a Shared Cost project includes the main walk, the courtesy walk (which runs perpendicular from the main sidewalk to the curb), and existing catwalks/landing steps (the small strip of concrete sometimes found adjacent to the curb).
Owner-occupants of corner properties will continue to be charged for both the main (address side) sidewalk and the sidewalk on the non-address side of the property. CDOT will continue to build ADA-compliant corner ramps where applicable, with the city paying the entire cost of the ramps. Replacement is based on engineering considerations. The scope of the repair work will be determined by CDOT.
In previous years, this program has been extremely popular and funds dry up very quickly. Participation will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that if you applied for the program in previous years, you must apply again in 2013.
Applications will only be accepted through the City's 3-1-1 system (phone or website). Owner information and the property address must be provided at the time of request.
Thousands of Chicagoans have been a part of this popular program, taking advantage of the low cost, exceptional value, and ease of participation. For more information, please contact CDOT at 312-744-1746 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Holidays from Alderman Brendan Reilly!
December 17, 2012
Alderman Reilly wishes you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday season! In observance of the holidays, the Offices of Alderman Brendan Reilly will be closed for the Christmas and New Year holidays beginning at 2:00pm on Friday, December 21st and will reopen for regular business hours on Wednesday, January 2nd. If there are matters that you need assistance with over the holiday, please contact us before December 21st and we will be happy to serve you!
Please note that Tuesday, December 25th and Tuesday, January 1st are official City Holidays - City Hall, public libraries, health clinics, senior-service centers and other city offices will also be closed.
If you are in need of city service, please call 3-1-1 or call 9-1-1 in case of emergency. All public safety services including police and fire will remain at full strength and will not be impacted.
Holiday Safety Tips from the Chicago Police Department
December 17, 2012
During the Holiday Season, most people are out shopping, attending parties and out traveling. Everyone enjoys this time of year -- including criminals! The Chicago Police Department would like to offer a few suggestions to make sure that your holidays are safe and secure.
- Give your home an "occupied appearance" by leaving various lights on.
- Let a trusted neighbor know if you are going to be gone for long periods of time.
- Don't use short cuts through alleys or walkways. Always take well lit and traveled areas.
- Always keep a hand free for emergencies.
- Shop with friends or relatives. There is safety in numbers.
- If you must take a purse, carry it close to your body with the clasp nearest to you.
- Cash should be carried in a front pants pocket. Do not display large sums of cash.
- Never leave your purse in a shopping cart or upon a counter unattended while you shop.
- Transfer valuables to the trunk of your auto before you reach your destination
- Never leave valuables in plain view in your auto.
- Keys should never be carried in your purse. Keep your keys in your pocket.
- When returning to your auto or home, have your keys in your hand ready.
- Use the "panic or alarm button" on your key chain if you feel fearful or suspicious.
- Be alert for suspicious persons loitering in parking lots
- Always lock your car even if you are going to be gone for a few minutes.
- Lock your doors immediately upon entering your vehicle and always drive with your doors locked.
- Remain alert at all times!
The Holiday Season is a very special time of the year. It's a time for families, friends and festivities! But it's also a time when busy people forget to be careful about their personal safety and property. As a result, people can become victims of burglaries, thefts, frauds and con-games.
Everyone could use extra money around the holidays. Criminals thrive on unsuspecting and innocent victims. Don't make it easy! By using these crime tips, you can help protect yourself from holiday crime.
Celebrate Safely this New Year! Reminders from the Chicago Police Department
December 17, 2012
The Chicago Police Department will be highly visible and enforcing all laws.
- NO drinking on the Public Way. This rule will be strictly enforced.
- Do not drink and drive. Designate a driver.
- Utilize public transportation.
- Weapons should not be used as a means of celebration.
- Keep your celebration indoors.
- Be attentive to excessive noise and trash.
- Know your destination.
The Chicago Police Department is dedicated to maintaining safety and will be highly visible. They ask your cooperation by exercising sensible and responsible judgment.
Winter Preparedness Reminders from City of Chicago
December 10, 2012
The City of Chicago continues to implement, coordinate and improve plans to adapt to changing weather conditions and keep Chicago residents safe this winter. The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), Department of Streets and Sanitation, other city departments and sister agencies outline their readiness to provide services during the winter months and share tips to avoid weather and health emergencies during cold and extreme temperatures.
OEMC urges residents to prepare for cold temperatures and snowy conditions throughout the winter by stocking up on necessities and preparing emergency kits for residences and vehicles, which will help in emergency situations or if weather conditions become dangerous.
The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation is prepared to keep Chicago's 4,100 miles of roadway clear of snow and ice and safe for motorists this winter. The department maintains a fleet of 284 snow vehicles. In addition, the department has replenished all 19 salt piles throughout the city and currently has approximately 285,000 tons of salt in reserve for the season.
The City will also re-launch www.ChicagoShovels.org, where Chicagoans can access Plow Tracker in real-time during a storm to see the location of plows, and sign up to volunteer with the Snow Corp program, which helps to pair volunteers with elderly residents or people with disabilities who require assistance to shovel their sidewalks.
The Chicago Department of Water Management recommends acting now to make sure pipes in your home are properly insulated and not exposed to freezing air. This includes pipes in garages and unheated areas of the home. If your pipes do freeze, do not use candles or any open flame to thaw them; use a hair dryer or heating pad.
The Chicago Heat Ordinance mandates that heat be furnished to rental units during cold weather months. From September 15 to June 1, the temperature inside a rental residence must be at least 68 degrees during the day. During the evening, the temperatures must be at least 66 degrees.
The Department of Buildings encourages residents to first contact their landlord or property manager when these temperatures are not maintained and to call 3-1-1 if no action is being taken. During extreme cold weather, the Building Department's first priority is responding to heat complaints and it reassigns inspectors to handle the increased number of heat complaints.
The Chicago Fire Department does not recommend using space heaters. However, if space heaters must be used, ensure they UL certified and at positioned at least 3 feet from anything that can ignite. Use of a space heater in children's rooms should be monitored closely as children sometimes move them close to or into the bed with tragic results. If extension cords are used, they should be rated at 15 amps minimum and never placed underneath carpeting.
In heavy snow, the Chicago Fire Department asks that residents shovel around hydrants so the Fire Department can find them and hook a hose up faster in the event of a fire. Don't park within 15 feet of hydrants - the house you save could be your own!
The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) reminds those with travel plans through O'Hare or Midway International Airports to check their airline's website for flight status before going to the airport and plan to arrive at least two hours in advance of their scheduled flight. When severe weather causes significant delays and cancellations at the airports, travelers can receive airport-wide delay and cancellation updates by following O'Hare's Facebook page or Twitter account @fly2ohare and Midway's Facebook page or Twitter account @fly2midway.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is trained for winter weather operations and will, working closely with OEMC and other City agencies, carefully monitor weather and traffic conditions to quickly adapt transit operations to changing circumstances. CTA buses and rail system are equipped with features designed to mitigate the effects of cold temperatures and snow. CTA is also prepared to communicate timely service information to customers in the event of unplanned changes or significant delays in service through informational displays at rail stations and select bus stops, social media (Twitter and Facebook) and CTA's website. Customers are also encouraged to sign up at transitchicago.com for alerts to be notified of service changes or issues.
Peoples Gas suggests the following winter weather safety tips for residents:
- Regularly inspect and service your boiler/furnace to ensure it is running safely and efficiently.
- Keep the area around natural gas appliances clutter free to avoid a fire hazard.
