Chicagoans Share Diverse Opinions On Speed Cameras

One of Chicago's first speed cameras debuts in the 5100 block of North Pulaski.

There are a lot of different point of views on Chicago’s spank’n new speed cameras.

DNA Info reporter Ted Cox hit the street to ask a wide range of people–pedestrians, bikers and drivers alike–what they thought about this automated camera enforcement technology that debuted earlier this week.

Cox spent a day interviewing people in Humboldt Park–the site of at least one the speed cams being installed around the city.

He got an earful.

Read the full story, “Speed Cameras Needed in Humboldt Park? Drivers, Pedestrians Split.”

10 Responses to Chicagoans Share Diverse Opinions On Speed Cameras

  1. Jeff says:

    The dangers of excessive speeding/red light running aren’t limited to cars. This knucklehead was speeding down a steep hill in Biker-Utopia San Francisco, apparently while trying to set a speed record, ran 2 red lights, and and killed somebody crossing the street. Of course, since he was being tried in a San Francisco court, he got no jail time:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-usa-bicycle-manslaughter-20130815,0,3620708.story

  2. David says:

    We do not have hills of that type in Chicago. And any claim that San Francisco is a “bicycle Utopia” is just wrong. No city with hills of the type of San Francisco is a “bicycle utopia”. You are confusing San Francisco with Portland.

    This accident keeps getting brought up over and over again by the anti-bicycling forces. It was a unique event. it has been described as a “landmark”. Again, HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED BY BEING HIT BY A BICYCLE IN CHICAGO IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS? This rider was highly irresponsible. He was also going at a very high speed — one that could not be obtained in Chicago.

    He was convicted of a Felony. That’s a big deal. And the family of the victim said that they did not want him to go to Jail so the Court honored the request.

  3. saucexx says:

    David,

    Yes how many bikers have been killed when they blow red lights and stop signs. I see it every day, almost hit a few myself.

  4. Jeff says:

    1. The hills of San Francisco do make it hazardous for bikes (as well as cars). The hill that was at issue here (Divisadero above Market Street) is indeed a steep one, but by no means among the steepest in that city.

    That said, “Bicycle Magazine” lists San Francisco as the 6th most bike friendly city in the US (based on the local government’s favorable policies on bike commuting). Thus my reference to that city as a “Biker Utopia”:

    http://www.bicycling.com/news/featured-stories/bicyclings-top-50

    2. The death here was not a unique event. San Francisco had a similar death occur in 2011:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/13/randolph-ang-cyclist-probation_n_1342466.html

    Note that the defendant in the 2012 accident, Christopher Bucchere was reportedly a bicycle safety instuctor, who presumably should have known better.

    While deaths from bikes hitting pedestrians are rare, that does not mean that cyclists shouldn’t be: (a)obliged to obey traffic laws, such as stopping for pedestrians in cross walks; and (b) held to account for death/injury when they violate those traffic laws, in the same manner as a motorist would (and should) be held to account.

    3. Much credit goes to the victim’s family for not asking for jail time. I know I wouldn’t be as forgiving in their place. The family has filed a wrongful death suit against the defendant, and I sincerely hope they get a meaningful judgment and jury award.

  5. B says:

    30mph is excessive speed? No, he hit someone because he ran a red signal.

    30mph was probably the PSL. I’ve done 25-30mph on chicago city streets countless times on a bicycle in my life. Always on arterial streets. Used the left lane a couple times too. Never hit anyone or anything. Didn’t go through red signals either.

  6. Jeff says:

    30mph is excessive speed? No, he hit someone because he ran a red signal.

    30mph was probably the PSL. I’ve done 25-30mph on chicago city streets countless times on a bicycle in my life. Always on arterial streets. Used the left lane a couple times too. Never hit anyone or anything. Didn’t go through red signals either.
    ____________________________

    In this case, the posted speed limit was 25 miles per hour and the defendant was doing 32 miles per hour. While 7 miles over the limit might be borderline excessive, it was probably made worse by the fact that the defendant’s bike was coming down quite a steep hill that leads into a very busy, pedestrian packed intersection between Divisadero and Market streets in San Francisco. I’ve driven down that hill before and had to ride the brake/white knuckling it all the way down, due to the steep grade. The defendant’s own blog entry after the accident showed that he knew he was against the light, and failed to brake to avoid the accident. All this from a defendnant who was a bike safety instructor, who should have known better.

  7. lpbfoot says:

    Let’s also not forget that bicycle brakes tend to do a pretty poor job of stopping from excessive speeds (by bicycle standards). I have to believe that a car doing 30 MPH, especially on a steep downhill, would stop in a much shorter distance than a bicycle…

    The bicyclist deserved his felony. He knew he was doing something dangerous…

  8. David says:

    Saucexx wrote

    Yes how many bikers have been killed when they blow red lights and stop signs. I see it every day, almost hit a few myself.

    My comment:
    Very few. And in those cases it is the person who broke the law who is also the one who is killed. And that’s the point, idiots on bicycles running lights, for the most part hurt and kill themseleves. And that’s the point about Bicycle’s killing Pedestrians. How many in Chicago in the past few years. (Here’s a hit, the last one happened on the LFP). In contrast, a car that is poorly driven is a deadly hazard to others.

  9. David says:

    Jeff wrote:

    30mph was probably the PSL. I’ve done 25-30mph on chicago city streets countless times on a bicycle in my life.

    My comment:

    Unless you are a Tour de France professional caliber cyclist, no you have not. On Flat’s that’s on the high end of Tour De France racers.

  10. Jeff says:

    David wrote:
    ________________________________

    Jeff wrote:

    30mph was probably the PSL. I’ve done 25-30mph on chicago city streets countless times on a bicycle in my life.

    My comment:

    Unless you are a Tour de France professional caliber cyclist, no you have not. On Flat’s that’s on the high end of Tour De France racers.
    ________________________________

    Not sure who you are having this conversation with but it wasn’t me. I do not bike on Chicago streets.

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