Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Reminder: Call 911 To Report Construction Violations

A reader writes in:
"I was awaken at 5:10am this morning by the sound of heavy equipment and flood lights and the constant beeping of backing up equipment coming from Wilson Yard. Boy, those jerks start early, usually it is 6 am..but today it is earlier I bet because of the snow..."

We remind our readers to call 911 whenever you spot construction taking place at Wilson Yard outside the hours of 8am and 8pm. Folks in Buena Pointe should keep their eyes (and ears) peeled. Check out a previous post here.

The folks at Fix Wilson Yard are asking our readers to send in any photos or videos (with time stamp) showing construction taking place outside of the 8am-8pm time frame to


  1. Can workers be on site before 8AM?

    I've been making daily glances from the southbound red line into Wilson Yard to see if anything is going on. I'm viewing it well before 8AM. Typically I just see a bunch of hard hats moving around.

  2. Same issue this morning and Clarendon & Windsor again. The month long sewer project started at 6:15 this morning. Usually doesn't start until 7:00. I am informed because it's sewer work they can start whenever they want. Very community unfriendly.

  3. Honestly, for sewer work ... just get that done. The ramifications could be ugly.

    For anything developer-related ..., wait until 8. Damn.

  4. calling 911 when construction is happening outside the hours it is supposed to applies not only to Wilson Yard but to other construction sites as well!

    all the different construction in the neighborhood sure does create a nuisance. i've been in community meetings in the past when a friend has brought up complaints about the nuisance of constant construction in the neighborhood. She was laughed at by many people in attendance who said "that's the price of 'progress'."

    i bet some of those very people are now horrified by the noise of construction at Wilson Yard. the double standards continue...

  5. It appears that the reason that this happens is that no one really cares about the violation. I would find it hard to believe that the police are ever going to write a ticket for this behavior. I would find it very frustrating if I lived closer to the site. But most people know how many trash companies wait until after 8 to pick up trash. I leave for the gym at 5:00-5:10 and am regularly blocked in my driveway by a garbage truck backing up in the alley. Or how well the ordinance of not parking in alleyways is followed and enforced even when the police do come they rarely write a ticket to the offender. At least that has been my experience. I realize the Police have far more important things to do. But who else does the City Council want to enforce all of these laws when they think them up? Sometimes living in Chicago can be just so frustrating.

  6. Ron, I'm your neighbor, and I've been calling in noise at unlawful hours long before you moved to the neighborhood. Thanks to a few phone calls, sidewalks are no longer poured at 6:30 a.m., and garbage trucks don't start making their residential rounds at 5:15 a.m. ... at least on my street. If they do, you better believe I'm on the phone.

    It's amazing what phone calls from the sleepy public will do. And it's amazing what crooked contractors, developers and garbage collectors will try to get away with, even though they know the rules.

    I remember sitting at a CAPS meeting a few months ago -- I think it was one that you attended -- when someone complained about construction going on at midnight at the Sam Alexander Building at Leland and Sheridan. The police told him that was an illegal time for construction and encouraged him to call 911. No one said, "That's the price of progress."

    I feel for the folks who live near Wilson Yard if construction noise is beginning hours before it's legal. Call, folks, call!

  7. Ronbo,

    did you just make that up?

    Do you remember the teaching that lying is wrong?

    That sounds too much like a stereotype to likely be true.

    I guess Wilson Yard is so important to you that it must be defended with a "bodyguard of lies".

  8. I didn't know that garbage trucks may not operate before 8 a.m. Is that so?

    There is a truck that makes quite a racket in our back alley at about 5 a.m. once a week.

  9. Garbage trucks can't make pickups in residential areas before 7 a.m.

  10. As someone who has worked supervising construction, i can tell you that tickets do happen. The cops are usually willing to give a warning, but if the paperwork isn't lined up they will stop work if they feel necessary. Think of it from the perspective that, if the contractor doesn't toe the line, the police feel that their authority is being questioned. The cops might not care about your problems, but they are ruthless about people challenging authority. Those tickets can have some bite too...

  11. If you believe nothing is happening to stop the construction, contact the City Inspector General to report it. There's a link to the Inspector's website on UU.

  12. Here's what happened when I called. Nothing. Then I called again and asked to see an officer. I was then told the foreman told the police the work was admissible because it was work on CTA property and the CTA had to work at non-peak times. I then told the police it was not CTA property it was private. The police went back and talked to the foreman again and he said that they had special permission from the Alderman to work early. I asked the police if Alderman can change ordinances on the spot to suit their needs. The police told me that this would be something that would have to be taken up with the commander. I’m sorry I just haven’t had time to continue to fight this battle. Hope someone else can. Good luck. This whole city's corrupt.

