1st Chicago speed camera to issue real tickets

October 16, 2013 2:37:00 AM PDT
A warning to drivers who speed near Chicago parks: starting Wednesday, you could be ticketed if you're caught speeding near Gompers Park in the North Side's Mayfair neighborhood.

Until now, drivers have only received warnings. To ease the transition, the city says it will start by only issuing tickets for those going 10 miles or more over the speed limit. There are currently ten cameras around schools and parks. Gradually, they will all start generating tickets.

An analysis shows the cameras in nine safety zones logged 205,000 would-be speeding violations between Aug. 26 and Oct. 3.

The cameras are only issuing warnings to drivers, but fines will be levied starting later this month. If the violations had been tickets, they could have generated nearly $13.9 million for the city in just 39 days.

That's on pace to be well above the $40 million to $60 million in extra revenue forecast by Mayor Rahm Emanuel for next year.

But the larger-than-expected number of citations is prompting criticism from some who say the cameras are more about making money for the city than protecting children and pedestrians.

INTERACTIVE MAP: 50 Chicago Speed Cameras

The city says revenue generated by the program will be invested in safety initiatives, including after school programs; anti-violence and jobs programs; crossing guards and police officers around schools; and infrastructure improvements, such as signs, crosswalk markings and other traffic safety improvements.

The first speed cameras installed near Gompers Park in the Mayfair neighborhood on the North Side were activated and began to produce warnings to speeding drivers in late August. Cameras installed at McKinley, Marquette and Garfield Parks were activated in early September. There are 50 sites total.

The city said the cameras would only issue warnings for the first 30 days after each was installed. The city also says each motorist will get one free warning the first time they would incur a ticket.

CDOT intends to install speed cameras in the following zones by the end of the year (addresses are those of the parks and schools, not of the specific camera locations):

Abbott Park, 49 E. 95th St.
Bogan Tech High School, 3939 W. 79th St.
Burr Elementary School, 1621 W. Wabansia Ave.
Challenger Park, 1100 W. Irving Park Rd.
Chicago Agricultural High School, 3807 W. 111th St.
Christopher Elementary School, 5042 S. Artesian Ave.
Columbus Park, 500 S. Central Ave.
Curie High School, 4959 S. Archer Ave.
Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento Ave.
Frances Xavier Warde School, 751 N. State St.
Gage Park, 2415 W. 55th St.
Garfield Park, 100 N. Central Park Dr.
Gompers Park, 4222 W. Foster Ave.
Hancock Elementary School, 4034 W. 56th St.
Harvard Elementary School, 7525 S. Harvard Ave.
Horan Park, 3035 W. Van Buren St.
Horner Park, 2741 W. Montrose Ave.
Humboldt Park, 1400 N. Humboldt Dr.
Icci Academy, 6435 W. Belmont Ave.
Jefferson Park, 4822 N. Long Ave.
Jones High School, 606 S. State St.
Lane Tech High School, 2501 W. Addison St.
Legion Park, 3100 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
Lorca Elementary School, 3231 N. Springfield Ave.
Major Taylor Park, 970 W. 115th St.
Marquette Park, 6734 S. Kedzie Ave.
McGuane Park, 2901 S. Poplar Ave.
McKinley Park, 2210 W. Pershing Rd.
Merrimac Park, 6343 W. Irving Park Rd.
Morgan Park High School, 1744 W. Pryor Ave.
Ogden Park, 429 N. Columbus Dr.
Orr High School, 730 N. Pulaski Rd.
Park 499, 3925 E. 104th St.
Parsons Park, 4701 W. Belmont Ave.
Pickard Elementary School, 2301 W. 21St Pl.
Portage Park, 4100 N. Long Ave.
Prosser Vocational High School, 2148 N. Long Ave.
Riis Park, 6100 W. Fullerton Ave.
Roberto Clemente High School, 1147 N. Western Ave.
Rosenblum Park, 2000 E. 75th St.
Sauganash Elementary School, 6040 N. Kilpatrick Ave.
Schaefer Park, 2415 N. Marshfield Ave.
Senn Park, 5887 N. Ridge Ave.
Sherman Park, 1307 W. 52nd St.
St. Genevieve School, 4854 W. Montana St.
St. Rita High School, 7740 S. Western Ave.
Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St.
Warren Elementary School, 9239 S. Jeffery Ave.
Washington Park, 5531 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.
Welles Park, 2333 W. Sunnyside Ave.

Fines for violations are $35 for vehicles travelling 6-10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit while in a safety zone, and $100 for vehicles travelling 11 or more miles over the posted speed limit.

The Children's Safety Zones are designated as within 1/8th of a mile from Chicago parks or schools.

The enforcement hours will be limited from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in safety zones around schools on school days Monday through Friday; 7 a.m.-4 p.m.: 20 mph speed limit when children are present; 30 mph speed limit when no children are present; 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.: 30 mph speed limit

The enforcement hours around parks will be limited to only those hours parks are open (typically 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week) with a 30 mph speed limit.


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