- Never store flammables near a furnace.
- Ensure natural gas appliances are correctly flued and have the correct ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) buildup in living areas.
- When lit, make sure flames are blue - a yellow flame could indicate the presence of CO.
- Understand the dangers and symptoms of carbon monoxide, and have CO detectors installed and tested regularly.
Officials remind residents to be cognizant of weather conditions, heed the warnings given by experts, and know the implications of wind chill advisories, winter storm watches and warnings. Residents should know the signs and care of frostbite and hypothermia. Officials advise to winterize your home and vehicles, and keep cell phones charged with extra batteries for emergencies. Additional winter preparation information is available at www.alertchicago.com, including links to other local, state and federal resources.
Cold Weather Pet Care Tips from Animal Care and Control
December 10, 2012
In Chicago, winter is a season of bitter cold and numbing wetness.
Help your pets remain happy and healthy during the colder months by following these simple guidelines:
Don't leave dogs outdoors when the temperature drops. Most dogs and all cats are safer indoors, except when taken out for exercise. Regardless of the season, short-haired, very young or old dogs and all cats should never be left outside without supervision. Short-coated dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater during walks.
No matter what the temperature, windchill can threaten a pet's life. A dog or cat is happiest and healthiest when kept indoors.
The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet. Wipe the feet with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his/her mouth.
Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. Better yet, use antifreeze-coolant made with propylene glycol; if swallowed in small amounts, it will not hurt pets, wildlife, or your family.
Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine.
Chicago Animal Care and Control strongly recommends keeping companion animals inside your home. The best prescription for winter's woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family. The happiest dogs are those who are taken out frequently for walks and exercise but kept inside the rest of the time. Dogs and cats are social animals who crave human companionship. Your animals companions deserve to live indoors with you and your family.
If your dog is an outdoor dog:
- Your dog must be protected by a dry, draft-free doghouse that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
- Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes their energy. Routinely check your pet's water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal - when the temperature is low, your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal.
Chicago Public Schools Department of Career and Technical Education Seeking Partnerships for Work Based Learning
December 10, 2012
The Chicago Public Schools Department of Career and Technical Education (CTE) offers career programs in approximately 60 public high schools throughout the city. Students are still responsible for their core academic coursework but take the CTE coursework as a part of their career education. The CTE partnership development unit works with organizations, companies, and government agencies to create work-based learning experiences - opportunities to bridge what students are learning in the classroom to real-world, real-life work experiences.
The CTE are seeking partnerships with organizations that are willing to give back and offer students professional guidance in 12 career areas, including: Agriculture/Horticulture, Architecture/ Construction, Business & Finance, Digital Design & Broadcasting, Information Technology, Manufacturing, Transportation, Pre-Engineering, Culinary Arts & Hospitality, Cosmetology & Barbering, Education, and Law & Public Safety.
PARTNERSHIP OPTION A - QUALIFYING INTERVIEWS
Qualifying "mock" Interview sessions for CTE students for future Job Shadows and Internship opportunities will be conducted in the morning and afternoon on two dates: Saturday, January 12, 2013 and Friday, February 1, 2013.
Approximately 300 students (juniors and seniors) each day will participate in the Qualifying Interview Sessions. CTE needs professionals from all industries to help conduct these interviews and review resumes.
Each interviewer/resume reviewer can expect:
- at least 3 students in the morning session and the afternoon session
- interviews to last approximately 10 minutes
- an orientation packet on that day provided with questions and rubric evaluation material; no preparation from volunteers is needed.
If you are interested in participating, please register here by Friday, December 21, 2012. Full day volunteers are needed but half day options are available. Registrants will receive a confirmation email and additional details.
PARTNERSHIP OPTION B - JOB SHADOWS
Job Shadow Day is a national initiative dedicated to engaging students in the world of work. The goal is to create an opportunity for students to shadow employees in businesses across the city. It is an academically motivating activity designed to give juniors and seniors and an "on the job" look at the world of work. All participants have been pre-screened by their teachers as work-ready and have indicated an interest in their career field.
Job shadow students are responsible for commuting via public transportation to volunteer host worksites for ½ of one day on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. On Job Shadow Day, CTE students will shadow workplace mentors through a routine (short) day on the job to see how the skills they are learning in school relate to competency and success in the workplace.
Students are typically on shadow from 9:30am-1:00pm. Hosts are asked to provide and have an inexpensive lunch with the students to provide a vital opportunity to allow students to ask questions and to motivate students for continued success.
Interested parties must register here by Friday, December 21, 2012. Full day volunteers are needed but half day options are available. Registrants will receive a confirmation email and additional details.
If you have any questions, please contact Maji Tharpe, Manager of Partnership Development for CTE at email@example.com.
Winter Overnight Parking Ban Now in Effect
December 3, 2012
Chicago's "Winter Overnight Parking Ban" took effect December 1st on critical arterial streets. This ban is in effect until April 1st, 2013.
There are over 100 miles of city streets considered critical arterial streets, and the nightly ban is in effect between the hours of 3:00am and 7:00am regardless of the presence of snow.
Ignoring the Winter Overnight Parking Ban can result in a $150 towing fee (minimum), a $50 ticket and a daily storage fee of $10 that increases over time.
Small portions of Division Street, Milwaukee Avenue and Madison Street are the only streets affected by this ban in the 42nd Ward.
Please click on the following links to see a MAP and LIST of streets that are affected by the Overnight Parking Ban.
Overnight parking restrictions signs are posted throughout the designated routes. Please be aware of these signs indicating the parking restrictions.
To learn more about the City's 2012-2013 winter snow program, please click here.
Arterial Snow Route Information
December 3, 2012
Other arterial streets in the 42nd Ward are considered "Snow Routes." Parking restrictions on these streets are technically in effect year round, but are strictly enforced during the winter months when snow accumulation of over 2 inches is present.
The following streets located within the 42nd Ward are affected by this ban:
- Madison Street, from Canal Street to Austin Boulevard
- Washington Street, from Des Plaines to Austin Boulevard
- Lake Street, from Canal Street to Austin Boulevard
- Grand Avenue, from Columbus Drive to Harlem Avenue
- North Avenue, from Clark Street to Austin Boulevard
- Division Street, from Lake Shore Drive to Austin Boulevard
- Chicago Avenue, from Lake Shore Drive to Austin Boulevard
- Clark Street, from North Avenue to Devon Street
- Milwaukee Avenue, from Kinzie Street to Devon Street
Please click on the following links for a comprehensive MAP and LIST of all the arterial street snow routes in the City of Chicago.
Arterial Street Snow Route parking restrictions signs are posted throughout the designated routes. Please be aware of these signs indicating the parking restrictions.
Maggie Daley Park November 30, 2012 Construction Update
December 3, 2012
Construction is well underway in Maggie Daley Park!
Tree removal and tree salvage operation are completed for the project as well as the installation of the site erosion control measures and the removal of the playground. The removal and salvage of the existing light poles and fixtures continues. Tennis court removal and skating rink removal is also in progress in Daley Bicentennial.
The topsoil removal in Peanut Park is complete and has begun in Daley Bicentennial. Approximately 8,000 cubic yards of topsoil has been stockpiled in Peanut Park to date. Following the completion of the topsoil removal, the subsoil will be removed in quadrants to expose the roof of the garage structure for repairs.
Upcoming construction work planned for the next month includes the continued removal of the existing light poles, the removal of the tennis courts and skating rink as well as the continued topsoil removal from Daley Bicentennial to the staging area within Peanut Park.
