Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wilson Yard Construction Violating City Laws?

A reader writes: It's come to our attention that the construction at Wilson Yard is in violation of the following City ordinance. Would you please alert the community to notify the City if they see construction outside the hours of 8am and 8pm? People have been instructed to call 911.

11-4-2835 Construction, repair or demolition equipment.
(a) No person shall use or cause the use of any mechanical equipment or tool operated by fuel or electric power in building, construction, repair or demolition operations between the hours of 8:00 P.M. and 8:00 A.M. within 600 feet of any residential building or hospital.
(b) The limitation of this section does not apply to any construction, demolition or repair work of an emergency nature or to work on public improvements authorized by a governmental body or agency.
(c) This section may be enforced by designated employees of the departments of buildings, consumer services, fire, public health, revenue, streets and sanitation, transportation and zoning, who are authorized to issue citations for violations. (Added Coun. J. 7-26-06, p. 81473, § 1)


  1. I was out prior to 7AM this morning and trucks were entering the property.

    I don't recall if any other activity was going on.

    I'll keep an eye out.

  2. I've had the same issue with the sewer work they are doing at Clarendon & Windsor. For the last 2 weeks they have started working at 7:00 a.m. When I emailed Helen's office I was told the subcontractor said they were just doing 'set up' work. Not true, they have their trucks and bulldozers running at promptly 7:00 and they are gone by 3:30. That's 2 weeks now of half a nights sleep. These guys have to know the rules if they are being hired to do city work.

  3. hmm so every day when i leave for work at 630 and theyre out blocking montrose with big trucks and already yelling at each other inside the fences was illegal...who woulda thought

  4. they begin working way before 630am...and the other night they were drilling the raod late into the night/early morning...til around 2am...huge spotlights to see...

  5. Actually - reporting calls requires calls to 911! Call 911 if you see any work going on in the site before 8am or past 8pm. Specifically - if any of you early-risers are standing on the platform at Wilson, take a peek while you are waiting for your train - if you see anything- call! You don't have to leave your name.

    Additionally, many cell phones have cameras - take a snap shot of the activity. Or, if you really want to get ambitious, a little video never hurt.

    MOST IMPORTANTLY!!!CALL 911 when you see it!!!!

  6. They are allowed to arrive, set up, arrange stuff, etc. prior to the noted time on permits. They just aren't allowed to use the heavy equipment before the noted time. If you look at the posting, public works are also exempted from the 8am time, though they also have permits with deliniated hours, they just can be before 8am. If you live right there and there is something like the beeping from a backing truck, that's kind of borderline. If you are able, talk to the construction engineer on site and complain. It's more likely to fix it than calling 911 because, to be honest, the cops probably won't bother to show up.

  7. 'If you live right there and there is something like the beeping from a backing truck'

    No it's a Dirt Truck Being loaded, a bulldozer scraping the street, hammering, steel plates being run across the pavement and several backup alarms. Since they are now moving down the street, I will let someone else complain to someone on site. Not looking for something to mysteriously fall on my car or my head. Thanks for the reply though.

  8. I would consider calling 911 if I saw it, but at the same time I would be a bit hesitant because I have always treated 911 as only for true emergencies. If this is the proper channel for this, then fine, but it seems like there should be another way. I would hate for us to overload the 911 system with calls and delay someone else who may have something more life threatening.

  9. Andy, I can appreciate where your comment is coming from, but you're completely wrong in your thinking. 911 is NOT just for life-threatening emergencies. It is for ANY issue that involves sending out an officer to the scene. And the 911 call center has a rather sophisticated system to triage their calls. You're not going to be delaying their response to a rape in progress by calling.

    I'm not directing this at you Andy, but there are far too many people in this neighborhood who look for any excuse in the book NOT to make a 911 call, and usually the reason is complete bullsh*t. Get over it and make the call.

  10. They definitely had the engines running on the cranes this morning at 6:45 when I drove by on Montrose.

  11. Not being a long-time Chicago resident, I can't say that this is not the norm for Chicago. However, I have always been taught that 911 is for emergencies only. For non-emergency things that require police presence I call the police directly. That may not be what is expected in Chicago. To me, as much as I don't like what is going on with Wilson Yard, construction starting at 7 am is not an emergency.

    Also, I never said it was for life threatening emergencies only. My contention is that 911 is for true emergencies only.

