Traffic whistles in Chicago?
July 18, 2007 12:47 PM   Subscribe

What kind of whistle do Chicago traffic-control officers use?

Just came back from a vacation in Chicago. One thing that really caught my attention was the incredibly loud, clear whistles used by their traffic control personnel - TMA officers, I believe - while directing traffic on the streets downtown.

I'm a rollerderby referee, and our events can be very loud, so having an commanding, clear whistle is important. I currently use a Fox 40 Classic and a Storm, and this was, to my ear, louder and clearer than either of those. Anyone know what brand of whistle they use, and if so, where to get one?
posted by ab3 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total)
I don't know, but perhaps if you called someone at the emergency management office, which seems to be the group that runs the TMA, they may be able to assist you.

This page has contact information. There's no direct number listed for the TMA, but you can mail
posted by jammer at 2:15 PM on July 18, 2007

If you don't get an email answer, I think I could probably call 311 or something for you.

Or just ask the next time a crossing guard hits on me X_x
posted by rhoticity at 2:23 PM on July 18, 2007

Not at all what you are requesting, but if you are looking for a loud, interesting sounding whistle, you should at least glance at the classic British bobby whistle. I found one in an antique store a couple of months ago and grabbed it. Because it has two sides which operate at the same time in different pitches, it's quite a loud and distinctive sound.
posted by quin at 4:01 PM on July 18, 2007

According to the Storm Whistle people CPD is a client. Don't know if it's what the traffic cops use, though.

The Chicago traffic whistle has actually been somewhat famous. In 1930, the city Health Department called them nerve-wracking. The result seems to have been a two-tone whistle that music-lovers preferred. But New York apparently has had one you could hear a mile away.
posted by dhartung at 5:04 PM on July 18, 2007

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