City Announces First Batch Of Speed Camera Locations

Technicians for American Traffic Solutions install a test camera near Warren Park on Western Avenue back in November.

Drivers get ready to slow down.

The first 12 speed camera locations were announced late Friday by the City of Chicago.

Installation will begin as early as Monday, and this first batch of speed cameras should be operational by the end of August according to city spokespeople. Although speeding drivers will only be issued warnings for the first 30-days after the camera is turned on.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein have worked for nearly two years in preparation to launch automated speed camera enforcement in Chicago. Both men believe the program will compel drivers to slow down, decrease crashes, diminish the severity of crashes when they occur and improve overall traffic safety. In other cities, speed cameras have reportedly reduced speeding by 90%.

“The Children’s Safety Zone Program protects children and other pedestrians by reminding motorists to slow down and obey speed laws – particularly in school and park zones,” said Klein. “With extensive signage on the street, a robust system to give drivers only warning tickets during the first 30-days systems are operating, in addition to one free warning the first time a motorist is eligible to receive an actual violation, we expect to reduce the amount of speeding substantially, even beyond what other cities that use automated enforcement have experienced.”

According to the city,  camera locations are being chosen on “available” traffic, speeding and crash data. The sites are being spread out evenly around Chicago  in six regions of the city.

The first 12 sites are within the mandated 1/8 of a mile from three schools and nine parks including:

  • Garfield Park, 100 N. Central Park Ave.
  • Gompers Park, 4222 W. Foster Ave.
  • Washington Park, 5531 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive
  • Marquette Park, 6743 S. Kedzie Ave.
  • Humboldt Park, 1440 N. Humboldt Dr.
  • Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento
  • Curie High School, 4959 S. Archer Ave.
  • McKinley Park, 2210 W. Pershing Rd.
  • Jones High School, 606 S. State St.
  • Legion Park, 3100 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
  • Abbott Park, 49 E. 95th St. Chicago
  • Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, 3857 W. 111th St.

The city also released some preliminary data from the speed camera pilot testing which was conducted at four locations this past December and January, pitting the two vendor finalists, Xerox/ACS and American Traffic Solutions. ATS was ultimately was awarded the contract a few weeks ago.

All four locations showed substantial speeding according to the data that was released.

The two sites operated by ATS showed just under 10% of the car passing through the monitored zones were speeding. The two Xerox locations showed eight to nine percent of cars were exceeding the speed limit.

Outside Dulles Elementary School, located at 6300 S. Martin Luther King Blvd.,
18 percent of the vehicles passing through during enforcement hours were exceeding the 20 mph school zone speed limit.

ATS’ second test site near Warren Park in the 6500 N. Western Ave. saw just 7% of drivers exceeding the speed limit.

Xerox’ cameras caught an average of 974 speed violations a day near McKinley Park, 2223 W. Pershing. That’s 57 violations per hour. While their second location at 1446 W. Division, outside of the Near North Montessori School saw an average of 366 violations per day.

“These pilot tests confirm that speeding is problem and that it puts children in danger. Speed is also one of the biggest determinants in whether an accident results in a serious injury or fatality, and reducing speeds to the posted limits will reduce injuries and save lives,” said Klein. “The Children’s Safety Zone Program protects children and other pedestrians by reminding motorists to slow down and obey speed laws – especially in school and park zones.”

With fines of $35 for speeding 6-10  mph over the limit or $100 for exceeding the limit by 11 mph or more, based on this sample data the city could be generating lots of revenue. The city says it expects to bring in around $20 million in speed camera revenue by the end of 2013.

The city says it will use revenues from speed cameras for safety related initiatives including after school programs,  crossing guards and police officers, and infrastructure improvements like painting crosswalk markings and erecting traffic signs.

Enforcement around schools will be limited from 7 AM to 7 PM Monday through Friday, while around parks enforcement will be seven days a week from 6 AM to 11 PM.

All drivers will be issued a warning for their first speed camera violation, but will be responsible for a fine after that.

11 Responses to City Announces First Batch Of Speed Camera Locations

  1. KevinG says:

    I’m not thrilled with this program although I’m not as opposed to this program as most commentators on this site.

    That said, I noticed while carring bikes this weekend that the rack on my car almost completely covers the rear plate, I might be leaving that on my car more often now…

  2. [...] The Expired Meter has a list of the first 12 of what will be 50 speed cameras installed by the end of the year. The first four will be turned on [...]

  3. Drew says:

    That raises an interesting point…from an enforcement point of view…

    Will the speed cameras be allowed to in view ticket from the rear plate only or will enforcement also be allowed from the front plate angle as well?

    Since not every state requires a front and a rear plate… And I highly doubt that the City is going to invest in cameras with a lens capable of zooming in on the dash mounted VIN number, is the city going to finally have the CPD, City Clerk and Department of Finance PEA’ start cracking down on the “Foriegn Object Obstruction of Plate” clause of the Noncompliant Plates Ordinance?

  4. saucexx says:

    Funny how most of the first cameras are around parks, not schools. My guess is the “20mph when children are present” limit is a challenge. So instead they’re just going to hand out tickets in 30mph zones. No children, no problem. What was that about child safety Mayor Grifter? Yup, I’m sure it has nothing to do with money…………….

    I’d like to know what the speeds were for those “exceeding” the speed limit since it can fluctuate depending on whether children are present or not. For example a car could be going 30, with no children present and the pilot program might’ve tagged them as going 10 over. Heck how do we even know they didn’t consider 1 mph over exceeding the limit? My trust level of the Mayor and his Crony Klein are a touch above Lance Armstrong at this point.

  5. saucexx says:

    According to the Trib:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-chicago-speed-cameras-0811-20130811,0,3659556.story

    “In addition, about 10 percent of the recorded violations are typically not enforceable for numerous reasons — the speeders were emergency vehicles, the license tags were obscured or there’s no child in the photo the camera takes in a school zone.”

    So this confirms it. The camera won’t make the determination if a child is present. It will just automatically issue a ticket when driving 26mph+ in a school zone. It’ll be up to some one else to decide like the DOR or ATS or a police officer or who really knows? Good luck with fighting a bad ticket, this is going to get messy real fast.

  6. saucexx says:

    One other item of note, I bet it’s only a coincidence that the company that racked up the most test violations (ATS) got the contract. Yup nothing to see here, move along………..

    I hate to rant but boy does this make my blood boil. 2-24-15, 2-24-15, 2-24-15….

  7. sonmone says:

    Thank god for my waze navigation app…Red light camera ahead! & Speed camera ahead…. :)

  8. DoR Employee says:

    I heard a rumor about whose going to be in charge of the review side of the Speed Camera area of Finance/Revenue…

    Former Dept Dir Cochran-Persons.

    Figure a less than 1% dismissal Ratio.

  9. Kyle says:

    I see they have a camera slated for 1440 N. Humboldt, which they’ve already slowed traffic down considerably in the past year by making that stretch one lane (from two), along with two dedicated raised Pedestrian crossing areas. The (propped up) Ped safety issue has already been addressed, so what’$ the real i$$ue, Rahm?

  10. Maybe this predatory speed camera cash register program will rob enough of the local safe drivers to cause a rebellion against the city council members who support it.

  11. saucexx says:

    James,

    Just maybe…..

    “At the same time, I question the motivations of Rahm Emanuel as mayor and the city at large,” he added. “The whole revenue thing, the parking meters, all that fun stuff, I have a bad taste in my mouth. I voted for Rahm, and I’ll never do it again.”

    http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130813/humboldt-park/speed-cameras-welcomed-humboldt-park-but-drivers-have-concerns

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