  13. it's happened twice I.P., not a lie. but when someone says something that rubs you the wrong way i know it's your knee-jerk reaction to think up a conspiracy theory, call the person a wacko, or now accuse them of lying.

    thanks for your response trumansquarenabr, the noise sure is irritaiting at times. and now we have the snowblowers to contend with!

    as far as the cops and CAPS attendees responding differently to someone else raising the issue of noise as opposed to my friend, i'm not surprised given how quickly progressive-minded people (like my firend) who attend those meetings are often dismissed regardless of what they say. as i've said before, there certainly is a double standard concerning how people are treated.

    i must say though, i highly doubt that there would be such an uproar about the noise at the WIlson Yard site if it were, in the words of Ben Joravsky, "upscale condos and a Lord & Taylor" being built on that site.

  14. This whole city's corrupt.

    The whole city is not corrupt. A small number of people are responsible for most of the corruption. The level of corruption is far too high.

    Report the violations. If you can't put in the leg work, lean on your block clubs. Get the word out about the violations.

    Would you believe me if I told your cell phone and a small network of neighbors can be a a rowboat of truth navigating in a sea of corruption?

    Lean on us. Get the word out about the violations.

    Paul Revere was the second guy to come through towns in the northeast to warn the British were coming. Nobody listened to the first guy.

  15. Ron,

    you are a wacko. I think your Federal prison record shows that. Admirably wacko in some sense, but still nutz.

    By the way, I still don't believe you.

    As for Joravasky he is a sad former Shiller supporter.

    I do agree with you on one thing though. If condos were being built on the site the uproar would be lessened. It would still be there especially if TIF funds were used and since the best use of that site is not residential.

    The ideal use of that site is a new CTA station attached to the college and retail. If any residential was built it should have been built above the new Aldi.

    Taking up the corner of Broadway and Montrose with residential is silly silly silly as our increasingly demented Mayor might say.

  16. Ron, your only purpose for going to CAPS is to deny crime. That's it. Afterwards you play victim when people don't take you seriously. If you're not playing victim, you spend time encouraging others to be victims. With every victim, you have to make up an evil perpetrator.

    You need help and don't waste most of your life away before you get it. You have a choice. Don't blow it.

  17. I went by WY at 5:10 this morning and heard big trucks backing up and idling with some shoveling being done, but I heard no heavy equipment running or operating. There is usually very little activity there at this hour but today's was unusual. I've spoken with Molly and she said that the big trucks, such as dump trucks or mixers, can run or drive around but the heavy equipment cannot start working until 8am.

    If you live close by and it's before that time, take no prisoners and call 911. If you have a camera with a time stamp or video, take that, too, and send it in to FWY. They'll use this if need be. This is YOUR neighborhood and NOT that putz building the ghetto. And as far as I'm concerned it's not our fearless leader's, either. It's YOURS. Dammit.

  18. Uptown Lady,

    Tell that cop to write them an NOV at administrative hearings, and if the Alderman wants to defend them let her do it there.

  19. I wonder if the people who broke into the stores use the same excuse. "He, I have special permission from the alderman to violate the law." Then the police say, "This is an issue for the commander."

  20. I guess the 'Ron Durham's and the 'Billy Joe's of the world add a surreal spark to this blog.
    But good grief, I can see 'Ron Durham' hawking
    'Save The Flawed Wilson Yard' T-shirts somewhere.

    Construction violations are what they are, whether or not they happen at WY.

  21. I drove by Wilson Yard this morning 12/18 at 7:12 and four cranes were moving, two back hoes and a large truck where also moving on the property. I called 911 and asked for police intervention but I do not know if it will happen.

    By the way yesterday after I read this post I started with the Inspector Generals office to report this ongoing problem. They transferred me to the Department of Buildings, then from one office number to another. Then I was transferred to Depart of Licensing. Then told to call Department of Buildings again and the number just rang and rang. So I called back Licensing and then they told me to simply call 311 in the morning. Which I did first today but they told me to call 911 which is why I ended talking to them at 7:12am.

  22. The code/time restrictions do not apply to municipal work. Otherwise, you should also complain to the Alderman's office (I suggest by Email so you have a record and by phone). They are well aware of the law on timing and noise, and should assist. When calling 911, be prepared to talk to the police and take names. They won't write a ticket the first time, but they should the 2nd and thereafter.

  23. I'm really tired of hearing that municipal work doesn't need to follow the code. I haven't slept right in months thanks to the sewer work on windsor. Every morning it's beep-beep-beep slam slam slam jackhammer. There's no reason this work couldn't have been done later in the day during the summer when the days were many hours longer. I've been in Uptown for 16 years, but when my lease expires next month, I'm leaving. Best of luck to all of you who decide to keep fighting a losing battle.

  24. The City Inspector General responds when you believe a payoff is occurring to ignore the law. If you suspect there's an underlying reason for the law not being enforced, they will then follow up.

  25. As a follow up I drove past the site today 12/19 around 7:25am and no cranes or trucks were moving. Could be because of the snow but I would like to think that all the calls to 911 are part of the reason.

  26. 911 is for EMERGENCIES 311....they will direct you to the building department.
    The Police, Fire/EMS departments do not NEED respond to CONSTRUCTION NOISE....OMG....get a grip

  27. I am sorry if it seems like I am overreacting, I attempted to call 311 with this issue several days ago but was told to call 911. Today when I saw work being done at 7:30am I called 911 again today and a report was taken although I do not know what came of it.