Chicago Announces Speed Camera Test Sites

The City of Chicago announced the locations of four intersections across the city where speed cameras will be tested.

The month long tests, being used to evaluate the technology of a previously reported two finalist vendors in the bidding process for the city’s speed camera program, will begin Monday December 3rd and end on Thursday, January 3rd.

The good news for drivers is no tickets will be issued during this test period.

“All this is, is a test of the equipment,” explained Chicago Department of Transportation spokesperson Pete Scales. “It’s just one phase of the RFP (Request for proposal) process.”

In the spirit of how the speed cameras were first touted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the four locations include intersections near two parks and two schools.

  • McKinley Park, at approximately 2223 W. Pershing Road
  • Warren Park, at approximately 6541 N. Western Ave
  • Dulles Elementary School, at approximately 6340 S. King Drive
  • Near North Montessori School, at approximately 1446 W. Division

Scales says he believes part of the reason these particular sites were selected was to spread the locations around the city geographically.

According to the press release from the Office for Emergency Management and Communications says the test will include both mobile and permanent speed camera systems, signs will be posted at each test intersection and the cameras will be removed after the test period is complete.

“A variety of factors determined the test locations,” says the press release. “Including location within a safety zone, frequency of speed related crashes, and ease of accessibility to power.”

Scales believes, once a final vendor is chosen in early 2013, the first speed cameras will be in operation and issuing violations sometime in the first three months of 2013.

Although drivers will still receive a warning for their first offense, subsequent violations will cost drivers exceeding the speed limit between 6-10 mph $35 or $100 for motorists exceeding the speed limit by over 11 mph.

10 Responses to Chicago Announces Speed Camera Test Sites

  1. Not testing, but experimenting!

  2. Mike says:

    The city always sucks with maintenance. If warning signs are missing or obscured then the program will fail. You can’t write a ticket for blowing a stop sign if the sign missing. On the flip side, if there are good warnings (posted signs, pavement markings, flashing lights, etc) then many people will slow down in time and avoid Rahm’s money grab.

  3. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Mike,

    Ya know, you’re hitting on something that really bugs me about the speed cams.

    There are tons of things the city should do to improve traffic safety first, before going for the cash grab.

    First, how about a few freak’n speed limit signs on the streets? I mean seriously, when’s the last time you saw one of those. It’s so simple and a gentle reminder how fast you should be driving.

    Second, can we get a few gallons of paint out and re-paint all the all but invisible pavement markings on streets and especially at intersections? What the hell?!?

    Third, why not try some of these dynamic speed displays that tells you the speed you’re going in real time? Studies show where this is used, people slow down.

    Fourth, can we try re-engineering streets and intersections for maximum safety? What about extending yellow light times where appropriate?

    The list could go on, but I don’t have a few days to devote to this.

    Why won’t the city address these basic common sense improvements before immediately leaping to punitive, cash generating technology. WTF?!?

    In other words, you’re spot on Mike.

  4. Mike says:

    Thanks geek. I’ve only gotten one Chicago red light ticket and that was back in 2004 at Belmont and Kedzie. Almost 10 years later and it’s still the same. It has poor lighting, poor visibility, and is confusing especially if you’re not familiar with the area. What has the city done to make that intersection safer? Nothing, however they still collect money.

  5. The Enforcer says:

    At least put these cameras in places where it’s dangerous to speed….where there are a ton of pedestrians. If you nickel and dime people all the time they will move somewhere else.

  6. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Mike,

    I live close to that intersection and drive through it ALL the time.

    At night, if I decide I need to take a long walk, I walk across Irving at Kedzie and will see the damn RLC flash going off all the time.

    Some are people going through the intersection when the light has been red a long time. But the vast majority, at least by observation are triggering the flash milliseconds into the red. Again, drivers should not blow through red lights. However, I gotta believe there’s some engineering problems there that could be resolved if CDOT actually wanted to reduce red light running there.

  7. B says:

    RLCs can’t make money unless there are engineering defects with the intersection or signal timing or both. It’s been proven over and over again.

    My solution to the speed cameras is just to drive 15mph everywhere. Sure it will anger other drivers. Too bad. Just as it does when I don’t do right on red at RLC intersections. (I’ve seen them flash legal right on red turns and the hassle of even dealing with a bogus easily provable so RLC ticket is more than just waiting for the green)

    I just wonder how long it will be before the city figures out they can use this law to put speed cameras on the Edens. If they contort the law enough to say that the dan ryan locals and express are different roads they can put them on the dan ryan local lanes too. Also any of the interstate ramps. The law has a giant hole in it with that eight lane nonsense unless I am missing something.

  8. Mike says:

    Hey B, lucky for us that they can’t put cameras where children aren’t present. Also, this law only applies to the city of Chicago. Red light cameras may be here to stay and have passed court muster so far but I feel like the speed cameras may not be that lucky. There’s several arguments against the speed camera law. 1) Why does it only apply to Chicago only? 2) How old is a child? 3) Who determined if that person is a child? 4) The child has to be in the picture. Anything else?

  9. jon w says:

    the stretch of Western Ave near the Warren park site is actually a great hotbed of idiots trying to “get ahead” by going 40-50 mph even though there are red lights within a quarter mile either direction. anything that gives them a dopeslap (and gives pedestrians a chance in the several (unsignalled but marked and signed) crosswalks is ok in my book.

    must be the ape in us, but it seems we as a group love to trade even the illusion of speed for the reality of accident risk. that needs regulating and if drivers won’t do it i’m glad someone will.

  10. gimme your money bitches !!! let me rip ur ass off using the legal system, thank you good citizens, im expecting you to vote for me in the next elections.

    sincerly with love
    Rahm

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