For additional information, please visit www.northgrantpark.org or contact Nichole Sheehan, Project Manager for the Chicago Park District at 312-742-4290 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Condominium Refuse Rebate Program
2012 REBATE APPLICATIONS DUE BY JANUARY 2, 2013
December 3, 2012
*** The following information is intended for Condominium Property Managers and Condominium Board Members regarding the annual Condominium Refuse Rebate application. One application per Condominium Association shall be submitted by the Property Management Company or Condominium Association. ***
ATTENTION PROPERTY MANAGERS:
You must return all completed 2012 refuse rebate applications to Alderman Reilly's City Hall office no later than JANUARY 2, 2013, or your application may be denied.
DO NOT DELAY!
Application forms and additional information are available at the Committee on Finance website. Submit completed applications to Alderman Reilly's City Hall Office, located at 121 N. LaSalle Street, Room 200 no later than January 2, 2013, or your application may be denied.
Please ensure that completed applications are sent via a method that provides a "delivery confirmation" receipt.
If you have any questions about the Refuse Rebate program, please contact the Committee on Finance at (312) 744-3332 or Alderman Reilly's City Hall Office at 312-744-3062 or via email at email@example.com.
Please note: Applications submitted after January 2, 2013 may be ineligible for the 2012 rebate and all subsequent years.
Reconstructed Wacker Drive Now Open!
December 3, 2012
The Wacker Drive and Congress Parkway Interchange, a major thoroughfare for Chicago commuters through the heart of downtown, completely reopened to traffic last Friday, November 30. The historic reconstruction project dramatically benefits motorists and pedestrians through less congestion, easier navigation and faster, safer travel through state-of-the-art engineering and technology.
The $303 million project created or supported 3,100 jobs and was completed on time and on budget. It completes the modernization of historic Lower and Upper Wacker Drive from Randolph Street to Congress Boulevard, and reconfigures the busy Congress Parkway Interchange.
The project was managed by the Chicago Department of Transportation and funded by the State of Illinois through the Governor's 2009 "Jump Start" Capital Improvement Program and the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Bridge Program. The total project cost was $303 million with $240 million being reimbursed by the federal government, $60 million from the state of Illinois Jump Start program, and $3 million from the City of Chicago.
Wider roadways and bridges, safer merging ramps, pedestrian "islands", reconfigured traffic signals, and better lighting and ventilation in Lower Wacker are key features of the renovation. The revitalization of Wacker Drive will now make it easier to navigate and relieve congestion in Chicago's Loop. The east-west section of Wacker Drive was renovated in 2001.
Upper Wacker Drive is now significantly improved from Randolph to Congress. Ramps to Lower Wacker Drive at Jackson, Adams and Washington were removed and replaced with landscaped medians. In addition to the medians, Upper Wacker Drive is now outfitted with sidewalk planters and decorative light fixtures. The ramp at Monroe was removed and replaced with a new one-way ramp to Lower Wacker Drive.
Lower Wacker has a series of improvements from Randolph to Congress. The deteriorated viaduct structure built in the 1950s was replaced, lifting the vertical clearance by more than one foot. New lighting improves visibility and new ventilation equipment improves air quality. The service drive and through lanes on Lower Wacker are also separated, alleviating congestion and expediting traffic.
The Congress Parkway Interchange reconfiguration improves traffic safety and creates new green space. Improvements included moving the eastbound Congress exit ramp at Franklin below ground and moving the Lower Wacker Drive entrance ramp onto westbound Congress below ground.
Traffic improvements include removing the Franklin ramp onto westbound Congress. This eliminated the double-merge with the Lower Wacker Drive ramp onto westbound Congress. Additionally, the Lower Wacker ramp now has a longer merge lane.
The Wacker Drive project also incorporated a number of environmentally sustainable elements and practices. The Congress Parkway Interchange reconstruction created three acres of new green space with a park area between Franklin and Wells. The City plans to plant meadow grass, upright deciduous trees, flowering trees, evergreen trees, deciduous shade trees, perennials and shrubs in this area, which will be publicly accessible.
Additional green space will be created at Upper Wacker Drive by replacing ramps to Lower Wacker at Jackson, Adams and Washington with landscaped medians.
Other sustainable elements include: LED traffic signals, which are much more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and longer-lasting; a stormwater management system designed to direct storm runoff into the combined sewer system instead of the Chicago River; and the extensive use of recycled steel and concrete in construction.
Click here to read the full press release or visit www.wackerdrive.net for more information about this project.
New Bike Lanes Installed on Dearborn Street in the Loop
December 3, 2012
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) took advantage of favorable weather this weekend to install the Dearborn Street two-way barrier-protected bike lanes. It will be the first two-way bike route with dedicated bicycle traffic signals in Chicago.
Work started at Polk Street and will continue north to Kinzie Street with the goal of completing the roadway striping this weekend and officially opening the new bike lanes by mid-December, weather permitting.
This stretch of Dearborn Street will continue to be one-way northbound for vehicle traffic, but will function as a two-way street for bicyclists, with southbound bicyclists located adjacent to the west curb and northbound bicyclists located between southbound bicyclists and parked cars. To install the protected bike lanes, one motor vehicle travel lane will be removed between Polk Street and Wacker Drive.
Every intersection will have bicycle traffic signals to provide guidance for southbound bicyclists, and to separate northbound bicyclists from motorists turning left off Dearborn Street onto westbound cross streets. The bike traffic signals were installed in mid-November, and will be activated when the bike lanes are complete.
For motorists, new left turn lanes and dedicated left turn arrows at westbound cross streets will allow for more efficient turns off Dearborn. Loading zones will also be clearly marked to ensure their proper use.
CDOT is committed to improving the safety for all roadway users, and the Dearborn Street barrier-protected bike lanes will provide bicyclists with a safe and comfortable route, making a key connection for people who commute via bicycle through the heart of the Loop. This project will balance roadway space to ensure that pedestrians, transit users, bicyclists and motorists can travel safely.
Please click here to read the press release.
It's Not Too Late to Get a Flu Shot During Chicago's Inaugural "Vaccinate Chicago Week"
December 3, 2012
The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has teamed up with Walgreens and community partners across Chicago to remind you that It's Not Too Late to Get a Flu Shot during "Vaccinate Chicago Week," running December 2- 8, 2012.
The inaugural Vaccinate Chicago Week encourages Chicagoans to get a flu shot at a time when they may be at greater risk of getting the flu, as influenza activity most often peaks in January and February in the U.S. CDPH urges every Chicagoan over 6 months of age to get a flu shot to help them stay healthy throughout the season.
All Vaccinate Chicago Week flu shot clinics provide FREE flu shots and are open to the public.
42nd Ward Flu Shot Clinic:
Thursday, December 6, 2012
9:00am - 3:00pm
City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle Street
The Chicago Area Immunization Campaign, Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, University of Chicago and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois are also taking part in Vaccinate Chicago Week, a localized celebration of the CDC's National Influenza Vaccination Week on December 2 through December 8.
FREE Weatherization Workshops
December 3, 2012
The cold Chicago winter is almost here, is your home ready? Chicago Conservation Corps (C3) will hold several FREE weatherization workshops in the coming weeks. Participants will learn how to save money on energy bills by stopping air leaks and drafts, and can practice using the materials available in their free weatherization starter kit. All events are open to both homeowners and renters in Chicago. Space is limited and advanced registration is required.
