Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he is having them taken down at 18 intersections where there has been a significant reduction in serious crashes.
Drivers who do not obey the law still run the risk of getting a ticket from red light cameras monitoring 172 other intersections in Chicago.
The mayor's press release made it clear it was he, not the department of transportation, who personally ordered that red light cameras at 18 intersections be taken down. A state study, he says, revealed the locations do not have as many serious traffic accidents as they had before the cameras.
"Those cameras are no longer needed from that perspective and so, for the first time ever, the city looked at it given the new information and made the decision to remove them," Emanuel said.
But as he took credit for turning off red light cameras, Emanuel's administration will begin collecting the first fines generated by newly turned on speed cameras - $35 for six to ten miles an hour over the limit and $100 for more than 10 miles over.
"It's been horrendous, the cars speeding. You can hear them now, right now," said pedestrian Florence Kalin.
Kalin crosses Foster Ave. to get to the Gompers Park field house. She says drivers there need something to slow them down. But bicyclist Robert Weiss says speed cams -- after their one-month trial on Foster with warning citations -- are getting the job done.
"They fly up and down here, and since that camera's been in, these guys are doing 20-30 miles an hour. I'm going faster than them, actually," Weiss said.
The mayor said the state accident study was released last week so it was just a coincidence that he decommissioned red light cameras during the same speed cams begin issued real citations costing offenders untold millions.
"I've not hid or been shy. We're going to be putting up speed cameras at our schools and parks to actually also be a deterrent," Emanuel said.
The 18 intersections where red light cameras will be removed are:
- Osceola and Touhy Avenues
- Kedzie and Devon Avenues
- Harlem and Higgins Avenues
- Sheridan Road and Hollywood Avenue
- Austin and Belmont Avenues
-Cicero and Belmont Avenues
-Halsted and Belmont Avenues
- California and North Avenues
- Wells and North Avenues
- Kostner Avenue and Division Street
- Clark Street and Cermak Road
- California Avenue and 35th Street
-California Avenue and 47th Street
- Pulaski Road and 71st Street
-Wentworth Avenue and 65th Street
- Racine Avenue and 79th Street
-79th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue
-Stony Island Avenue and 89th Street