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Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

Can’t believe anyone is surprised by this result:

As Mayor Rahm Emanuel rolls out his long-delayed speed camera plan, new numbers his office released suggest that drivers who speed in Chicago could rack up way more in fines than a cash-starved City Hall initially projected.

The mayor had hoped to bring in $30 million this year. But results from a monthlong test of the automated camera system indicate the city could reap well into the hundreds of millions of dollars in the program’s first year.

The number of potential citations came as a surprise to even the city’s speed camera operator.

“I think everyone was shocked at the numbers,” said Charles Territo, a spokesman for American Traffic Solutions. “It became very obvious there is a speeding problem in school and park zones in the city of Chicago.”

Had tickets been issued for all of those test-period violations, the city could have collected about $4.7 million in ticket revenue in a single month.

Even accounting for the road lobby, it is still hard to understand why governments aren’t doing more with speed enforcement. It is a win-win situation — more revenue and safer streets.

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Sweet Home Chicago

Illinois will break ground next month on its planned 110mph “high” speed rail line linking Chicago and St. Louis. As part of the project, IDOT will spend $220 million purchasing six new 5-car trainsets.

You read that right: $220 million, for a mere 6 trainsets.

Needless to say, these will not be fancy schmancy DMU. Whereas modern passenger rail operators have done away with the diesel locomotive altogether, IDOT is planning on good old fashioned loco-hauled train. And not just 1 locomotive, but two! Because you can’t have too many locomotives…

And, it goes without saying, the IDOT will not buy a standard “off-the-shelf” product. IDOT is getting into the train design business. Here is how their web page describes it:

Two new high horsepower diesel locomotives will likely be used on each trainset. Specifications for the new equipment are being developed by a national consortium of State DOTs, equipment suppliers and other industry experts. They are drawing on international best practices in the development of these specifications. A higher level of comfort and safety is being specified in the new equipment. Any equipment purchased for the new high-speed service will undergo extensive performance testing and simulated operations on the corridor prior to the start of passenger service in 2014.

Note the phrase “higher level of safety” — this is codeword for an FRA-compliant tank-on-wheels design. Which must be custom-built at a cost of, well, $220 million.

Too bad IDOT can’t hire these guys:

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