Saturday, December 8, 2012
- 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. - 8441 S. Yates Boulevard.
Register: (773) 386-3259
- 12:30 to 2 p.m. - 11705 S. Elizabeth Street.
- 2 to 3 p.m. - Logan Square (address upon RSVP). Register: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Can't attend one of these workshops? Visit the C3 website for more information, including videos and local resources to help you through your weatherization process.
ComEd Urges Customers to be Aware of Utility Scams
December 3, 2012
ComEd is warning customers to be on the alert for scam artists claiming to be a ComEd representative seeking payment.
Over the last few weeks, ComEd has seen an increase in reports of individuals calling customers claiming to be ComEd representatives and telling the customer their service will be disconnected unless payment is made. They instruct the individual to buy a prepaid credit card and call them back with the personal identification number (PIN). Variations of the scam include stories that the customer's billing cycle has changed and payment is needed immediately, or that the account is past due and immediate payment is required to avoid immediate disconnection, or that the customer's previous payments were not accepted or processed.
ComEd reminds its customers that scammers may call or come to your home. Representatives from ComEd always carry proper identification and never ask customers for cash or personal financial information. Customers can verify if a ComEd worker is in the area or whether a caller is an employee by calling 1-800-EDISON1.
The Illinois Commerce Commission has also received similar complaints from ComEd customers. The ICC is advising customers that in most cases utilities are required to provide advance notice prior to disconnection of service and when in doubt customers should call the utility or visit its website to verify their account status and the utility's authorized payment methods.
People that believe they have been a phone scam target are urged to contact the Illinois Attorney General's office toll free at 1-800-386-5438 (TTY 1-800-964-3013) or visit the Illinois Attorney General's web site at www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov and click on the link "Protecting Consumers".
2013 CTA Budget Recommendations
December 3 , 2012
Chicago Transit Authority President Forrest Claypool recently proposed a $1.39 billion budget for 2013 that maintains current service levels, freezes base fares, and calls for modest reductions in discounts for CTA passes to bring them in line with other major U.S. cities. To read the full press release, please click here.
CTA customers and the general public will have the opportunity to provide comments to the Chicago Transit Board regarding the President's 2013 Budget Recommendations at the following budget meetings:
Monday, December 10, 2012, 6:00pm
CTA Headquarters, 567 W. Lake St., 2nd Floor
Monday, December 17, 2012, 6:00pm
Westinghouse College Prep, 3223 W. Franklin Blvd., Auditorium
*Both facilities are accessible to people with disabilities
Written and oral comments will be taken into consideration prior to implementation of the 2013 Budget and Program, the 2013 Capital Program of Projects, and the Financial Plan. This input will be welcomed at the hearing or by correspondence addressed to Gregory P. Longhini, Assistant Secretary of the Board, Chicago Transit Authority, 567 W. Lake Street, Chicago, Illinois 60661. Input can also be sent via e-mail to: email@example.com.
Additional Information & Resources:
CTA Finance & Budget page
Download the President's 2013 Budget Recommendations book
Pass increase chart
Frequently Asked Questions
City of Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation Now Hiring General Laborers
December 3, 2012
The Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) is now hiring general laborers to support the City's efforts to roll out residential recycling citywide in the coming year and expand forestry services, as outlined in Mayor Emanuel's 2013 budget.
The new general laborer position, made possible by a work rule change, will be a hybrid position that provides intensive job and classroom training for a variety of duties within the DSS, including tree trimming, graffiti removal, sanitation removal, and hand labor work. DSS will be able to move employees freely through the work types, based on workload.
In addition, the City will ensure that a minimum of 25 percent of candidates referred to DSS for hiring consideration are veterans and for the first time ever, that 25 percent are Chicago Public Schools (CPS) high school graduates. The CPS hiring preference was announced earlier this year in an effort to incentivize students to stay in school and graduate.
Applicants must be at least 18 years old and apply online by December 12 at the Department of Human Resources CAREERS website: www.cityofchicago.org/CAREERS.
If you need assistance with your application, please call the Department of Human Resources at 312-744-4976 or visit them at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle Room 100.
Motorist Advisory - Temporary Testing for New Speed Camera Equipment
December 3, 2012
The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) is advising motorists that there will be temporary testing of speed camera equipment at four locations during a month-long evaluation of technologies.
The systems will operate from December 3 to January 3 for the sole purpose of evaluating equipment. No violations will be issued based on data from the cameras during the test period. However, motorists should always obey the posted speed limit.
City officials are testing both mobile camera systems and permanent camera systems, which have been temporarily installed at:
- McKinley Park, at approximately 2223 W. Pershing Road
- Warren Park, at approximately 6541 N. Western Ave
- Dulles Elementary School, at approximately 6340 S. King Drive
- Near North Montessori School, at approximately 1446 W. Division
A variety of factors determined the test locations, including location within a safety zone, frequency of speed related crashes, and ease of accessibility to power. The systems will be removed after the evaluation period.
Signs are installed to inform motorists of the evaluation period and that no violations will be issued.
Drive Less Live More Initiative
December 3, 2012
Imagine getting real rewards for leaving your car at home. Drivelesslivemore.com is a new initiative that will give employees throughout northeast Illinois a new perspective on commuting and have them smiling and ready for their best day of work yet. The newly launched program-a joint effort of the Regional Transportation Authority and Active Transportation Alliance-is free to use for everyone, including workplaces like yours.
Anyone can sign up at drivelesslivemore.com and begin tracking his or her trips through an interactive calendar. Once you start, you'll be eligible right away for rewards. The website also offers helpful tools for planning trips, calculating costs, and more.
Employers can use the site to measure demand or effectiveness for workplace travel benefits, such as pre-tax transit or indoor bike parking, and even add their own employee rewards!
Drivelesslivemore.com promotes both wellness and environmental sustainability. It's an easy and effective way to support clean-air initiatives and build a healthier, happier, and more productive workplace:
- Employers implementing health promotion programs have achieved on average: -28 percent reduction in sick leave -26 percent reduction in direct health care costs.
- Public transit can leave users an average of 6.5 pounds lighter, and over time make people 81 percent less likely to become obese.
- A Minnesota bike parts company recently attributed an annual healthcare savings of $220,000 in part to its bike commuting program.
- Effective workplace travel plans can prevent up to 10 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually and reduce parking costs by 20 percent or more.
Take the healthy route as you travel through life-join today at www.drivelesslivemore.com.
Community Presentation for Block 37 Signage Proposal
December 3, 2012
Alderman Reilly invites you to a community presentation for the amendment to the Planned Development that governs Block 37. The City has required the ownership of Block 37 to amend the Planned Development because their proposed signage package is in conflict with Chicago Zoning Ordinance. Prior to any hearing before the Chicago Plan Commission, Alderman Reilly requires a public meeting to inform area residents of the proposal and gather feedback.
This public meeting will address the specifics of the sign package which is designed to secure retail tenants suitable for this prominent location within our downtown core. The ownership of Block 37 will be present to answer any questions you may have. The Chicago Loop Alliance supports this amendment to this development and the proposed sign package.
WHAT: 108 North State Street - Block 37
WHO: Chicago Loop Alliance and the Friends of Downtown
WHEN: Monday, December 10th, 2012at 6:00 pm
WHERE: Block 37
108 N. State Street
Corner of State and Randolph Before:
Corner of State and Randolph After:
Take the Pledge to Unwrap Chicago: Eat, Drink & Buy Local this Holiday Season!
