Sauganash speed camera zone draws complaints for conflicting signs

A speed camera zone on Chicago's Northwest Side drew a lot of complaints from drivers and people who live nearby because it's hard to tell how fast or slow the city wants drivers to go.
December 30, 2013 4:23:05 PM PST
A speed camera zone on Chicago's Northwest Side drew a lot of complaints from drivers and people who live nearby. Not just because of the cameras, but because the speed zone on Cicero between Devon and Peterson in the Sauganash neighborhood had conflicting speed limit signs.

INTERACTIVE MAP: 50 Chicago Speed Cameras

Along a three-block stretch on North Cicero in between Devon and Peterson, it's hard to tell how fast or slow the city wants drivers to go. It's very confusing.

"My reaction is what is the speed limit? 35 or 30?" said Debbie Conatser.

The city installed a brand new 30 MPH speed limit sign and sandwiched it in between two 35 MPH signs all within a very short distance of each other. And what's infuriating people here in the Sauganash neighborhood is that it came along with a new speed camera. Ricky DeLaCruz believes it's a speed trap.

"(So you think it's a speed trap?) Yeah, it's a speed trap. That's the rig," said DeLaCruz.

In the fall, the city began taking speed cameras live and issuing tickets in the name of public safety by installing them near schools and parks. But it has drummed up a lot of distrust from people who believe the cash-strapped city's real objective is to balance the budget on the backs of drivers. Debbie Conatser is a business owner in the 6200-block of North Cicero and doesn't like what she sees.

"I know they'd like to balance the budget but there has to be another way to do this," said Conatser.

Alderman Margaret Laurino's ward includes this stretch of road. Her office tells Eyewitness News this is not a speed trap. Instead, her office is calling the varying speed limit signs an inconsistency, but they're not admitting a mistake, and neither is the Chicago Department of Transportation.

However, they're assuring us the new camera will not be operational until they sort out the speed limit.

Don't expect to see these inconsistent speed limit signs along this stretch of Cicero for much longer. Alderman Laurino's office says some will have to come down and once that happens there should only be one posted speed.

As a matter of fact, it didn't take long at all. After a few calls to CDOT and the alderman, the city plans to take down the 30 MPH signs as soon as Monday.


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