EDGEWATER — Ald. Harry Osterman said he was "very concerned" with the mayor's plan to remove the red-light camera at Hollywood Avenue and Sheridan Road, the northern-most entrance to Lake Shore Drive and one of the neighborhood's busiest intersections.
"I'm very concerned about the red-light [camera] leaving that intersection," said the 48th Ward alderman. "That red-light camera at that intersection, I think it's helped. It also made sure that we don't need a police officer at that intersection every day."
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday that camera and 17 others throughout the city would be removed after new data showed a reduction in crashes at those locations. The cameras would be gone by the end of January, said city spokesman Bill McCaffrey.
In 2012, the camera at Hollywood and Sheridan issued 3,833 tickets at $100 each, according to an audit issued earlier this year by the city's Inspector General's Office, while the camera at Cicero Avenue and Interstate 55 led the city in tickets with 19,805.
The mayor also said the 18 intersections, including Hollywood and Sheridan, saw no right-angle crashes and showed less than 1 percent of cars traveling through the intersections were involved in a crash, according to Chicago Department of Transportation data.
But with up to 70,000 cars a day traveling through the Edgewater intersection, Osterman said, the camera helps to prevent accidents and protect seniors crossing the street.
Sheli Lulkin, president of a condo-owner coalition along North Sheridan Road, said she doesn't want to see the camera go.
Pedestrians would have trouble crossing the street, she said, if the camera was removed and motorists went back to their old habit of blowing through red lights.
"I think that’s why the accidents aren’t happening," she said. "Especially the people going east,
they slow down and we’ve had less accidents."
Kyla Gardner contributed to this report.