November 26, 2012
Join in building a new Chicago tradition that strengthens the local economy, expands employment, nurtures a sense of community, and provides a more relaxed, fun, and rewarding holiday experience. As customers, a large portion of our annual shopping budget will be spent in November and December. By making it a habit to direct a portion of those dollars to locally owned businesses, we can build a more prosperous Chicago.
Take the pledge to shift a small percentage of your holiday shopping dollars to locally owned stores, restaurants and entertainment establishments, and together we can keep millions of dollars in Chicago. The Unwrap Chicago campaign urges Chicago households to pledge to shift at least $100 of planned holiday spending from chain stores to locally owned merchants. By doing so, this action would provide a boost to the local economy, keep more dollars in your community, create and preserve local jobs and reduce your carbon footprint.
Chicago is a city of vibrant neighborhoods rich with character. By shopping local, you experience Chicago's unique flavors and textures while supporting the city's local living economy.
Visit www.unwrapchicago.org for more information. Take the Eat, Drink & Buy Local Pledge today!
2012 Safe Shopping Guide
November 26, 2012
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan recently released her annual Safe Shopping Guide for 2012, detailing recalled products to warn parents about potentially dangerous toys and household items in their homes and to help Illinois families create a safe environment for the holidays.
The Safe Shopping Guide features toys and other products that were recalled over the past year and could potentially pose a danger to children - from toys covered in lead paint and baby dolls that pose a choking hazard to defective high chairs and strollers.
In addition, this year's guide features a new section on food safety in light of the growing number of food recalls every year and the increasing number of children and adults who are diagnosed with food allergies. The guide identifies common causes for food recalls, whether due to contamination or allergens, and outlines the important steps families can take to ensure the meals at their holiday celebrations are safe to eat.
Consumers are urged to review the guide and use it as a resource during this holiday shopping season. The guide can be particularly important for consumers purchasing items secondhand at garage sales or online due to the possibility that secondhand sellers may not be up to date on items that have been recalled.
To view and download the Safe Shopping Guide, please visit Attorney General Madigan's website. You can also request a free, printed copy in the mail by calling the Attorney General's Recall Hotline at 1-888-414-7678.
Christkindlmarket Chicago Now Open for the Season!
November 26, 2012
Once a year, Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago transforms into a European holiday village filled with candy cane striped wooden huts and twinkling lights that harkens back to the traditional holiday market in Nuremberg, Germany. The magical atmosphere of the Christkindlmarket Chicago returns to Daley Plaza for its seventeenth year and is open daily from November 20 until December 24, 2012.
The Christkindlmarket Chicago is host to over 50 vendors boasting one-of-a-kind offerings that are destined to become treasured gifts for loved ones of all ages. The vendors' traditional wooden huts are filled with holiday ornaments of all colors, materials and sizes, nutcrackers, cuckoo-clocks, beer steins, wooden toys, jewelry, wood carvings, and European sweets and treats. The market also has various heated walk-in cabins that offer a cozy place to shop for unique gifts. The Grand Timber House and Festival Tent provide visitors a place to warm up, relax, sit down, and enjoy a place to eat and drink.
The air at the Christkindlmarket is filled with aromas of holiday spices, sweets and treats. German delicacies such as sausages, potato pancakes, and schnitzel sizzle at every corner of the market and the aroma of the traditional holiday goods like stollen, strudel, pretzels, and roasted nuts seize the senses. Visitors can enjoy an abundance of delicious fare and quench their thirst with a refreshing imported German beer or warm up with a cup of Glühwein (hot spiced wine), which is served in a unique collectable souvenir boot-mug.
Experience this unique holiday tradition in the heart of downtown Chicago. The market will be open daily from 11am until 8pm Sunday through Thursday, and until 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays. On Thursday November 22, and Monday December 24, the market will close at 4pm. Admission is always FREE! For further information, please visit the official Christkindlmarket website at www.christkindlmarket.com or call (312) 494-2175.
Madison Street Bridge Celebrates 90th Anniversary
November 19, 2012
November 29th will mark the 90th anniversary of the opening of the bascule bridge at Madison Street. The design process, which began in 1913, was complicated by the proximity to Union Station and the railroad tracks along the west bank. The city decided to complete the bridges at Jackson Blvd., Lake St., and Monroe St. first. Construction on this bridge began in 1920.
The key players for the construction and design of the bridge are summarized on the bridgehouse plaque. These individuals and organizations were active on most of the bridges built between 1913 and 1930 - the bridge era most influenced by the 1909 Plan of Chicago.
The ideal bridge aesthetics during this period dictated that deck support be placed below street level where possible. This bridge is the first bridge to implement the rail height truss, an innovation that satisfied aesthetic and structural requirements.
While the current bridge celebrates 90 years, this crossing is one of the six downtown crossings that has been in use since the 1840's. In this time, the crossing has seen the three major types of movable bridges that mark Chicago's bridge history.
The first bridge type was a movable pontoon bridge, followed by swing bridges, the last of which was replaced by the bascule in place today. Because it is located near both Union Station and the Olgilvie Transportation center, this bridge is one of the busiest pedestrian crossings downtown. Approximately 42,000 people make their way over the span each day.
When this bridge was opened in 1922, Chicago was still a busy port. In the early years, this bridge was raised approximately 2,500 times per year. Now it's raised about 50 times per year for the annual sail boat migration to and from Lake Michigan. It is estimated the bridge has been raised approximately 48,000 times in its 90-year history.
This bridge was officially christened "Lyric Opera Bridge" at a ceremony on January 26,1989 commemorating the 35th season of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. According to the Chicago Tribune, 2,200 silver balloons were released as Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" played during the eight minute outside portion of the celebration.
For more information, please contact Jim Phillips at 312-540-0696 or visit www.chicagoloopbridges.com.
Construction Resumes at 111 W. Wacker Drive!
November 5, 2012
(Commissioner Merchant, Commissioner Mooney, Alderman Reilly, Tom Villanova and Curt Bailey)
Alderman Reilly helped celebrate construction beginning at 111 W. Wacker Drive after four years of inactivity on site. 111 W. Wacker is the site of the former Waterview Tower, which anticipated a Shangri-La Hotel and luxury condominiums. In 2008, construction reached the 28th floor but has been stalled ever since.
Related Midwest partnered with NY-based architect Handel Architects, Chicago-based Epstein, Kara Mann Design, and general contractor Lend Lease U.S. Construction to restart construction. The 950,000 square foot building will include 504 luxury rental units - studios, convertibles, one-, two- and three-bedrooms - with unrivaled amenities and services, and more than 400 parking spaces. The building will also include unique and signature restaurant and retail spaces accessible from the street level.
Once completed, the site will house the premier rental property on the Chicago River between the Loop business district and bustling River North submarket. The Silver LEED designed tower will also bring more than 900 new construction jobs to Chicago, demonstrating a visible recovery in one of Chicago's most prominent real estate locations. The development is scheduled to be complete in the Spring of 2014. Click here to view the building renderings.
Abc 7 News
Official Press Release
Wells Sreet Bridge to Close for Reconstruction November 5, 2012
Ocober 31, 2012
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) will close the Wells Street Bridge over the Chicago River to traffic and pedestrians beginning on Monday, November 5th for a year-long reconstruction of the historic structure. Chicago Transportation Authority (CTA) trains will continue to use the bridge during the project, except for two minor service interruptions next spring.
