To Protect Pedestrians, Keep the Cameras

Active Transportation Alliance, a Chicago pedestrian advocacy group, urges Mayor Rahm Emanuel to improve red light cameras rather than remove them. Despite complaints from drivers, well-advertised cameras can reduce pedestrian fatalities.
May 29, 2015, 9am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Nicholas Eckhart

Chicago's mayor is under pressure to dial back on red light cameras. "During the last election, Emanuel and many City Council members came under fire from opponents who pledged to abolish the automated enforcement program. In early March, Emanuel announced he would remove 50 red light cameras at 25 intersections that saw one or fewer right-angle crashes in 2013."

The removals come alongside some improvements for pedestrians. "The mayor also promised to have pedestrian countdown signals installed at all of the city's 174 red-light camera intersections by June 1. He pledged that community meetings would be held before red light cameras are installed, moved, or removed."

Ron Burke of the Active Transportation Alliance said "it's important to remember why we have the cameras in the first place: Chicago traffic crashes kill an average of 145 people a year, and significantly injure 21,000 more. While the city has an epidemic of dangerous driving, there aren't enough police officers to enforce the laws [...]"

"Burke said Emanuel still needs to put together a comprehensive Vision Zero strategy, similar to what Mayor Bill DeBlasio has done in New York. This led to DeBlasio reducing that city's default speed limit to 25 mph."

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Published on Thursday, May 7, 2015 in Chi.Streetsblog
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