Update: Lower Wacker Drag Racing
July 20, 2015
Two months ago, Alderman Reilly appealed to the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and Department of
Transportation (CDOT) to identify infrastructure and enforcement
solutions to help end dangerous weekend drag racing and skidding
contests on Lower Wacker Drive in the New Eastside neighborhood.
On Friday afternoon, Alderman Reilly received CDOT's recommended infrastructure changes and he approved
aldermanic menu funding for the installation of new barricades;
speed-humps; and safety signage for Lower Wacker and requested the
improvements be made as soon as possible. CDOT has indicated the
infrastructure will be installed on Lower Wacker this week.
Based on recommendations from CDOT and CPD, the Alderman has also prepared ordinances for introduction at this month's July 29th City Council meeting to establish a "No Cruising Zone" in the area and a
new late-night "No Parking/No Standing/No Stopping Tow Zone" along
Wacker Drive between Stetson and Field Boulevard. Both ordinances will
provide the Police with more tools to prevent vehicles from cruising
through (and gathering in) this area for drag racing.
the past several weeks, the 1st Police District has been responding to
911 calls-for-service related to drag racing and has also run
enforcement missions on Lower Wacker Drive to issue citations for
dangerous driving and other violations.
This past weekend, at Alderman Reilly's
request, the 1st Police District conducted a comprehensive overnight
mission on Lower Wacker - using a combination of tactical units and
police overtime resources to assign 8 police squads to crackdown on drag
racing and reckless driving. The mission lasted from late evening Friday until 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, resulting in a number of citations being issued.
Just 20 minutes after the 1st Police District concluded their mission on Saturday morning, there was a drag racing-related fatality on Lower Wacker. The
incident involved friends in a Jeep and BMW, traveling westbound on
Lower Wacker at a high rate of speed. According to reports, one vehicle swerved in front of the other, clipping its front end and sending both vehicles careening into support beams.
driver of the BMW, Jose Luviano Jr., was transported to Northwestern
Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. The driver of the Jeep,
Ivan Sanchez, was charged with one count of reckless homicide, one count
of aggravated DUI, four misdemeanor counts of DUI and several traffic
citations. Earlier today, Judge Chiampas ordered Sanchez held on a
$150,000 bond with home confinement if he makes bail. He is scheduled to
appear in court on August 7th.
On Friday, July 17th, the Chicago Tribune ran this story that included statements from Alderman Reilly, expressing his concern for public safety and worries that reckless driving could result in tragedy:
"Ald. Brendan Reilly told the Tribune he is pushing for 'strategically placed speed humps'
and rumble strips, like those on the shoulder lane of highways, to stop
drivers from racing or doing other dangerous stunts. He said he wants to
'put an end to this irresponsible behavior.'
"I understand people want to get their selfies and video footage, but at what cost?" he said. Reilly said he's seen a 'real uptick' of dangerous car activity in the past two years, which he partially blamed on Hollywood.
know this kind of behavior has been glorified by some popular movies
like 'Fast and Furious,' but people need to remember those are movies
with stunt drivers and controlled sets," Reilly said. "This is public infrastructure and driving like a movie star can end up with someone being killed."
Alderman Reilly extends his sympathy to Jose Luviano's family and hopes those who
glorify and promoted illegal drag racing will learn from this horrible
extend my sympathies to Jose Luviano's family and loved-ones for their
loss - it was a senseless tragedy that could have and should have been
avoided. And to those who still think drag racing is a crime without
consequences: I'd encourage them to again review the details of this
horrific incident and understand the profound impact this drag racing
tragedy is now having on the Luviano and Sanchez families."
Message from Alderman Reilly on Mariano Park
June 26, 2015
number of neighborhood residents have contacted my office recently with
concerns regarding the Chicago Park District concession at Mariano
Park. I am writing to provide you with some important details about the
coffee concession - which is under the sole discretion of the Chicago
Park District, which operates independently of the City Council.
over 10 years, Whispers Café has operated at Mariano Park under a
concession agreement with the Chicago Park District. This agreement is
about to expire, which prompted the Chicago Park District to solicit
Requests for Proposals and competitive bids for the concession operation
in Mariano Park.
The Chicago Park District and their management team are now reviewing
competitive bids and will choose the next operator in Mariano Park. As
Alderman, I do not play a role in the selection of the concession or
operator for Mariano Park; I can only advocate and provide input on the
is my understanding that roughly 10 bids were submitted for the
concession - including "Shake Shack," "Gibson's on behalf of Ralph
Lauren" and "Whisper's Café." I also understand some of the bids
submitted to the Park District would call for prepared meals and liquor.
