Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

The city of Springfield is looking for feedback on proposals to change downtown parking. Three alternatives are on the table - installing meters that accept credit cards; removing meters in favor of kiosks; or using a mobile application drivers can use to locate and pay for parking.

police cars (Creative Commons)

A new law signed Wednesday is intended to keep police officers safe, by requiring they get protective gear.

A bulletproof vest will become part of an officers' standard equipment issue. Contingent on money, of course.

The new law includes provisions to help ensure there is funding.

It law requires communities and the state apply for a federal grant, that provides matching funds specifically for the purchase of bullet proof vests.

Secretary of State's Office / Secretary of State

  Illinois has a trio of new laws that officials say will make the roads safer.  But the governor has yet to act on other measures that could have a significant impact on drivers.

Two of the new laws apply to people who've already had traffic troubles, like one named after 15-year-old Kelsey Little, who was seriously hurt in 2011 when she was hit by a teen just learning how to drive.

Randy Carson

McHenry County drivers can sit in waves of traffic that stretch nearly two miles to cross the Fox River in Algonquin. The bridge at Illinois Route 62 intersects with Route 31, creating daily traffic congestion. 

"We're approaching 40,000 vehicles a day," says Algonquin's village president, John Schmitt. "It's just an astronomical amount, and when you have it on a traffic light, it just doubles the amount of time that it takes to get through there."