The Wells Street Bridge has been in use for 90 years and serves as a key transportation link for cars, trains, bikes and pedestrians, but has outlived its useful life and requires a complete reconstruction. The bridge's historic elements, railings, bridge houses and major structural components will be replaced to preserve the 1920s look of the bridge. Crews will replace the trusses and all of the steel framing for the lower level road and upper level railway structures. The mechanical and electrical components will also be replaced.
Work will begin Monday, November 5, 2012, and the project is expected to be complete by SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2013.
The project involves the complete rehabilitation of the Wells Street Bascule Bridge including structural steel replacement, center lock and rear lock rehabilitation, sidewalk and roadway replacement, CTA track replacement, bridge house improvements at both the northwest and southeast corners of the bridge, and machinery and electrical rehabilitation.
The bridge roadway will be closed for one year - the full duration of the project. Southbound vehicular and pedestrian traffic on Wells will be rerouted to the LaSalle and Clark Street bridges over the Chicago River. Southbound bicycle traffic will be able to cross the river on the Clark Street Bridge.
The full closure will take effect after morning rush hour at 10:00 am on Monday, November 5, 2012.
- Vehicular Reroute - Wells Street, east on Illinois Street, south on LaSalle Street, west on Wacker Drive and south on Wells Street
- Bicycle Reroute - Wells Street, east on Kinzie Street, south on Clark Street
- Buses Reroute - Wells Street, east on Hubbard Street, south on LaSalle Street, west on Wacker Drive and south on Wells Street
CTA Bus Impacts:
The #11 and #125 buses will be rerouted to Hubbard then south on LaSalle to Wacker Drive and back to Wells. The Merchandise Mart bus stop will be closed until December, 2013. Users will be directed to the Hubbard Street stop.
CTA Rail Impacts:
CTA rail service interruptions will be kept at a minimum. At the same time that the Wells Street Bridge work is under way, the CTA will rebuild the 'L' structure junction at Lake and Wells Streets, known as Tower 18. That work will require two nine-day closures of the Wells bridge to CTA Brown and Purple Line trains - one in early March 2013, the other in late April.
During the two nine-day closures, to run from early morning Saturday through early Monday of the following week, CTA will provide alternative bus and rail service. On weekdays, Brown Line trains will alternate between terminating at Merchandise Mart or continuing into the Loop through the State Street subway. Bus shuttles will be available from the Mart as well as special shuttle service on the Loop Elevated to make sure passengers can efficiently reach their usual destinations.
The Tower 18 junction is one of the busiest railroad junctions in the country, handling nearly 700 trains on an average weekday and nearly 500 trains on an average weekend. Five of the CTA's eight rail lines pass through the junction.
The Tower 18 work was originally scheduled to be part of the ongoing Loop Track renewal project, but by performing the work while CDOT completes the Wells Street Bridge repairs, CTA will reduce the duration of the work by eight days. Additionally, combining the work will save CDOT and CTA $500,000 in construction coordination costs.
If you have any questions about the project, please call the Chicago Department of Transportation's Division of Engineering at 312-744-3520 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To read a copy of the CDOT press release, click here.
Open311 to Partner with SeeClickFix to Further Enhance 311 Service Reporting
Ocotber 29, 2012
SeeClickFix, the most widely-distributed citizen reporting tool in the world, has now integrated Chicago's Open311 tools into their platform, thereby empowering residents to submit service requests via SeeClickFix.com, iPhone, Android and Facebook applications. This partnership will allow the City of Chicago's 311 service center to improve the public's ability to submit and track 311 service requests.
When someone submits a service request on SeeClickFix, the City will automatically post a confirmation and a service number. For the most popular service requests, a tracking number and link will be posted enabling residents to use Chicago's 311 Service Tracker to see the status of their issue and sign up to receive an email notification when it has been resolved.
To read the full press release, please click here.
2013 City Budget Public Hearing and City Council Meeting on Wednesday, October 31st
October 29, 2012
The next meeting of the Chicago City Council will be held on Wednesday, October 31st at 10:00am in Council Chambers on the 2nd Floor of City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle Street, Chicago. If you would like to provide feedback to the Budget Committee on the official record, please attend this Public Hearing session. A live video stream is viewable on the Chicago City Clerk's website and archive videos can be seen on the Clerk's Legislative Information Center.
As Vice-Chair of the Budget Committee, Alderman Reilly encourages you to participate in this important annual event. The Alderman also welcomes written feedback and ideas via email to email@example.com.
The remaining budget hearing schedule is posted below, and can also be found on the City Clerk's website:
10/31/12 WEDNESDAY -
City Council Meeting - Public Hearing
11/7/12 WEDNESDAY -
Budget Committee Meeting - 1:00pm
11/8/12 THURSDAY -
City Council - Budget Committee Reports
Annual Appropriation Ordinance *
* Defer and Publish
11/13/12 TUESDAY -
Budget Committee Meeting - 1:00pm
11/15/12 THURSDAY -
City Council Meeting - Vote to Adopt Both
Annual Appropriation Ordinance * *
CDBG Ord, (if deferred and published 11/8)
* * Amendments Up or Down
If you would like to review Mayor Emanuel's 2013 Budget address as prepared, please click on this LINK.
Mayor Budget Summary and Press Release LINK.
2013 Budget Overview, Recommendations and Draft Action Plan.
2013 Cook County Proposed Budget Now Available for Public Review
October 29, 2012
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle recently presented the Proposed Fiscal Year 2013 Executive Budget for Cook County and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.
To view the Cook County 2013 Budget Public Hearing Schedule, please click here.
For more information on the 2013 Cook County Budget, please visit the official website, www.cookcountyil.gov/budget.
Pre-registration Open for 2012 Assessment Complaints
October 29, 2012
The Cook County Board of Review is now accepting pre-registration 2012 assessment complaints from individuals filing on their own property for any township that has not yet opened for review by the Board of Review for its 2012 session.
The Board of Review will process any pre-registration complaint form for review once the relevant township opens for filing during the 2012 session. If you would like to file a pre-registration assessment complaint at this time, please click here.
The Board of Review has started its 2012 session. During this session, the Board of Review will open each township in the County for a thirty-day (30) filing period. During this filing period, the Board of Review will accept assessment complaints for property located in a designated township.
Individual property owners may file an assessment complaint online regarding their property during pre-registration or during the period that the relevant township is open for its thirty-day (30) filing period.
Please be advised, that the Board of Review will not accept any pre-registration complaints or regular assessment complaints for a property located in a township where the thirty-day (30) filling period has ended for the 2012 session.
For more information about the preregistration period or appealing with the Cook County Board of Review, please contact the Chief Clerk's office at 312-603-5586.
North Columbus Drive Bridge Celebrates 30th Anniversary this Halloween
October 29, 2012
The youngest downtown river crossing will mark 30 years on Halloween. The Columbus Dr. bridge was officially opened to traffic on October 31, 1982.
The christening of the Columbus Drive / William Peter Fahey Bridge was marked by a Sunday brunch for dignitaries in the Hyatt Regency hosted by Mayor Jane Byrne. A ribbon cutting ceremony at the bridge followed. The family of William Fahey, a Chicago police officer killed in the line of duty in February of 1982, was in the first car to cross the bridge. The plaque honoring Officer Fahey can be found on the NE corner of the bridge.
Columbus Dr. was a key piece in the master plan to provide another north / south traffic link across the river between Michigan Ave. and Lake Shore Dr. This link improved traffic flow and accessibility between the growing Illinois Center and Streeterville areas. In addition, it became the detour that minimized the traffic impacts of the Lake Shore Dr. realignment project that followed later in the decade.
