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Speed-Camera Signs Sufficient, Says New Transportation Commissioner

By Ted Cox | March 10, 2014 4:11pm
 Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld said signs are sufficient to warn motorists about speed cameras near schools and parks.
Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld said signs are sufficient to warn motorists about speed cameras near schools and parks.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

O'HARE — The city's new transportation commissioner said Monday that signs posted for speed cameras near schools and parks are sufficient to warn motorists.

Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld said the city is already complying with a resolution sponsored last week by Ald. Leslie Hairston seeking "clear, distinctive signs" at locations where speed cameras are operating.

"We do have signage on all school and park areas, in addition to those where there are speed cameras," Scheinfeld said Monday after a Northwest Side news conference on potholes. "We're going to continue to expand that this spring."

But Scheinfeld also promised "additional striping" on streets to warn motorists.

 Ald. Leslie Hairston is calling for better signs near speed cameras after being nabbed a couple of times herself.
Ald. Leslie Hairston is calling for better signs near speed cameras after being nabbed a couple of times herself.
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DNAinfo/Sam Cholke

Hairston's resolution says Chicago drivers "would like to be law-abiding citizens," but that signs for speed cameras "are similar to existing speed-limit signs" and don't work to warn motorists the way the distinctive signs for red-light cameras do.

It asks that the city post "clear, distinctive signs" saying "photo enforced" in speed-camera locations or "striping" on the road to warn motorists.

The city took in $72 million from red-light cameras in 2012 and, after phasing in speed cameras near schools and parks and trimming 18 red-light intersections, budgeted $60 million for speed cameras alone in their first full year this year. But the city has also seen driving habits change with the warning notices that go out the first month a new speed camera operates, calling into question whether it would make that revenue figure.

Former transportation czar Gabe Klein commented on that phenomenon in November, before resigning to return to private business. He was replaced by Scheinfeld at the end of the year.

Hairston has reportedly suffered a couple of speed-camera warning citations. Her resolution was immediately signed by 13 aldermen and was sent to the Transportation Committee.