    Regarding the original post, I agree that 311 is not the number to call either. If we could call our alderwoman, I would suggest that, but in absence of that we have to call the police...just not via 911 (in my opinion).

  12. Andy, even if you call 311 for something you don't consider true emergency, the operator will transfer you to "dispatch" (911) if it's something that requires a police officer's presence. The City is pretty specific about what calls are covered by the 311 and 911 responders.

  13. just to clarify, I agreed that 311 was not the number to call.

    I went to the city website and it gives a list of reasons for calling 911:

    * Any crime in progress (or just occurred) especially if the suspect or offender is still on the scene.
    * Serious violent crimes such as homicide, robbery, domestic violence and assault.
    * Gunshots or a person with a dangerous weapon
    * Home or business intruders
    * Vehicle crashes with personal injury or major property damage, and traffic tie-ups as a result of a crash
    * A known criminal wanted by the police
    * Fire
    * Medical emergencies
    * Other incidents that require a police response, such as a barking dog or a car blocking a driveway or alley

    Based on the last item in the list, I will say that maybe I am wrong and you are supposed to call 911. However, it seems inconsistent with the rest of the list. The way they describe the vehicle crash for example implies that you should not call for minor problems.

    Also, if you search the web for information about teaching kids about 911 or other 911 resources, you will find a plethora of websites that talk about when to use 911 and when not to use it. It seems that Chicago may deviate from this standard.

    Has anyone called 911 about this yet? If so, what was the response? when the 911 operator asks what is your emergency, what do you say?

    My apologies if I have said anything wrong, but I honestly feel like the general usage of 911 should be for emergencies only. In Chicago, it may be the only/best way to contact the police regarding any matter.

    Here are some of the resources I located:

    City of Chicago Questions about 911

    An EMERGENCY is any situation that threatens human life or property and demands attention immediately.

    National Emergency Number Association - 911 tips

    news story

    I found this on the explore Chicago website. I may be wrong about 311 too!
    Explore Chicago - Emergency Services
    Dial 311 for Non-Emergency Problems

    911 is for emergencies only. 911 operators take every call very seriously. If you need police assistance for a non-emergency, dial 311 from any phone. The 311 staff can answer many questions about Chicago and will take reports of non-emergency problems.

    Examples of when to call 911

    * Car accident
    * Serious injury
    * Fire
    * Reporting a crime while it is occurring

    Examples of when to call 311
    * Information on local events and city departments
    * Locating homeless shelters
    * Animal control
    * Reporting a crime after it has occurred

    City of Chicago - use 311

    "Not every criminal incident is an emergency that requires an immediate police response. So not every call to the police needs to go through 9-1-1. In fact, non-emergency calls to 9-1-1 can slow the police response to true emergencies and can reduce the time that beat officers have to work with the community on solving longer-range problems on their beats."

    "A non-emergency incident is one that does not involve a crime in progress; does not pose an imminent threat to life, bodily injury or major property damage or loss; and does not require the immediate dispatch of a police unit.

    Non-emergencies include crimes such as pickpocketing, theft from an automobile, deceptive practices, criminal damage to property, garage burglary, auto theft and other offenses in which the offender is no longer at the scene."

  14. Every time I call 311 they patch me through to 911 even if it's someone parked illegally.

  15. (banging my head against the wall) Andy, think of it this way. If a situation is occurring at this very moment, call 911. If it is a situation that can wait a day or a few days, call 311. You should never be hesitant to call 911. This is emphasized by the police and fire departments at virtually every CAPS meeting and safety related meeting. Hope this helps.

  16. I give up. My point was not that I am hesitant to call 911 when I need to call them, I was just making a point that calling 911 for non-emergency situations seems irresponsible to me.

  17. I walk by this construction zone five days a week at 5:10 a.m. and, since construction began again a couple of weeks ago, I have noticed the big-boy trucks pulling up and several smaller trucks inside the fenced area running with lights on. While I cannot tell precisely what is happening it does not look like they are moving. There have also been instances of communicae between persons in the form of shouting that has been unintelligible to me from the street.

    As I don't read this blog any longer this post was brought to my attention and I was urged to read it due to my "early riser" status. My digital camera has a video mode that I will engage and record should I see any illicit or seemingly-illicit behavior. To whom shall I send this information? Would the folks at UU be appropriate and would they disseminate this data to those needing it? Any video footage I may take will not have any sound.

  18. You should send any videos to as well.

  19. Complain about people not working, and complain more when they are working....makes a lot of sense!