This modern bridge used the basic concepts of the Chicago-type fixed trunnion bascule bridge with up-to-date features of the era. This is the first of the downtown bascules to use box girders instead of trusses to support the leaves. Technological advances in steel and its fabrication allowed bridge designers to keep all structural support below the bridge deck - an aesthetic goal for downtown bridges dating back to the 1909 Plan of Chicago.
For more information, please contact Jim Phillips at 312-540-0696 or visit www.chicagoloopbridges.com.
Oak Street Closure between Clark and LaSalle
October 29, 2012
Oak Street between Clark Street and LaSalle Street will be closed for an emergency sewer main replacement and corresponding work required of the private utilities. Appropriate detour signage has been placed. Parking will be restricted on Oak Street but sidewalks will be fully accessible for pedestrians.
Westbound traffic will be closed until December. Traffic will be detoured via the following route: southbound Clark Street, westbound Chicago Avenue, northbound LaSalle Drive.
Eastbound traffic (1 lane) will be allowed during both morningand evening rush periods, but will be closed during off-peak hours, again thru December. Traffic will be detoured via the following route: southbound LaSalle Drive, eastbound Chicago Avenue, northbound Dearborn Street.
The north/south alley between Clark and LaSalle that connects Oak and Maple Street can only be accessed via Maple. The alley driveway will be closed at Oak Street, so drivers will have access to the full length of the alley but cannot exit or enter at Oak Street.
Maggie Daley Park Construction Update
October 26, 2012
Construction fence installation will be completed around the perimeter of Daley Bicentennial and Peanut Park by Monday, October 29th. Removal of the above-ground features such as benches, play equipment and other site furnishings is underway and will continue over the next several weeks.
\Tree removal in Peanut Park will begin Monday, October 29th followed by other site clearing activities to prepare Peanut Park for the soil staging. The tree removal and site clearing at Peanut Park will be completed in two weeks.
At Daley Bicentennial, 160 honeylocust trees (currently marked with a ribbon) have been identified for removal, salvage and re-use as features in the park development. A demonstration tree felling of these salvage trees will occur on November 1st with four trees removed by the Contractor during this time.
The week of November 5th marks the start of the tree removal activity at Daley Bicentennial. The salvage trees will be cut, craned out of position, loaded onto a flatbed truck and transported to a storage site for processing. The remaining trees will be removed, chipped and disposed of by the Contractor during this same period. The removal activity at Daley Bicentennial is anticipated to take six weeks to complete.
Alderman Reilly's City Club Address
October 22, 2012
Please click on the link below to view a video of the Alderman's speech:
Public Informational Meeting on Electricity Aggregation Referendum
October 22, 2012
On November 6, 2012, City residents will vote on an Electricity Aggregation referendum question that would authorize the City of Chicago to negotiate lower electricity rates on behalf of residential and small business electricity consumers located within the City.
Public informational meetings have been scheduled to allow residents to learn more:
- Tuesday, October 23, 7:00pm at Arturo Velazquez Institute, 2800 S. Western Ave.
- Thursday, October 25, 7:00pm at Kennedy-King College, 6301 S. Halsted St.
- Tuesday, October 30, 7:00pm at Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson Ave.
- Thursday, November 1, 7:00pm at Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N. Narragansett Ave.
For more information about electricity aggregation, please click on the following links to view FAQ, Facts Brochure and Handout.
Public Meetings for Chicago Bike Share Program Plan
October 22, 2012
The Chicago Department of Transportation will hold five public meetings to introduce Chicago residents and businesses to the city's new bike share program. Representatives from CDOT and Alta, the bicycle provider and operator, will discuss the new program and answer questions.
Meeting attendees can suggest locations to install bike stations in the proposed service area or use a newly launched website, www.chicagobikes.org/bikeshare, to suggest locations for bike stations and receive additional information on the program.
Chicago's initial bike share service area will span from 41st Street to Montrose Avenue and from the lakefront to Damen Avenue. The meetings are free and open to everyone, with no RSVP required. All meeting locations are accessible by CTA.
Chicago Bike Share Meetings:
Monday, October 29
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Chicago Architecture Foundation
224 S. Michigan Avenue
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Pop-up meeting at Union Station
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Chicago Architecture Foundation
224 S. Michigan Avenue
Tuesday, October 30
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Lincoln Belmont Public Library
1659 W. Melrose Street
Wednesday, November 7
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Charles Hayes Center
4859 S. Wabash Avenue
Chicago's bike share system will provide a convenient, easy-to-use transit option available 24/7. It is envisioned for point-to-point short trips, or as alternative option for a multi-mode commute. Users will pick up a bike from a self-service docking station and return it to the station nearest their destination.
The specially designed bikes will be comfortable for all users. Features include a one-size fits all design, upright handlebars, wide seats, hand brakes, and a chain guard to protect clothing.
Membership and user fees will be affordable for Chicagoans and visitors alike. Users will be able to purchase yearly memberships or daily passes. Members will sign up via a website, while one-time cyclists will use a credit card at the automated kiosk.
The solar-powered docking stations will be placed approximately a quarter-mile apart and located in high-density areas, including near transit stations. CDOT will work with the operator and the public to determine station locations. Stations are modular and mobile; they can be expanded in reaction to demand, or moved based on need or construction. Initial funding for the program is from federal grants for projects that reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality.
People are encouraged to visit www.chicagobikes.org/bikeshare to learn more about the program, and follow CDOT on Twitter @ChicagoDOT and Facebook.com/CDOTnews.
Chicago Cultural Plan 2012 Unveiled
October 22, 2012
Last week, Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) released the Chicago Cultural Plan 2012, the first new plan for strengthening the city's arts and cultural sector in more than 25 years.
The Plan was developed after months of meetings with stakeholders and community members across the city and includes input from thousands of Chicagoans. The new Plan will serve as the central planning document for enhancing Chicago's thriving arts and culture sector, supporting creativity, innovation and excellence in the arts. The final Plan and executive summary can be downloaded at:
www.chicagoculturalplan2012.org, and www.cityofchicago.org/DCASE.
The Chicago Cultural Plan 2012 contains a set of 10 initiatives with 36 recommendations and over 200 ideas. The result is a call to action for communities, individuals, government, cultural institutions, non-profits and corporations to work together to ensure success. The ten initiatives of the plan include:
- Reinvigorating arts education and creating new opportunities for lifelong learning.
- Attracting and retaining artists and creative professionals.
- Elevating and expanding neighborhood cultural assets.
- Facilitating neighborhood planning of cultural activity.
- Optimizing city policies and regulation that impact the arts and creative industries.
- Strengthening capacity within the cultural sector.
- Promoting culture's value on Chicago's economy and our way of life.
- Strengthening Chicago as a global cultural destination.
- Developing and sustaining innovation in culture.
- Integrating culture into daily life - across public, nonprofit and private sectors.
Click here to read the press release. For additional information on the Chicago Cultural Plan please call 312-744-3316, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the official website www.chicagoculturalplan2012.com.
Maggie Daley Park Project Overview and Update
October 15, 2012
North Grant Park, recently rededicated as Maggie Daley Park is poised for a dramatic transformation. As the 3,700 car Millennium Lakeside Parking Structure undergoes extensive repairs to the roof membrane, the complete removal of the park above has provided the Chicago Park District the opportunity to reconsider the design and function of the area above the garage.
