Chicago Tonight Explains Chicago’s Speed Camera Program
Channel 11′s Chicago Tonight has a solid run down on the start of ticketing at the city’s first speed cameras.
Interestingly, they report Alderman Anthony Beale (9th) is questioning if one of the city’s first Southside locations is a legitimate location for a speed camera.
According to the law, speed cameras can only posted within 1/8 of a park or school.
However, the location on 127th Street is not near either. Instead, it’s next to a bike path which we can only assume, somehow fits under the definition of a “park.” Ald. Beale is working to get the camera removed.
This location is similar to a spot on the Northside on Irving Park Road just west of Clark Street. “Challenger Park” as the city named it, is really a running path between the CTA Red Line tracks and a parking lot.
Much like the spot on 127th, there are no swings, slides, baseball diamonds or playing fields–the traditional elements of what most people would consider a “park.”
Chicago Tonight also interviews Alderman John Arena (45th) who says the speed camera planned for a location in his ward is at a place where speeding is not an issue. Instead, Arena says he’d like that camera moved to a location in the ward where residence complain about chronic speeding problems.
UPDATE: We spoke to city hall spokesperson Bill McCaffrey who clarifies that despite the fact the bike trail on 127th street does not look the traditional park, it is a Chicago Park District Park called Major Taylor Trail Park. There’s even a group of supporters called Friends of Major Taylor Trail Park.
Challenger Park is also a park district designated park according to McCaffrey.
Some critics question why a program called the Children’s Safety Zone & Automated Speed Enforcement Program would install cameras outside of parks where very few children would be present. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein have continually stated the program, more than anything else, was to improve the safety of child pedestrians.