As Alderman, I do play a key role in the liquor licensing process in the 42nd Ward. Please note that I will not support a liquor license in Mariano Park. Further, I do not support a cooking operation in the Park, which would
require a much larger structure and far more frequent food deliveries
and larger volumes of trash that accompany a prepared meal program.
also have concerns regarding the larger building footprints that have
been proposed for Mariano Park. I believe that the concession structure
should be of a size similar to the existing, full footprint of the
coffeehouse and outside vending envelope in the Park. I am sharing these
concerns with Superintendent Mike Kelly of the Chicago Park District.
strongly encourage you to contact the Chicago Park District to
communicate your concerns regarding the future Mariano Park concession,
as this is the agency with the jurisdiction over such matters.
can call the Chicago Park District at: (312) 742-7529 or e-mail Mr.
Michael Kelly, the General Superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park
District at: email@example.com.
is my pleasure and honor to serve as 42nd Ward Alderman. I look forward
to working with you in the future to help keep downtown Chicago a great
place to live, work and play.
City Vehicle Sticker and Residential Permit Parking Reminders
June 17, 2015
Purchase Your City Sticker Online:
The easiest and fastest way to get your vehicle sticker is buying online. Use EZ>BUY to purchase new 2015 Chicago City Vehicle Stickers or Chicago Residential Parking Daily Permits online.
You can either use your renewal form or your license plate number,
street name and last name to pull up your record on file with the
Chicago City Clerk's Office.
Please allow 10 to 14 business days for the delivery of Chicago City Vehicle Stickers purchased online.
Residential Permit Parking Information:
Chicago City Vehicle Stickers have the residential zone information printed on the annual vehicle sticker.
parking permit (RPP) zones limit parking to residents and their guests
during specified hours. This program helps to ensure that residents of
densely populated areas have reasonable access to parking near their
residences. Vehicles parked in an RPP zone must display an RPP annual
permit or daily pass on their windshield or they may be ticketed. In
addition, residents parking in an RPP Zone must adhere to any other
parking regulations or restrictions on the street - including, but not
limited to paying meters, adhering to rush hour or tow zone regulations,
and street cleaning parking restrictions. It is the driver's
responsibility to read and comply with all the posted parking
Residents can check to see if their address falls in a residential parking zone by clicking here.
A city vehicle sticker is not required to purchase daily guest passes. Daily passes are for
guests of a RPP zone resident. The pass is valid for no more than 24
hours from the time written on the permit. All other traffic
restrictions must be followed while displaying a permit. By ordinance,
an RPP zone resident can purchase up to 30 daily passes every 30 days.
be advised that residents will need to bring a photo id with their
current address or proof of residence (mortgage or lease, water, gas,
light, satellite or cable television or land line phone bill), in order
to purchase the annual residential permit parking sticker or daily guest passes.
Please visit the City Clerk's website for additional information on vehicle stickers and residential passes, or call them directly at 312-744-6770.
Letter from Alderman Reilly Regarding Vacation Rental Applications
May 21, 2015
week I attended the Zoning Board of Appeals hearing to consider the
vacation rental application for 67 E. Cedar Street. Although my
objection was documented and reinforced with the Board and neighborhood
residents since the first hearing in March, I felt strongly about
standing in support of my constituents with concerns about the changing
nature of their block. The transiency of "hotel use" along this low-rise, exclusively residential block is clearly incompatible with surrounding long-standing homeowners. I am very pleased to report that the ZBA denied the application for Cedar Street last Friday.
those of you unfamiliar with the issue and the ordinance, I would like
to share some important background. I am the author and sponsor of
the Vacation Rental Ordinance. After nearly two years and 26 drafts,
the city Law Department and I finally passed the legislation on the
books today. We underwent that painstaking process to protect downtown
homeowners' largest investment: their residence. I clearly understand the disruption of "hotel" transiency within predominantly residential blocks.
And about the Zoning Board of Appeals: the "ZBA" is an independent body, appointed by Mayor Emanuel. They
review Specials Uses, taking Council input under advisement only. It
is here that I appreciate the participation of concerned citizens, like
those who attended last week's hearing to testify with me. Community
involvement at these hearings, is key. They are designed for the very
purpose of collecting neighborhood feedback in order for the Board to
make an informed, responsible decision. Up until the hearing for 67 E. Cedar, public turnout and submitted objection documents is typically low.
ask that those of you affected by this incompatible use now or in the
future to actively participate in the public hearings. The democracy
of this process is delivered by the city to ensure the highest
quality-of-life possible for you. As your representative, I take issues
like these very seriously and fight for the best possible outcome. I
am grateful to those who have joined me in this important work so far.
Alderman, 42nd Ward