The Chicago Park District's goal for this site is to create a world class, multifunctional park and develop landscape experiences that reflect the evolving open space needs of Chicago. The new park will have a distinctive presence that will delight Chicagoans and visitors with signature elements like rock-climbing sculptures, an ice-skating ribbon, and play garden. The landscape spaces encountered through the park will vary in character, scale and seasonal attributes creating a progression that unfolds in space and time. As visitors follow major pathways through the park, they will be introduced to a range of multisensory landscape experiences which are interspersed with views of the lake, the city and the rest of Grant Park.
By replacing the aging urban plaza with a more naturalized multi-use landscape, Maggie Daley Park will contribute distinctive new types of open space and activities to the programmatic range of Grant Park as a whole. With this transformation, Maggie Daley Park is positioned to become a new downtown destination that benefits all of Chicago, drawing visitors from near and far to enjoy an informal place for recreation and relaxation, strong seasonal characteristics, and a connective landscape that will broaden the appeal of Grant Park as a whole.
Daley Bicentennial Field House is closed and will remain closed throughout construction. Children's programs are accommodated at Northerly Island (1400 S. Linn White Dr., 312-747-0298) and adult fitness programs are accommodated at Lake Shore Park (808 N. Lake Shore Drive, 312-742-7891). After construction, expanded programming will resume at Daley Bicentennial Field House.
The Park District has awarded the first phase of the Maggie Daley Park construction to James McHugh Construction Company. Preliminary structural analysis has occurred on the site and construction will begin in mid-October 2012.
Construction fence will be installed around the perimeter of Daley Bicentennial and Peanut Park. Once the site is secured, removal will begin of the above-ground features such as benches, pavement, play equipment, trees and other site features. Soil removal will occur next in the construction sequence. The soil will be removed from above the roof of the garage parking structure and stored at Peanut Park for re-use. Once the soil removal is completed, concrete repairs to the garage and concrete foundations will begin for the new park elements like the play garden and rock climbing walls.
At the completion of Phase I, the garage operator will waterproof the entire garage structure followed by the Park District beginning its second phase of construction. Phase II includes the full re-development of the park. Substantial completion for the entire project is anticipated in Winter 2014, with additional spring plantings in Spring 2015.
Work planned in the next week
Utility locates and the start of the installation of the construction fencing began the week of October 8. Construction fence installation will start in Peanut Park and then progress into Daley Bicentennial Plaza. This activity will take approximately four weeks to complete.
For additional information, please visit www.northgrantpark.org or contact Nichole Sheehan, Project Manager for the Chicago Park district at 312-742-4290 or email@example.com.
LaSalle Street Resurfacing Project Completion!
October 1, 2012
Alderman Reilly is very pleased to announce the recent completion of the LaSalle Street Resurfacing Project which the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) began in mid-June. This long-awaited improvement includes a full resurfacing of LaSalle Street from Kinzie to Division Streets.
Due to the level of disrepair and daily traffic volumes on LaSalle Street, Alderman Reilly requested "priority repair" status by CDOT. In response, CDOT included LaSalle among initial repairs set for the 2012 Arterial Resurfacing Project schedule. The project received funding via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)-commonly referred to as the Federal Stimulus Program.
The resurfacing called for the removal of the existing pavement and installation of an entirely new, more durable street surface, as well as the installation of new pavement markings throughout the transit route. At select locations that had experienced the most significant deterioration, existing curb, gutters and sidewalks were replaced with modern infrastructure.
Additionally, concrete blocks were installed underneath the asphalt street surface at Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus stops. These blocks, known as "bus pads", provide substantial underground support that decreases the likelihood of the formation of potholes or buckled pavement caused by heavy, routine CTA bus traffic.
Please see the below photographs for a visual of the "before" and "after" condition of LaSalle Street:
LaSalle at Illinois Street facing south
LaSalle at Superior Street facing south
While the LaSalle Street Resurfacing Project has been completed, CDOT is in the process of completing street repairs at several dozen other locations throughout the 42nd Ward. As Alderman Reilly's office is made aware of the completion of these projects, we will continue to keep neighborhood residents updated via our weekly e-newsletter!
New 42nd Ward Landmark Coming Soon: 1337 N. Dearborn Parkway
September 24, 2012
The Augustus Warner House at 1337 N. Dearbornn Parkway, in the Gold Coast community, is an exceptional example of the English Queen Anne style in Chicago. After learning that a demolition permit was filed, Alderman Reilly visited the site to assess the structure and determine his position. Alderman Reilly understood immediately that this beautiful historic structure must remain. The Warner House is not only a stand-alone architectural gem, but is also an important contributing building to an entire city block of important architecture along Dearborn Parkway.
Soon after the owner filed for a demolition permit, Alderman Reilly drafted a letter to the City's Department of Housing and Economic Development's (HED) Historic Preservation Division offering his strong support for the landmark designation of this important historic building.
Alderman Reilly is pleased to announce that the Chicago Landmarks Commission granted preliminary landmark recommendation for the Augustus Warner House at their September 6, 2012 meeting. Alderman Reilly was present at the hearing to testify in support of landmark status and represent his constituency who have called and emailed his office asking for preservation over demolition.
The Alderman's efforts were also successful on another front. Late last week, the owner of the Warner House voluntarily withdrew his demolition permit application. Alderman Reilly would like to thank those who participated in the public hearing by submitting testimony or attending the meeting.
To learn more about the Augustus Warner House at 1337 N. Dearborn, click here to view the Preliminary Summary of Information Report provided by the (HED) Historical Preservation Division.
Time Capsule from 1928 Discovered in Landmark Loop Building and Placed Back by Alderman Reilly with Items from Today!
September 24, 2012
A time capsule was recently discovered during the restoration of 188 West Randolph. The property, on the National Registrar of Historic Places and was first constructed in 1929 by architect Karl Vitzhum. The building was home to the former Steuben Club, a famous stomping ground for the movers and shakers of the 1920's (most recently depicted in the gangster-era film "Public Enemies").
An array of items was found in the time capsule including:
- Two newspapers including a 1928 Chicago American with the headline "Florida Swept by Hurricane" and a Chicago Evening Post with the headline "Cubs Trample Braves; Sox Lose,"
- An American flag with 48 stars,
- The Steuben Club yearbook,
- Notecards containing the names of the guests at The Steuben Club Gold Party dated 7-18-28 as well as small gold favor baskets filled with pastries from the party.
At some point in the mid-1950's, the time capsule was reopened during a 50's era renovation and items from the period were added to the capsule, including a Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune newspaper dated 9-21-55.
Last Monday, September 17th, Alderman Reilly joined Kenneth E. Barnes, Principal of Randolph Tower Development Company at a ceremony to celebrate placing the time capsule back in cornerstone of the building - 84 years to the day after it was originally put there.
Several items representing the millennium were added to the box, including:
- photographs of project participants,
- a USB stick containing architectural & engineering drawings of the 2012 rehabilitation,
- newspapers of the day, a pair of workman's pliers from 1928 found buried in concrete,
- before and after rehab photos from the National Park Service landmarks approval,
- a map of the world, and
- price lists and items representing the technology of today.
Village Green, the developers of Randolph Tower are now nearing completion of the $146.6 million restoration of the newly named Randolph Tower City Apartments - a mixed-use residential development with more than 300 residential units. This rehabilitated landmark will once again join the Chicago landscape as a vital, contributing structure to downtown Chicago. Alderman Reilly applauds the development team not only for their skill but their diligence in seeing this project through to completion during a very challenging market.