PILSEN — Red-light camera haters, rejoice — three cameras on the city's Southwest Side will soon be removed.
Cameras at Damen and Blue Island avenues in Pilsen, Ashland and Archer avenues in McKinley Park and California and 31st Boulevard in Little Village are slated for removal under a plan Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Sunday. The cameras targeted for removal have already stopped issuing tickets.
Emanuel announced plans to remove 50 red-light cameras and outlined new reforms for the more than 300 cameras still in operation.
On Monday, Ald. Danny Solis (25th) said that he was glad the Damen and Blue Island red-light camera would be removed.
"I'm glad that statistics show enough improvement in the safety situation at Damen and Blue Island to necessitate removal of the red-light camera," the alderman said.
The decision to remove the cameras from 25 intersections was based on a review of Illinois Department of Transportation data, according to a release from the mayor's office. A similar exercise in 2014 led to the removal of 32 cameras from 16 intersections, the first such reduction since the program began in 2003.
Announcing a plan to remove some cameras, Emanuel said the affected intersections experienced a "significant reduction of serious crashes." Emanuel will face off against mayoral challenger Jesus "Chuy" Garcia in the April 7 runoff.
Before the Emanuel news conference Sunday, Garcia called the move to remove several red-light cameras "a political maneuver." Garcia promised to end the red-light camera program entirely on his first day in office.
Other reforms include a new requirement for community meetings before red-light cameras are removed, moved or added; installing pedestrian countdown timers at all 42 of the 174 red-light camera intersections that don't have them; and offering first-time offenders the option to take an online traffic safety class instead of paying the $100 violation fine.
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